May 05, 2024123456789RHE
Win: Wischnowski (14-7) 5.172214
Loss: McDermott (5-22) 8.274442
Sanders (UNI) 302200
Crompton (VALPO) 403100
Beacons Drop Extra-Inning Affair to UNI to Close Regular Season
Sunday, May 5, 2024
Beacons Drop Extra-Inning Affair to UNI to Close Regular Season
Emily Crompton had a three-hit game in the final home game of her collegiate career.

For the second straight day, a standout pitching performance from freshman Sydney McDermott (Stout, Ohio/Portsmouth West) helped the Valpo softball team stay pace-for-pace with second-place UNI, but unlike Saturday’s walk-off heroics, Sunday saw the Beacons come out on the wrong end of a 4-2 final score in nine innings.

How It Happened

  • UNI plated a pair of runs in the top of the first with the assistance of a seeming wall of wind which kept a fly ball to center from traveling as far as anticipated, resulting in a two-run single.
  • The Beacons went hitless in the first three innings, but broke through in the fourth. Senior Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) led off the inning with a single, and three batters later, fellow senior Emily Crompton (Salem, Ill./Christ Our Rock Lutheran) knocked a run-scoring single into center to halve the deficit.
  • Valpo tied the game in the bottom of the sixth, but a couple bad breaks kept the Beacons from potentially taking the lead. Johnson got the rally going with a one-out single and stole second before senior Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) laced a shot to straightaway center. The line drive looked destined for the other side of the fence, but didn’t get quite high enough, hitting just inches from the top of the fence and falling for an RBI double to tie the game at 2-2.
  • Crompton followed with a single, and a walk to sophomore Kim Rodas (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) loaded the bases with two outs. Sophomore Lexi Szostak (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) stepped in and hit a looping liner straight back up the middle, which improbably hit the second-base bag at the exact angle to ricochet directly into the glove of UNI’s shortstop, whose momentum ranging toward the middle carried her right into the base for the force.
  • McDermott didn’t allow the tough luck to get to her, setting down the Panthers in order in the seventh and navigating a one-out single in the eighth. Valpo was retired in order in both frames as the game reached the ninth.
  • An RBI groundout and a two-out RBI double for UNI in the top of the ninth accounted for the final margin. Crompton and Szostak picked up singles in the bottom of the ninth to put the potential tying runs on base with one out, but the Panthers went to ace Samantha Heyer out of the bullpen and registered the final two outs in order.

Inside the Game

  • Valpo acquitted itself well against the Valley’s regular season runner-up all weekend long. The Beacons actually outhit the Panthers over the three-game series, 21-19.
  • The Beacons notched seven hits on Sunday afternoon, three of which came off the bat of Crompton for her second career three-hit game in her final appearance at the Valpo Softball Complex.
  • Johnson went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored in her final home game as well. Her sixth-inning stolen base was her 16th of the season, leaving the senior just one steal shy of cracking the program’s single-season top-10.
  • Hecker tallied a double and an RBI in her final home game, while senior Kayla Skapyak (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) reached base once via walk as well.
  • One day after going six innings out of the bullpen, allowing just four hits and two runs, to pick up the win, McDermott was just as strong on Sunday. After giving up a pair of runs in the first inning, the freshman kept the Panthers off the board for seven consecutive innings before getting tagged for a pair in the ninth.

Next Up

Valpo (9-39, 3-20 MVC) heads to the MVC Tournament in Normal, Ill. this week. The Beacons’ tournament journey opens Wednesday at 1 p.m. against fifth-seeded Bradley. All tournament games can be seen on ESPN+.