Valparaiso jumped out to early leads in both games of the doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon, but ended up surrendering runs late in each one and fell to Loyola (Ill.) 5-4 and 3-2 in Chicago.
The opener saw Valpo score three times in the top of the third. Stephanie Reinke (Parker, Colo./J.K. Mullen H.S.) scored on a wild pitch, and Karen Constien (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North H.S.) doubled home Kelly Silvey (Indianapolis, Ind./Bishop Chatard H.S.), who had also doubled. Constien eventually scored on a two-out infield single by Tricia Speziale (Elmhurst, Ill./York H.S.).
The Ramblers answered with three in the fourth on two singles, a double, and a triple. They added two more in the sixth on a single by Lindsey LaChiana. Valpo added a run with a two-out homer by Beth Adamski (St. John, Ind./Lake Central H.S.), but fell short.
LaChiana went the distance for the victory for Loyola, while Brittany Atteberry (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) took the loss in relief for the Crusaders. Constien and Adamski each had two hits for the Brown and Gold in the opener.
In the nightcap, Valpo scored a pair of unearned runs in the opening inning. Speziale singled home Silvey and Adamski scored on sacrifice fly by Taylor Callahan (Grayson, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian H.S.).
The hosts tied the game in the fifth on a two-run double by Raven Gengler. Allison Scanlin then drove home the winning run in the sixth with a double of her own.
Mia Pangere went the distance for Loyola (21-26), allowing just four hits for the victory. Ashlee Blankenbaker (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso H.S.) went the first three innings for Valpo, not allowing a baserunner. Atteberry went 1.1 innings, and Amanda Gilbertson (Murrieta, Calif./West Albany H.S., Ore.) suffered the loss, going the last 1.2 innings.
Valpo (17-25) will host Centenary this weekend in a four-game series. Friday's doubleheader will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Valparaiso University Softball Field.