The Valparaiso University softball team finished out its opening MVC series with a win on Sunday afternoon, as it never trailed in a 5-3 victory at Bradley. Freshman Peyton Moeder (Shawnee, Kan./Mill Valley) led the way at the plate in the win, driving in three runs and reaching base all four times she came to bat.
How It Happened
- Valpo took its first lead of the series in its first turn at the plate. Moeder reached with one out on an error, and eventually stole third with two outs. The steal proved key, as junior Hannah Dybalski (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) lined a one-hop shot off the Bradley shortstop for an infield single, scoring Moeder with the game’s first run.
- It looked like Valpo would add to its lead in the second inning, as freshman Jaina Westphal (Waterford, Wis./Burlington) laced a two-out double down the left-field line and then stole third. But a line drive off the bat of junior Morgan Matalin (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) was snagged by Bradley’s first baseman to keep Valpo off the board.
- Six pitches into the third inning, Valpo pushed another run across the plate. Senior Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) led off the inning by driving a shot to the wall in right for a triple, and Moeder followed by knocking a 1-2 pitch through the left side of the infield to bring Trepanier home with the game’s second run.
- Bradley got the run back in the bottom of the third on a one-out RBI double, cutting Valpo’s lead to 2-1. The Braves then scored an unearned tally in the fourth to tie the game, and had the potential go-ahead run on third with two outs. But junior Kelsie Packard (Beloit, Wis./Turner [Rock Valley College]) induced a foul-out to the left side to keep it a tie game.
- Both teams got a runner on base in the fifth, but neither scored as the game headed to the sixth still tied, 2-2.
- The difference in the game came in the top of the sixth, as Valpo pushed across a trio of two-out runs. Sophomore Addi Burke (Mesquite, Texas/John Horn) started things off with a one-out single the other way, and Westphal watched five consecutive pitches go by for a walk to put two runners on.
- After the second out of the inning, Valpo turned the lineup back to the top of the order, and Trepanier delivered a single right back through the middle to score Burke and give Valpo the 3-2 lead.
- It looked like the inning might be done with just the one run, as on an attempted double steal, the Bradley catcher’s throw beat Westphal to third. But the Braves’ shortstop dropped the ball while applying the tag, giving Valpo new life, and Moeder took full advantage, knocking in a pair of runs with a single up the middle to push the lead to 5-2.
- Bradley got the potential tying run to the plate in the seventh, scoring one on a one-out RBI single to cut the Crusader advantage to 5-3. But a fly ball to center turned into the second out, and Packard completed the win with her sixth strikeout of the game.
Inside the Game
- Valpo has now won eight of its last 11 games.
- The victory was Valpo’s first of the season when giving up more than two runs.
- Four Valpo hitters posted multi-hit games in the win on Sunday: Trepanier and Moeder in the top two spots in the order, and Burke and Westphal back-to-back in the seven and eight spots in the lineup.
- Moeder and Westphal both also drew walks, while fellow freshman Taylor Tonoian (Saugus, Calif./Saugus) recorded a pair of free passes. Moeder also set a new career best with her three RBIs.
- Trepanier’s triple in the third inning was her 10th career three-bagger, moving her into solo fourth place in program history in the category. The senior is just one triple shy of moving into a tie for second, and already owns the most triples of anybody who has played this century.
- Burke finished the series with four hits after entering the weekend with just two hits on the year. Similarly, Moeder stole three bases in as many attempts on the weekend after stealing just once in her first 11 games.
- Packard improved to 7-4 this season with a workmanlike performance in the circle. The junior went the distance, throwing 134 pitches. She struck out six hitters and worked to strand eight Bradley runners on base, as the Braves put at least one runner on in all seven innings.
- After going just 1-of-15 yesterday in the two losses to the Braves, Valpo went 4-for-10 at the plate with runners in scoring position today. On the other side, Packard and the Crusader defense held Bradley to 1-of-9 in RISP situations Sunday.
Valpo (9-10, 1-2 MVC) is currently scheduled to open its home slate on Wednesday with a doubleheader against Central Michigan. Updates will be available at ValpoAthletics.com and on Valpo Softball social media regarding whether the games will be played as scheduled.