The 2023 campaign came to an end for the Valpo softball team in the first round of the MVC Tournament in Carbondale, Ill., as the 12th-seeded Beacons fell to fifth-seeded Indiana State, 4-1.
How It Happened
- Valpo had the first quality scoring chance of the game, as juniors Emily Crompton (Salem, Ill./Christ Our Rock Lutheran) and Autumn Acord (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone [Kent State]) delivered back-to-back one-out singles in the top of the second. A grounder moved both runners into scoring position, but a strikeout ended the threat.
- The Sycamores opened the scoring in their half of the second, plating a run without the benefit of a hit.
- Starting pitcher Easton Seib (Blue Springs, Mo./Blue Springs South) kept Indiana State from adding to its lead in the third and fourth innings, despite the Sycamores getting a runner into scoring position with less than two outs in both frames.
- Indiana State broke through for a three-run fifth inning, stringing together a walk, three hits and a sacrifice fly.
- A pair of seniors teamed up to get Valpo on the scoreboard in the sixth inning. One pitch after narrowly missing a base hit down the left-field line, Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) drove a single into center field. A pair of groundouts advanced Herschbach 60 feet apiece, and fellow senior Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway South) delivered the run-scoring hit, lining an infield single off the pitcher’s glove to make it a 4-1 game.
- Valpo had one final shot at a rally in the seventh, as Crompton drew a walk to lead off the inning and junior Kayla Skapyak (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) later singled with two outs to bring the potential tying run to the plate before a strikeout ended the game.
Inside the Game
- Wednesday marked the third consecutive year that Valpo and Indiana State have matched up in the opening round of the MVC Tournament. It is the fourth time in Valpo’s five MVC Tournaments it has opened tournament action against the Sycamores.
- Crompton was the lone Valpo player to reach base twice Wednesday, picking up a hit and a walk.
- The loss brought the careers of Valpo’s three active seniors to an end. Herschbach tallied the 135th hit and the 73rd run scored of her career, while Kehlenbrink finished with 77 base hits and 51 RBIs. Seib made her 98th career pitching appearance and her 66th start, going the first five innings in the circle.