Valpo softball sophomore Ryan Milkowski (Olathe, Kan./Olathe West) connected on her first career home run to lead off the sixth inning Friday against Bowling Green in Huntington, W.V., but the Falcons came away with a 6-1 victory in both teams’ opener at the Thundering Herd Round Robin.
How It Happened
- Bowling Green plated a pair of runs in the game’s first four batters. The Falcons threatened to add more later in the opening inning, loading the bases with one out, but Valpo pitcher Caitlyn Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) struck out back-to-back hitters to keep it a 2-0 game.
- Valpo stranded a BGSU runner at third to end the second inning, and the defense turned a double play to end the third.
- The Falcons doubled their lead in the top of the fifth on a two-run homer from Madi McCoy.
- After having no baserunners through five innings, Valpo spoiled the perfect game, no-hitter and shutout all in one swing as Milkowski drilled a 3-1 pitch over the wall in center to cut the deficit to 4-1.
- BGSU added two runs in its final time at-bat for the final margin.
Inside the Game
- Milkowski is the fourth different Valpo player to hit a home run in the first seven games of the season.
- Valpo was limited to one hit by BGSU starting pitcher Payton Gottshall, who had surrendered just 18 hits in 50.1 innings this season entering the game. Milkowski’s run was just the sixth given up by Gottshall this year.
- Kowalski threw four-plus innings in the starting assignment and was charged with the loss, falling to 2-2 this year. Junior Taylor Knight (Omaha, Neb./Elkhorn South) tossed the final three innings.
Valpo (2-5) continues action from Huntington on Saturday with a matchup against host Marshall. First pitch is slated for 10:30 a.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast live on CUSAtv.