April 11, 20221234567RHE
Southern Illinois131200512132
Win: Sarah Harness (13-7) 7.062114
Loss: Kowalski (0-4) 2.234443
Ashley Wood (SIU) 433212
Elizabeth Warwick (SIU) 413310
Westphal (VALPO) 302100
Softball Falls In Series Finale to SIU
Monday, April 11, 2022
Softball Falls In Series Finale to SIU
Jaina Westphal lies down a run-scoring bunt single Monday.

It was a rare Monday afternoon matinee at the Valpo Softball Complex, as the host Beacons fell to visiting Southern Illinois by a 12-2 final in the finale of the three-game MVC series.

How It Happened

  • SIU loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first, but Valpo was able to limit the Salukis to just one run.
  • SIU added three runs in the second to push its lead to 4-0.
  • The Beacons got on the board in their half of the second. A pair of SIU errors put Taylor Tonoian (Saugus, Calif./Saugus) on third base with two outs, and the senior came home to score on a bunt single by classmate Jaina Westphal (Waterford, Wis./Burlington).
  • The Salukis scored one in the third, and then plated a pair of back-to-back homers in the fourth. Cheyenne Nietz (Machesney Park, Ill./Harlem) entered after the second round-tripper and retired the next three batters, starting off an appearance where she tossed three shutout innings as she stranded the bases loaded in each of the next two frames.
  • Valpo had an opportunity to cut into the lead in its half of the fourth, as base hits from Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) and Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) put two on base before a strikeout ended the threat.
  • SIU plated five in the top of the seventh before Valpo capped the scoring with a run in the bottom of the inning. A walk and two singles loaded the bases with one out, and a fielder’s choice grounder from Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) brought Addi Weaver (Shelbyville, Ind./Shelbyville) across the plate.

Inside the Game

  • The matchup with the Salukis was the program’s first game on a Monday since playing a twinbill against Missouri State on April 1, 2019.
  • Westphal picked up two of Valpo’s six base hits for her fifth multi-hit game of the year.
  • Caitlin Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) started and was charged with the loss in the circle, striking out three.
  • Nietz’s three shutout innings was her third scoreless appearance since the start of MVC play. She had the complete-game shutout of Indiana State in the first weekend of conference play, and also tossed a scoreless inning in the series finale against Bradley.

Next Up

It’s a quick turnaround for Valpo (9-21, 1-11 MVC), as the Beacons step away from conference action Tuesday afternoon to welcome Purdue Fort Wayne to the Valpo Softball Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.