Crusaders Swept by Westerwinds to End Regular Season
Saturday, May 8, 2004
KarenMarie Pena limited Valparaiso to just six hits over two games as Western Illinois swept a Mid-Continent Conference doubleheader from the Crusaders 4-0 and 1-0 on Saturday afternoon in Macomb, Ill.

Pena went the distance in both games, surrendering just four hits in the opener and two hits in game two while striking out 13 between the two including eight in the nightcap.

In the opener, Western Illinois (25-27, 14-10 Mid-Con) plated a pair of runs in the fourth inning as Erin Zeller singled home a run and a second run scored on a Valpo error. The Westerwinds added two more in the sixth for insurance.

Amanda Gilbertson (Murrieta, Calif./West Albany H.S., Ore.) went five innings and allowed seven hits while striking out four for Valpo.

Game two was a pitching dual between Pena and the Crusaders' Ashlee Blankenbaker (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.). The difference in the game was a lead off homerun to left by Cassandra Hallstrom, her 11th of the season in the sixth inning. Blankenbaker went the distance for Valpo allowing seven hits and striking out three.

Karen Constien (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North H.S.) was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks for Valpo in each game.

Valpo (19-32, 13-11) finished the regular season in fourth place in the Mid-Con and will head to the Mid-Continent Conference Softball Tournament next Friday and Saturday in Macomb.