February 09, 202412345RHE
Win: NASH (1-0) 3.020012
Loss: Kowalski (0-1) 3.098710
MORGAN (TLS) 423300
Utendorf (VALPO) 201000
Rodas (VALPO) 301000
Johnson (VALPO) 201000

February 09, 202412345RHE
Texas A&M0650X11110
Win: Ackerman (1-0) 3.010011
Loss: McDermott (0-1) 1.266610
Hecker (VALPO) 202000
Enright (TAMU) 222201
Wiggins (TAMU) 222201

February 10, 202412345RHE
Win: Urban (1-0) 5.010010
Loss: McDermott (0-2) 4.01211734
Vasquez (VALPO) 101000
Charles (LEHIGH) 323100

February 10, 20241234567RHE
Win: Young (1-1) 4.020033
Loss: Kowalski (0-2) 5.0125311
Cimino (LEHIGH) 413100
Sward (LEHIGH) 303000
Hecker (VALPO) 303000
Softball Kicks Off 2024 Season This Weekend
Wednesday, February 7, 2024
Softball Kicks Off 2024 Season This Weekend
Regi Hecker and the Beacons open the 2024 season this weekend.

Valparaiso (0-0, 0-0 MVC)
Feb. 9-11 - at Aggie Classic (College Station, Texas)
Feb. 9 - vs. Tulsa - 10 a.m. | at #24/RV Texas A&M - 3:30 p.m.
Feb. 10 - vs. Lehigh - 10 a.m. | vs. Tulsa - 12:30 p.m.
Feb. 11 - vs. Lehigh - 9 a.m.

Next Up in Valpo Softball: The Valpo softball team opens up the 2024 campaign this weekend at the Aggie Classic in College Station, Texas, hosted by Texas A&M. The Beacons will face the nationally-ranked Aggies on the first day of action and will also take on Tulsa and Lehigh twice apiece over the course of the three-day tournament.

Looking Ahead: Next weekend brings a trip to Clinton, S.C. for the Beacons, as they play Feb. 16-18 at the Pinnacle PC Invitational.

Following Valpo Softball: Valpo's game Friday afternoon against Texas A&M will be broadcast live on SEC Network+. All five games will have live stats available, linked at ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Meaggan Pettipiece: Meaggan Pettipiece was hired in September 2022 as head coach of the Valpo softball program and enters her second season in 2024. Pettipiece is in her 15th season overall as a collegiate head coach, most recently spending three seasons at Akron prior to coming to Valpo. Pettipiece, who owns 258 career coaching victories, was an All-American on the diamond and helped California University of Pennsylvania to a D-II national title in 1998 collegiately before playing internationally for Team Canada, including at the 2000 Summer Olympics.

Series Notes: Tulsa - Valpo has matched up with Tulsa just once in program history, an 8-5 win for the Hurricane as part of the Tulsa Invitational Feb. 23, 2008.

Texas A&M - Friday marks Valpo's first game in program history versus the Aggies. The program's last game against any current SEC member came on March 11, 2022, a 10-2 loss at #9/12 Kentucky.

Lehigh - Valpo and Lehigh have split four all-time meetings. The most recent matchup came March 14, 2008 at the Maryland Spring Break Classic, a 1-0 Lehigh victory.

Who's Back: Valpo returns 12 of 16 letterwinners from last year's squad for the 2024 season. In all, 69.2% of Valpo's plate appearances are back for this season and 49.4% of last season's innings pitched return.

Who's New: A group of nine newcomers joins the Beacons for the 2024 season. Kam Utendorf transferred in after playing her freshman season at Black Hawk College, joining eight true freshmen on this year's team.

A Large Roster: The combination of 12 returnees and nine newcomers gives Valpo a 21-player roster entering the 2024 campaign. That's a five-player increase over last season's group of 16 players, and it is the largest roster the softball program has had since fielding 21 players for the 2008 season.

A Challenging Opening Weekend: Valpo will be tested all weekend long right out of the gate to open the season. The Beacons' game against Texas A&M, which is ranked #24 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason poll, is their first against a nationally-ranked team since the aforementioned Kentucky game. Valpo is in search of its first win against a top-25 team since a 7-5 win over #23 Maryland March 15, 2008.

Lehigh was #72 in the final RPI of the 2023 season and Tulsa was #91, meaning all five of Valpo's opening weekend games are against top-100 games from a season ago. In the final four preconference weekends, Valpo will play just four top-100 games.

Is That Sunshine?: In a departure from recent years, Valpo will open the 2024 season outdoors. Each of the last three seasons, the Beacons had made the short trip to Rosemont, Ill. to play opening weekend in the Rosemont Dome.

Welcome to the Lone Star State: Valpo will play in the state of Texas for just the second time since 2012 when it steps foot on the field in College Station this weekend. The team opened the 2020 season at the Houston Invitational.

Hitting the Road: This weekend's games start a long and winding road for the Beacons before they finally get the chance to play at the Valpo Softball Complex. This is the first of five weekends of action prior to the start of Missouri Valley Conference play, as Valpo will also play in tournaments at Presbyterian, Chattanooga, Indiana and Omaha in preconference action. The Beacons will open MVC action with back-to-back weekends on the road at Evansville and at Drake before finally opening the home slate March 29 against Bradley. All told, Valpo is scheduled to play its first 30 games of the season away from home.

Hecker Hacking: Senior outfielder Regi Hecker closed last season strong and looks to carry that over into the 2024 season. Hecker, who represented the Beacons on the MVC All-Defensive Team in 2023, paced Valpo last year in batting average, hits, doubles, RBIs and stolen bases. She closed the regular season on a hot streak, hitting .412 (14-for-34) with four multi-hit games over the Beacons' final 12 games of the regular season.

International Experience: Sophomore infielder Kim Rodas continued her international career playing for Mexico over the summer, as she earned a bronze medal at the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games. Rodas previously medaled with Team Mexico at the 2021 Junior Pan American Games, where her squad claimed the silver.