The Valparaiso University softball team left Iowa City on a winning note Sunday afternoon, never trailing in taking down South Dakota State by a 3-1 final to improve to 12-6 on the season.
How It Happened
- Valpo took a lead it would not relinquish in its first turn at bat in the top of the first. Sophomore Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) led off the frame with a walk and moved up to second on a sacrifice by senior Jorgi Calombaris (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) before stealing third base.
- Two batters later, junior Jenna Stauffenberg (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) lined a single into right field to score Trepanier and make it 1-0 Crusaders.
- Valpo added to its lead with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Sophomore Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) lined a one-out single into center, and freshman Hannah Dybalski (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) reached on an error to put two runners aboard.
- On second and third with two outs, a grounder to third looked like it would be the third out, but the throw to first pulled the first baseman’s foot off the bag. Lawton scored immediately, and Dybalski rounded third and kept going home as the first baseman attempted to sell the call, making it a two-run error and giving the Crusaders a 3-0 lead.
- While the Crusaders were taking the lead, junior Mackenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) and the Valpo defense were keeping the Jackrabbits off the board. Grossmann pitched around a one-out double in the second and a runner on second with nobody out in the third. The Crusaders erased a leadoff single in the fifth as well, as Stauffenberg threw down to Lawton to catch the runner stealing.
- A leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh led to SDSU’s only run, as Paige Gerdes drove in the runner with a two-out single to make it a 3-1 game. A walk put the potential tying run on base, but Grossmann recorded a strikeout to close out the victory.
Inside the Game
- The win made it a .500 weekend for the Crusaders, who closed out the three days in Iowa City with a 2-2 record.
- Valpo was limited to just five hits by SDSU pitching, two of which came from Stauffenberg – her fifth multi-hit game of the year.
- Senior Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) and Trepanier were both held hitless, the latter snapping her 16-game hitting streak which matched the longest known hitting streak in program history.
- Both Stewart and Trepanier did reach base once via walk, extending their respective on-base streaks to 18 games.
- Lawton reached base twice, extending her on-base streak to five games, while Dybalski and freshman Gabby Magnifico (Elmhurst, Ill./York) each picked up base hits as well.
- Grossmann tossed a complete-game five-hitter, striking out six, in the circle for Valpo to improve to 7-4 on the year. Only one runner even reached third base, as the Crusaders limited SDSU to 1-of-10 at the plate with runners in scoring position.
- Lawton was strong defensively at shortstop with Grossmann getting a number of ground balls, tallying seven assists – her second-highest single-game total in her time at Valpo.
The Crusaders (12-6) are scheduled for one final non-league outing before starting Horizon League play, making the short trip to Chicago for a single game versus Loyola Wednesday at 3 p.m. The game can be seen live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with links for the live video and live stats available via ValpoAthletics.com.