The Valpo softball team opened its final road series of the regular season Friday afternoon at MVC-leading UNI, falling to the host Panthers by scores of 7-2 and 3-0.
How It Happened – Game One
- UNI put three runs on the board seven batters into the game in the bottom of the first of the opener.
- Starting pitcher Easton Seib (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South) kept the Panthers off the board each of the next three innings.
- While Seib was holding UNI down, the Valpo offense struck for a pair of runs in the top of the third. Junior Autumn Acord (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone [Kent State]) and fifth-year Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) drew walks, and a passed ball moved both runners into scoring position for junior Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South). Hecker delivered, lining a double to the right-center gap to score both runs and cut the deficit to 3-2.
- A free pass to freshman Kim Rodas (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) continued the threat, as the Beacons had two on base with only one out. But consecutive strikeouts ended the inning, and Valpo had just one baserunner the rest of the game.
- UNI closed the scoring with two runs apiece in the fifth and sixth innings.
How It Happened – Game Two
- The Panthers took the lead in the bottom of the second on a two-out RBI single.
- UNI added a two-run, two-out homer in the fourth for what proved to be the final margin.
- After Valpo’s first 14 batters of the game were retired in order, Acord knocked a single the other way into shallow left for the Beacons’ first baserunner. Rodas led off the seventh with a single to left for Valpo’s other baserunner of the game.
Inside the Games
- Hecker enjoyed a strong day, going 3-for-6 with two RBIs over the pair of games. Over the last seven games, the junior is 9-for-20 at the plate with four runs scored and five RBIs.
- Herschbach reached base successfully with the third-inning walk in the opener, but went 0-for-3 in the nightcap as her 12-game on-base streak — the longest by a Valpo player in the last four seasons — came to an end.
- Seib went the distance in the opener, her eighth complete game of the season.
- Junior Caitlyn Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) had a stellar effort in the circle in the nightcap, giving up just three runs on six hits and walking just one. 16 of Kowalski’s 18 outs came in the air.
- The three runs UNI scored in the nightcap tied the Panthers’ lowest-scoring effort in MVC play.
Valpo (8-36, 4-19 MVC) closes out its road schedule on Saturday as the Beacons face UNI at noon.