April 25, 20231234567RHE
Win: GOMEZ (1-5) 1.010000
Loss: Seib (6-17) 5.2106441
Herschbach (VALPO) 413200
Comeback Effort Comes Up Just Short For Softball at UIC
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Comeback Effort Comes Up Just Short For Softball at UIC
Alexis Johnson went 2-for-4 with two runs scored Tuesday.

The Valpo softball team erased a four-run deficit in the top of the seventh inning Tuesday in MVC play at UIC to extend the game, but a sacrifice fly gave the host Flames a 7-6 walk-off victory.

How It Happened

  • UIC opened the scoring with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the second and added two more in the third to take a 4-0 lead.
  • After stranding four runners in scoring position over the first four innings, the Beacons finally broke through in the top of the fifth. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, junior Kayla Skapyak (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) went first to third on a single from junior Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) and continued on to score on a UIC throwing error.
  • Fifth-year Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) followed with a long fly ball down the right field line, bringing home Johnson on an RBI triple to make it a 4-2 game.
  • The Flames got one of the runs back in the bottom of the fifth courtesy of a two-out RBI single and pushed their lead back to four runs at 6-2 with an RBI groundout in the sixth.
  • Needing four runs to keep the game alive, the Valpo offense came alive in the top of the seventh. Freshman Lexi Szostak (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) got things going with a pinch-hit single to lead things off and Johnson knocked a single through the left side to put two on with nobody out.
  • Herschbach kept the line moving with a single back up the middle, scoring Skapyak — who had reentered to run — to cut the deficit to 6-3. Junior Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) stepped in and delivered a knock of her own back through the box, scoring Johnson and Herschbach to make it 6-5.
  • Crucially, Hecker advanced to second on the throw in to the plate on her single. After the next two batters made outs, senior Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway South) stepped up and dropped a 2-1 pitch into right-center field to bring Hecker home and knot the score at 6-6.
  • The Flames went on to earn the walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly with runners on the corners and one out.

Inside the Game

  • Valpo’s six runs marked its best offensive output since the start of Valley play and was the team’s most since plating six against Bellarmine on March 4.
  • The 12 hits were a season high for the Beacons and matched the most since Feb. 19 of last season against Holy Cross.
  • The top three hitters in Valpo’s order all had multi-hit games, led by Herschbach, who went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs. Herschbach extended her career-best on-base streak to 11 consecutive games, matching the longest stretch by a Valpo player in the last four years.
  • Herschbach tallied a single, a double and a triple for her three hits, the first Beacon to get three-quarters of the way to a cycle since Addi Weaver on April 20 last season at Loyola.
  • It was Herschbach’s sixth multi-hit game of the year and her second three-hit game of the season.
  • Hecker went 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs. The junior is tied for team-high honors with seven multi-hit games this season.
  • Johnson rounded out the trio of multi-hit performances at the top of the order by going 2-for-4 with two runs scored, her sixth multi-hit game of the year.
  • Skapyak scored a pair of runs as well on Tuesday.
  • Senior Easton Seib (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South) threw 5.2 innings in the circle and was charged with the loss.

Next Up

Valpo (8-34, 4-17 MVC) faces its final road games of the regular season this weekend as the Beacons travel to MVC-leading UNI. The three-game set opens Friday evening at 5 p.m. from Cedar Falls, Iowa.