The Valpo softball team was tied through four innings of its nightcap of an MVC doubleheader at Missouri State on Saturday afternoon before a solo homer in the fifth inning gave the Bears a 3-2 victory. MSU swept the twinbill as it claimed an 8-0 win in the opener as well.
How It Happened – Game One
- Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway South) gave Valpo a good scoring chance in the top of the second, connecting on a leadoff double down the right-field line, but was unable to advance past second.
- Missouri State took the lead in the bottom of the second on a solo homer.
- Valpo looked to respond immediately, loading the bases with one out in the third on a single from Kayla Skapyak (Macomb, Mich./Dakota), an MSU error and a hit batter. Two batters later, a line drive looked destined to bring home a couple runs and give Valpo the lead, but the Bears’ third baseman made a leaping grab to keep Valpo off the board.
- Missouri State extended its lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the third on a three-run homer with two outs.
- Jaina Westphal (Waterford, Wis./Burlington) was hit by a pitch and stole second with two outs in the fourth, but was eventually stranded at second.
- Missouri State eventually ended the game with four runs in the sixth.
How It Happened – Game Two
- The Bears took advantage of leadoff base hits in their half of the first and third innings to score a run apiece and take a 2-0 lead through three frames.
- Valpo evened the score in its half of the fourth. Peyton Moeder (Shawnee, Kan./Mill Valley) led off the inning with a single, and a subsequent MSU error put runners on second and third with nobody out. Two batters later, Kehlenbrink looped a two-run single into left to tie the game at 2-2.
- The Beacons threatened to pull in front later in the inning, as both Addi Weaver (Shelbyville, Ind./Shelbyville) and Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) drew two-out walks to load the bases before a pop-up ended the inning.
- The Bears regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth with a solo homer, which proved to be the decisive run as Valpo’s last 10 batters were retired in order.
Inside the Games
- The loss in the nightcap was Valpo’s first of the season in a one-run game (previously 5-0).
- Moeder tallied the 100th hit of her career in the fifth inning of game one with a line drive into center. She picked up a hit in the nightcap as well and has now registered a hit in each of Valpo’s first five MVC games this season.
- Kehlenbrink recorded a hit in both halves of the doubleheader as well.
- Ryan Milkowski (Olathe, Kan./Olathe West) reached base twice in the opener, registering a hit and getting hit by a pitch.
- Westphal’s stolen base in the opener makes her a team-best 6-for-6 on the basepaths this year. On the flip side, Kehlenbrink threw out two of five MSU runners attempting to steal, including a 2-6-2 caught stealing which ended the sixth inning of game two and kept it a one-run game entering the seventh.
- Cheyenne Nietz (Machesney Park, Ill./Harlem) started in the circle in game one and was charged with the loss, throwing the first four innings. In the nightcap, Easton Seib (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South) went the distance for her sixth complete game of the season, scattering five hits.
Valpo (9-13, 1-4 MVC) takes aim at concluding a conference series with a win for the second straight weekend on Sunday afternoon. The series finale at Missouri State is slated for a noon start and will be broadcast live on ESPN3.