April 15, 20161234567RHE
Cleveland State0001013560
Win: CATALANO (3-0) 1.210010
Loss: LINDEMAN (3-6) 6.154454
BROSCHK (CSU) 312101
Valpo Falls in Series Opener to Cleveland State
Friday, April 15, 2016
Valpo Falls in Series Opener to Cleveland State
Stephanie Moreno drove in a run and scored a run in Valpo's sixth-inning rally Friday.

A sixth-inning rally brought the Valparaiso University softball team even with Cleveland State Friday afternoon in the Horizon League series opener in Valparaiso, but the Vikings connected on a 3-run homer in the seventh inning to send the Crusaders to a 5-2 defeat.

The pitching and defense dominated the early going, as only one runner reached scoring position for either team in the first three innings. The Crusaders’ Kaitlyn Ranieri (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) led off the bottom of the second with a walk and moved up 60 feet each on a pair of groundouts. But Ranieri would remain stranded at third base following another groundout.

Cleveland State cracked the scoreboard first, pushing across a run in the top of the fourth after a leadoff walk came around to score, but senior Mollie Lindeman (Hebron, Ind./Hebron [PNC]) induced a flyout with two runners in scoring position later in the inning to keep it a one-run game. The Vikings added another tally in the sixth inning courtesy of a two-out solo homer by Alyson Broschk.

Entering the bottom of the sixth hitless, the Crusaders would rally to tie the game. Senior Sierra Pico (Las Vegas, Nev./Legacy) led off the inning as a pinch-hitter and got hit by a pitch, and sophomore Stephanie Moreno (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley) followed with a line-drive double down the left-field line to plate Pico and cut the deficit in half.

Following a sacrifice bunt, sophomore Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland) lined a single back up the middle to bring home Moreno, tying the game at 2-2. Sophomore Taylor Nadler (New Haven, Mo./St. Francis Borgia) continued the run with a base knock of her own to make it two on with one away, and two batters later, freshman Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases with two outs. But a soft liner was snagged to end the Valpo threat, as the game went into the seventh inning tied.

Back-to-back one-out walks put a pair of runners on for the Vikings in the top of the seventh, and following a pitching change, CSU’s Erica McNew drove a 1-2 pitch just over the left-field fence for a three-run homer to make it 5-2 Cleveland State. The Crusaders put the leadoff batter aboard in their final turn at-bat, but could do no more damage.

Lindeman took the loss for the Crusaders, falling to 3-6 as she threw the first 6.1 innings. Kristin Catalano earned the victory in relief for Cleveland State (10-25, 3-7 Horizon), improving to 3-0 after registering the final five outs.

Valparaiso (8-25, 3-8 Horizon) closes out the three-game set against CSU with a home doubleheader Saturday afternoon, with first pitch of game one slated for noon. Both games will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and on WVUR (95.1 FM, Valparaiso), with links for live stats, audio and video available via ValpoAthletics.com.