April 09, 2024123456789RHE
Win: CLARK (3-9) 9.041024
Loss: McDermott (4-12) 9.0112202
CRAN (UIC) 513000
Johnson (VALPO) 301010
Hecker (VALPO) 401000
Krug (VALPO) 401000
Crompton (VALPO) 101000
Softball Edged in Extras by UIC
Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Softball Edged in Extras by UIC
Lauren Sena slides in with the game-tying run in the bottom of the eighth Tuesday.

Valpo softball pitcher Sydney McDermott (Stout, Ohio/Portsmouth West) had yet another strong outing in the circle in an MVC contest, carrying a shutout through the regulation seven innings, but the Beacon were unable to get to UIC in that time either and eventually fell 2-1 to the Flames in nine innings.

How It Happened

  • Scoring chances were at a premium all day, as through the first five frames, neither team got a runner to third base or had a runner on second with fewer than two outs.
  • UIC was the first to get a runner 60 feet away from scoring, turning a leadoff single into a runner on third with two outs in the sixth, but McDermott induced a foul pop-up to get out of the inning.
  • McDermott set down the Flames in order in the top of the seventh to give Valpo a shot at a walk-off in the bottom of the frame. A leadoff error eventually resulted in a runner on second with two away, before a groundout pushed the game into extra innings.
  • UIC broke the seal on the scoreboard in the top of the eighth, as a leadoff single moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt before an RBI single gave the Flames a 1-0 lead.
  • Valpo declined to go quietly, as after being held hitless through the first seven innings, senior Emily Crompton (Salem, Ill./Christ Our Rock Lutheran) dropped a leadoff pinch-hit single into left field.
  • Two batters later, senior Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) hit a slow grounder which turned into an infield single. Junior Lauren Sena (McHenry, Ill./McHenry), who had re-entered to run after Crompton’s base hit, alertly saw UIC’s shortstop misplay it as she charged it and took third base on the play with only one out.
  • After Johnson stole second, sophomore Kam Utendorf (Columbus Grove, Ohio/Columbus Grove [Black Hawk College]) hit a grounder to third. Sena initially held at third, but took off for home as soon as the throw went to first and slid in ahead of the return throw to tie the game at 1-1. Johnson was 60 feet away as the potential winning run, but a groundout pushed the game to the ninth inning.
  • A leadoff single eventually became a run for UIC in the top of the ninth to again put the Flames in front, this time by a 2-1 score. Singles from senior Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) and freshman Kayden Krug (Milford, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) gave the Beacons two runners on base with one out in the bottom of the ninth, but Valpo was unable to push a runner past second base.

Inside the Game

  • The game played out almost eerily similar to Valpo’s doubleheader opener against Bradley 10 days earlier. Both instances saw McDermott throw seven shutout innings in regulation, but having to toss extra innings because the Beacons’ offense not only had not scored, but had been held hitless. In both cases, Crompton led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a base hit for Valpo’s first knock.
  • McDermott threw just two 1-2-3 innings on Tuesday, but scattered 11 hits effectively, helped out by the fact that she did not walk a single Flame. Of McDermott’s 125 pitches, 86 were strikes, as she went to three-ball counts just three times.
  • Valpo ended the day with four hits, all of which came in the final two innings. Johnson’s infield single in the eighth extended her hitting streak to five straight games, while her stolen base was her team-best 13th of the season.
  • The matchup with UIC was the 90th all-time between the two programs. The Flames are Valpo’s most frequent opponent in program history.
  • Tuesday is the first time, in games where the international tiebreak is not used, that Valpo and its opponent have both scored the same number of runs in an extra inning to extend the game since May 4, 2013. That day, Youngstown State and Valpo each scored one run in the 12th inning to keep playing softball before Valpo eventually walked it off in the bottom of the 14th, 6-5.

Next Up

Valpo (8-23, 2-8 MVC) continues its series against UIC with a single game tomorrow at the Valpo Softball Complex, beginning at 3 p.m.