Valparaiso (1-3, 0-0 MVC)
Feb. 18-20 - at Charleston Invitational (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.)
Feb. 18 - at Charleston (2-3, 0-0 CAA) - 4 p.m. CT DH
Feb. 19 - vs. Lipscomb (0-4, 0-0 ASun) - 4 p.m. CT | vs. Holy Cross (0-0, 0-0 Patriot) - 6:30 p.m. CT
Feb. 20 - vs. Binghamton (3-2, 0-0 America East) - 9 a.m. CT
Next Up in Valpo Softball: The Valpo softball team continues early-season play with its furthest trip of the regular season this weekend, heading to Mt. Pleasant, S.C. for the Charleston Invitational. The tournament opens with a Friday twinbill against the host Cougars, and the Beacons will also face Lipscomb, Holy Cross and Binghamton over the course of the weekend.
Previously: Valpo opened the 2022 campaign last weekend at the DePaul Dome Tournament, going 1-3 with losses to DePaul, Butler and Eastern Illinois before closing the weekend with a win over Western Michigan.
Looking Ahead: Valpo will be idle next weekend before returning to action March 5-6 at Indiana, taking on the Hoosiers and Western Illinois both days.
Following Valpo Softball: All five games from this weekend’s tournament will have live stats available and linked at ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Amanda Eberhart: Amanda Eberhart was hired as head coach of the Valpo softball program in July of 2021. She brings seven years of head coaching experience at the Division I level, most recently spending the last three years as the head coach at Omaha and previously leading the IUPUI program for four seasons. Eberhart, who owns 132 career victories as a head coach, also has eight seasons of experience on staffs at Big Ten programs.
Series Notes: Charleston - Valpo won the only previous meeting between the two programs, a 5-2 victory in Charlotte in March of 2019. Morgan Matalin went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the offense in the win.
Lipscomb - Valpo and Lipscomb have split two prior meetings, with Valpo emerging victorious, 2-1 in 10 innings, at Lipscomb in March of 2019. Taylor Herschbach drove in the game-winning run in extras of that victory.
Holy Cross - Valpo holds a 6-1 advantage in the all-time series over Holy Cross, with the most recent meetings coming in March of 2010, 8-0 and 7-5 Valpo wins.
Binghamton - First meeting
What’s Back: Valpo returns 14 of 19 letterwinners from last season’s squad for the 2022 campaign. In all, 77.6% of Valpo’s plate appearances are back for this season and 89.8% of last season’s inning pitched return as well.
Who’s New: After redshirting due to injury last season, Kylie Millhorn looks for her first collegiate action this spring. In addition, four true freshmen - Addi Weaver, Cheyenne Nietz, Kaiah Fenters and Lauren Sena - round out Valpo’s 19-player roster.
The Long and Winding Road: This weekend’s games continue a long and winding road for the Beacons before they finally get the chance to play at the Valpo Softball Complex. This is the second of four weekends of action prior to the start of conference play, as Valpo opened the season last weekend at the Rosemont Dome, and next month will play at Indiana and Louisville/Kentucky. Then, Valpo’s first two weekends of MVC play are on the road at Indiana State and at Missouri State, with a non-conference game at Western Michigan thrown in there as well. All told, Valpo’s first 25 games of the year are scheduled away from home, as the home opener comes on April 2 - matching last year for the latest home opener since the 2003 season.
Getting Hits: A trio of Valpo players came up with base hits in all four of the Beacons’ games on opening weekend. Seniors Peyton Moeder and Kate Beckemeyer were joined by sophomore Regi Hecker, picking up base knocks against DePaul, Butler, Eastern Illinois and Western Michigan. Both Beckemeyer and Hecker now have five-game hitting streaks dating back to last season.
Going Deep: Two Beacons connected on home runs last weekend at the Rosemont Dome. Ryan Milkowski connected on a solo homer versus DePaul for her third career homer. Then, in Valpo’s win over Western Michigan, Jaina Westphal delivered a three-run home run - the eighth of her career - as part of a 3-for-4, 3-run, 3-RBI performance.
Shutdown Relief: While Valpo scored nine runs in its opening-weekend win over Western Michigan, the victory can be attributed just as much to the performance of Madison Wathen out of the bullpen. Wathen entered to start the third inning with Valpo trailing 5-3 and delivered five innings of shutout relief work, giving up just two hits while striking out four and walking none. The first win of Wathen’s collegiate career, it was her longest outing in the Valpo uniform and a new career best for strikeouts.
Making Debuts: All four of Valpo’s true freshmen debuted on opening weekend in Rosemont. Addi Weaver started all four games and went 3-for-11 with a double and two walks. Kaiah Fenters notched a pinch-hit single and scored an insurance run in the win over WMU. Lauren Sena scored a run as a pinch-runner against Butler, while Cheyenne Nietz made two appearances out of the bullpen.