Coming off back-to-back MVC series wins, the Valpo softball team was unable to get its series against Drake off on a winning note on Friday at the Valpo Softball Complex, as the visiting Bulldogs earned a 4-1 win.
How It Happened
- Valpo had a strong scoring chance in its first time at the plate, thanks to a one-out double from fifth-year Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township), before back-to-back strikeouts stranded her on second.
- Drake took the lead for good in the top of the third, stringing together four singles and plating a pair of runs.
- The Beacons got another runner into scoring position in their half of the third, as junior Autumn Acord (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone [Kent State]) worked a leadoff walk and was sacrificed up to second. But the Bulldogs got back-to-back outs to keep Valpo off the board.
- Drake added an unearned run in the sixth and a successful squeeze resulted in the Bulldogs’ fourth run in their final turn at bat.
- After striking for just one hit in the first six innings, Valpo got two within the first three batters of the bottom of the seventh, as junior Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) and senior Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway South) connected on well-hit singles to put runners on the corners with one out. An RBI groundout from pinch-hitter Kaia Garnica (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield Central) scored Hecker for the Beacons’ first run before a strikeout ended the game.
Inside the Game
- Herschbach’s double extended her on-base streak to eight consecutive games, matching a career best.
- Herschbach’s two-bagger was also the lone extra-base hit for either team on the day, as despite Drake getting 10 hits off Valpo pitcher Easton Seib (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South), all 10 base knocks were singles.
- Seib went the distance in the circle on Friday, striking out five Drake batters and surrendering just three earned runs. It was the fifth time in her last eight starts the senior has thrown a complete game and her seventh complete game of the year.
- Seib also cracked the program’s record book on Friday, as she appeared in the circle for the 93rd time in her Valpo career — a mark which ties her with Ashlyn Montgomery for 10th-most in program history.
- The Beacons saw their four-game streak of errorless softball come to an end on Friday, as they committed three miscues defensively.
Valpo (8-31, 4-14 MVC) aims for a rebound performance on Saturday afternoon, as the Beacons and Bulldogs play the middle game of the three-game series. First pitch is set for 2 p.m., with the game streaming live on ESPN3.