Valparaiso wrapped-up its spring trip splitting a pair of games on Saturday in Kissimmee, Fla. The Crusaders dropped their opener 5-0 to Rhode Island before bouncing back to beat Sacred Heart 5-1.
In the opener, the Rams limited the Crusaders to just two hits, singles by Kelly Smoker (Kalamazoo, Mich./Comstock H.S.) and Corey Burns (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg H.S.). Jessica Radtke (Eau Clarie, Wis./Memorial H.S.) took the loss for the Brown and Gold, striking out one over five innings of work.
In the nightcap the Crusaders struck first as Tricia Speziale (Elmhurst, Ill./York H.S.) doubled home two in the opening inning. After Sacred Heart scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first, the Crusaders struck for three in the fifth. Tana Barnes (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) singled home one and Amy Mitchell (Star, Idaho/Eagle H.S.) singled home two more.
Amanda Gilbertson (Murrieta, Calif./West Albany, Ore. H.S.) went the distance to pick up the win in the circle. Speziale went 3-for-3 with the double, while Burns, Laurie Grabiak (Saint Louis, Mo./Parkway North H.S.) and Stephanie Reinke (Parker, Colo./J.K. Mullen H.S.) had two hits each as Valpo pounded out 11 in the game.
The Crusaders (3-6) will return to action next Friday at the Western Kentucky Tournament when the Brown and Gold face Detroit at noon and Loyola (Ill.) at 8 p.m.