Mallory Gill's (Beloit, Wis./Memorial H.S.) grand slam which came as part of a six-run fifth inning helped Valparaiso rally from a five-run deficit to defeat Southern Utah 7-6 in game one of a doubleheader on a rainy Saturday afternoon at the Valparaiso University Softball Field. The Thunderbirds won the nightcap 8-0.
Trailing 6-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth, three straight singles to lead off the inning loaded the bases for Gill. The junior then deposited a blast over the fence in centerfield to cut the deficit to one. Megan Carroll (Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids H.S.) followed with a double and Karen Korb (Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran North H.S.) singled to put two on for the Crusaders. With two outs, Beth Adamski (Saint John, Ind./Lake Central H.S.) delivered a two-run single which put the Brown and Gold in front for good.
Andrea Zappia (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central H.S.) came on for the final six outs to earn the save, striking out four.
Southern Utah jumped in front with solo homers by Karli Jenson and Erin Niederhauser in the second and fourth innings respectively. The Thunderbirds tacked on four more in the top of the fifth to build their five-run advantage. Valpo's first run scored on an illegal pitch in the fourth inning.
Korb finished the game with two hits and two runs as Stephanie Kelly (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield H.S.) earned the win (6-4) in relief. Kristina Brooks suffered the loss for Southern Utah.
In the nightcap, Brooks allowed a leadoff double to Carroll, then did not surrender another hit until the sixth on the way to tossing a two-hitter in the complete game victory (6-11).
Southern Utah (14-19, 3-3 M id-Con) scored in each of the first two innings then took a 6-0 lead in the fifth on Lindi Kennedy's grand slam to left. Bobbi Joe Merrill drove home the final two runs in the sixth for the Thunderbirds.
Zappia started and suffered the loss (4-4) for the Crusaders, working five innings.
Valparaiso (14-8, 4-2) will travel to Notre Dame on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. CDT game against the Fighting Irish.