Seven straight runs scored by Eastern Illinois were too much for the Valpo softball team to overcome on Sunday in Louisville, Ky., as the Beacons fell to the Panthers by an 8-3 final. Valpo’s scheduled second game of the day against host Bellarmine was canceled due to impending darkness.
How It Happened
- Valpo had three batters reach base in the bottom of the first on two walks and a hit batter, but was unable to push across the opening run.
- Starting pitcher Caitlin Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) worked a perfect first inning and then kept EIU off the board in the second after the Panthers put runners on second and third with one out. But Kowalski’s first pitch of the third resulted into a solo homer for EIU’s Maddie Swart as the Panthers took a 1-0 lead.
- Valpo got that run back immediately in the bottom of the third. Junior Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) drew a one-out walk and came around to score on an RBI single from fifth-year Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township).
- EIU took the lead for good with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the fourth, and added another tally in the sixth inning. The Beacons had their chances to add runs to their side of the scoreboard, but stranded the bases loaded in the fourth and left two runners in scoring position in the sixth.
- The Panthers pulled away with four runs in the top of the seventh. Valpo put a pair on the board in the bottom half of the frame courtesy of a two-run double by freshman Kim Rodas (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon), but was unable to cut any further into the deficit.
Inside the Game
- After reaching base five times over Saturday’s two games, Hecker one-upped herself by reaching safely in all four of her plate appearances out of the leadoff spot in the order on Sunday, picking up two singles and two walks.
- Herschbach and juniors Emily Crompton (Salem, Ill./Christ Our Rock Lutheran) and Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) all had two-hit games in addition to Hecker. For Crompton, it was the first multi-hit game of her collegiate career.
- While she didn’t pick up a base hit, senior Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway South) found herself on base three times courtesy of being hit by a pitch twice and drawing a walk.
- The offense left a season-high 12 runners on base Sunday, nine of whom were in scoring position.
- Kowalski pitched a total of 4.1 innings in the start in the circle, striking out four batters. Freshman Cadence Augustine (Beaverton, Mich./Beaverton) took the loss despite surrendering just one earned run in two innings of work.
Valpo (3-10) brings its weekend in Louisville to an end on Monday with a single game against Eastern Illinoi. First pitch is slated for 10 a.m. CT, with live video and live stats available via ValpoAthletics.com.