Valpo Splits Twinbill With Oakland; Callahan, Robinson Set School Records
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Taylor Callahan (Pendergrass, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) broke Valparaiso's career hits record Sunday, while Shannon Robinson (Toronto, Ont./John Redmond) surpassed the Crusader single-season hits record as Valpo split a doubleheader with Oakland Sunday in Rochester, Mich. The Crusaders dropped the opener in nine innings, 2-1, before bouncing back with an 8-2 victory in the nightcap.

Callahan registered her 166th career hit, surpassing Kari Wiseman's record, on the first pitch of the eighth inning in game one, dropping a single into left field. The senior moved over to second on a single by Robinson, but would get no further. The Crusaders also put together back-to-back base hits in the ninth inning, but couldn't get a run across the plate. The Golden Grizzlies won the game in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI triple by Audrey Sabourin.

The Grizzlies struck first in the opener, as Sarah Clark singled with one out, advanced all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt and came home on the same play after a Valpo throwing error. Valpo responded with a single run in the fifth. Ashley Wolter (Denver, Iowa/Denver) beat out an infield single with two outs and stole second base. Callahan followed with a single into left-center field to plate Wolter and knot up the game, eventually sending it into extra innings.

Stephanie Kelly (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield) had a stellar outing, allowing just eight hits and three walks in her 8 1/3 innings of work while striking out eight Oakland batters, but fell to 9-6 on the season. Jessica Granger improved to 17-14 for the Grizzlies, striking out 10 Crusaders in nine innings and scattering nine hits.

Robinson tied the Valpo single-season hits record in the nightcap with a first-inning home run to center field, her third long-ball of the year. She followed in the third inning with an RBI single to break the record, plating Callahan. The junior would also come up with an RBI double in the fourth inning, giving her 55 hits on the year.

Robinson's RBI base knock broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning and opened the offensive floodgates for the Crusaders. Wolter drove in Robinson and Megan Carroll (Eaton Rapids, Mich./Eaton Rapids) with a double, and came around to score on a stolen base and subsequent error to make it 5-1 after three innings.

Callahan added an RBI double in the fourth frame to extend her single-season doubles record to 17 and to break a tie for the career doubles record with her 36th two-bagger. Robinson followed with her RBI double to increase the lead to 7-1. Valpo would add a run on a Beth Adamski (Saint John, Ind./Lake Central) sacrifice fly for its eighth run of the game.

Chris Halstead (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) earned the victory, improving to 10-3 on the season with a complete-game seven-hit effort, striking out seven batters, matching a career-best. Niki Schulty took the loss for Oakland (19-33, 10-7), falling to 2-10 on the 2007 season.

Robinson led Valpo on the day at the plate, going 5-for-8 with three runs scored and three RBIs. Callahan and Wolter recorded four hits apiece, while Alicia Ashburn (Mishawaka, Ind./Mishawaka) tallied two base hits in the opener and Karen Korb (Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran North) two in the nightcap.

Valparaiso (26-19, 8-9) will attempt to match the school record for victories in a season when the Crusaders take the field for their final game of the season tomorrow against Oakland. First pitch from the OU Softball Field is slated for 11 a.m. CDT.