The Valpo softball team closed out the regular season on Saturday afternoon at the Valpo Softball Complex, falling to visiting Illinois State, 7-1, as the Redbirds secured the MVC regular season title. Following the game, Valpo honored a pair of seniors in its Senior Day ceremony – second baseman Addi Burke (Mesquite, Texas/John Horn) and manager Alex Dixon (Milan, Ind./Milan).
How It Happened
- The teams played a scoreless first two innings, with the Valpo defense stranding three Redbird runners on base over the two frames.
- Illinois State broke through in the third, hitting back-to-back home runs with two outs to go ahead 4-0.
- Valpo found the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth, and Burke was the catalyst. The senior drew a four-pitch walk with one out, and then on a grounder to second successfully avoided a tag to advance into scoring position with two outs. Junior Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) then laced the first pitch she saw back through the middle, plating Burke with the RBI single.
- A standout defensive play ended the top of the fifth. With a runner on first and one out, junior Jaina Westphal (Waterford, Wis./Burlington) ranged back into shallow center on a pop-up and caught it with her back to home plate going to the ground. She then had the wherewithal to jump to her feet, turn and fire to first base to double up the ISU runner for the double play.
- The Redbirds closed the scoring with three two-out runs in the top of the sixth.
Inside the Game
- Junior Peyton Moeder (Shawnee, Kan./Mill Valley) picked up her third hit of the series with two outs in the seventh.
- Burke’s Senior Day start was her 151st career appearance and 132nd career start in the Brown and Gold.
- The double play turned by Westphal and Brittany Anderson (East Chicago, Ind./Bishop Noll) was the 14th of the season for the Valpo defense, 12 of which have come in the last 20 games.
Valpo will head to the MVC Tournament in Evansville, Ind., with its first game slated for Wednesday at 2 p.m. Its first-round opponent will be determined on Sunday.