The Valparaiso softball team was unable to come up with a victory Saturday at the Ragin’ Cajun Invitational in Lafayette, La., falling in a slugfest in the day’s opener to Central Arkansas, 10-8, and then failing to get anything going offensively in a 4-0 loss to Boston College.
Central Arkansas got the scoring going in the day’s opener in the top of the second on a leadoff homer, but senior Amanda Wisniewski (Skokie, Ill./Huntley) answered in the bottom half of the inning with a solo homer of her own. The Bears put up a crooked number in the top of the third, however, taking advantage of four hits, a walk and a pair of Valpo errors to score five runs and take a 6-1 lead.
The Crusaders responded immediately again, this time getting a three-run double from freshman Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit to 6-4. Central Arkansas plated another unearned run in the fourth, but again Wisniewski stepped up with a solo homer, her second round-tripper of the day and the 21st of her career, leaving her just one shy of third place in Crusader history. Junior Tarah McShane (Streamwood, Ill./St. Edward Central Catholic) drove in Stewart with an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to bring Valpo back within 7-6.
The Bears pushed their lead out to four runs with a three-run sixth inning, and the Crusaders were unable to slice into the deficit despite getting two runners on with one out in the bottom half of the frame. Entering the bottom of the seventh trailing 10-6, Wisniewski drove in Amanda Korb (Indianapolis, Ind./Lutheran) with an RBI single and would later come around to score on a Central Arkansas error. Valpo had the tying runs on base with two outs, but a strikeout ended the Crusaders’ comeback attempt.
Sophomore Sierra Pico (Las Vegas, Nev./Legacy) took the loss for the Crusaders, starting and throwing 2.1 innings, surrendering five runs, only two of which were earned. Ciara Clampitt improved to 2-1 with the win for Central Arkansas (3-5). Wisniewski went a perfect 3-of-3 with three runs scored and three RBIs to lead the Crusader offense, while Doerffler and Stewart also had two-hit games as well.
Despite getting runners on base in each of the first six innings of the nightcap against Boston College, the Crusaders were unable to push a run across, stranding nine on base for the game. The Eagles scored all four of their runs in the sixth innings, including a pair of unearned tallies.
Pico took the complete-game loss for Valpo to fall to 0-4 on the year despite surrendering just five hits. Nicole D’Argento earned the win for Boston College (2-2) with a complete-game effort in the circle, striking out 11. Freshman Taylor Lawson (Tucson, Ariz./Sahuaro) and sophomore Kaitlyn Ranieri (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) each had two hits in the loss to the Eagles.
Valparaiso (2-6) looks to end the tournament with a win on Sunday as the Crusaders face off against Memphis. First pitch is scheduled for 11:30 a.m., with live stats available through ValpoAthletics.com.