April 17, 20151234567RHE
Cleveland State102321X9122
Win: KNIGHT (10-6) 7.062203
Loss: MONTGOMERY (6-7) 4.1108720
WOODARD (CSU) 423100
Crusaders Bested by Vikings Friday
Friday, April 17, 2015
Crusaders Bested by Vikings Friday
Kaitlyn Ranieri had a pair of hits on Friday.

The Valparaiso University softball team led after its third time at bat in its series opener at Horizon League foe Cleveland State Friday afternoon, but the Vikings scored eight unanswered runs as the Crusaders fell by a 9-2 final.

Valpo fell behind after the opening inning on a bases-loaded RBI infield single by CSU’s Mackenzie Joecken, but Crusader starter Ashlyn Montgomery (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) stranded the bases loaded by inducing a soft lineout.  Montgomery also stranded a runner in scoring position in the second inning as well, as Valpo trailed 1-0 through two innings.

After going hitless through the first two frames, the Crusaders strung together hits in the third inning to take the lead.  Freshman Jenna Stauffenberg (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) legged out a one-out infield single, and following a fielder’s choice, fellow rookie Stephanie Moreno (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley) lined a shot to the wall in left field to score sophomore Taylor Lawson (Tucson, Ariz./Sahuaro).  Junior Kaitlyn Ranieri (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) followed with a run-scoring hit into left-center, plating Moreno to give Valpo the 2-1 edge.

But the lead wouldn’t last for Valpo, as Wright State struck back in the bottom of the third.  With two in scoring position and one out, sophomore Jorgi Calombaris (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) kept the Vikings off the board by coming home on a grounder to second, with Stauffenberg applying the tag at home to nail Cynthia Woodard for the second out.  But Hannah Yoe and Alisha Silva picked up back-to-back RBI base knocks for CSU to give it a 3-2 lead through three innings.

Cleveland State added three more runs in the fourth, courtesy of an RBI double by Woodard and a two-run double from Alyson Broschk, and then scored two more in the fifth on a pair of wild pitches.  Valpo looked to cut into the 8-2 deficit in the top of the sixth, as Ranieri lined a single into left with one out.  Two batters later, senior Tarah McShane (Streamwood, Ill./St. Edward) knocked a single through the left side and an error loaded the bases, but a groundout ended the threat.  CSU plated its final run in the bottom of the sixth, and a leadoff single by senior Lindsey Norway (Chicago, Ill./Chicago Christian) went for naught in the seventh.

Ranieri went 2-for-3 to lead the Crusader offensive effort, while Woodard picked up three of Cleveland State’s 12 hits.  Montgomery took the loss for Valpo, falling to 6-7 as she threw 4.1 innings on Friday.  Susan Knight earned the complete-game win for Cleveland State (20-16, 5-5 Horizon), improving to 10-6 on the year.

Valpo (9-30, 3-9 Horizon) looks to turn the tables on the Vikings on Saturday, as the Crusaders close out the series against CSU with a doubleheader.  First pitch is slated for noon CT, and both games will have live video available via ESPN3.com.  Links for the live video, as well as live stats, will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.