March 02, 20241234567RHE
Win: Brianna Copeland (7-3) 1.200003
Loss: Wilming (1-2) 2.052200
Johnson (VALPO) 323000
Avery Parker (IU) 323100

March 02, 20241234567RHE
Bowling Green2100000331
Win: McDermott (3-5) 7.033113
Loss: TURNER (1-3) 6.085552
COLE (BGSU) 211000
Utendorf (VALPO) 202010

March 03, 202412345RHE
Bowling Green40000441
Win: Kowalski (1-5) 4.210053
Loss: ANDERSON (0-3) 2.076610
Krug (VALPO) 313410

March 03, 202412345RHE
Win: Brianna Copeland (8-3) 4.020036
Loss: McDermott (3-6) 1.146640
Hecker (VALPO) 201000
Wilson (VALPO) 201000
Avery Parker (IU) 323401
Softball Stays In-State at Hoosier Classic This Weekend
Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Softball Stays In-State at Hoosier Classic This Weekend
Alexis Johnson and the Beacons head to IU this weekend.

Valparaiso (3-11, 0-0 MVC)
March 2-3 - at Hoosier Classic (Bloomington, Ind.)
March 2 - at Indiana (11-4) - 2 p.m. CT | vs. Bowling Green (1-3) - 4:30 p.m. CT
March 3 - vs. Bowling Green - 10 a.m. CT | at Indiana - 12:30 p.m. CT

Next Up in Valpo Softball: After the far-flung travels of the first three weekends of the season, the Valpo softball team stays a bit closer to home this week. The Beacons won't have to cross state lines to head down to Indiana's Hoosier Classic March 2-3, where they will face the host Hoosiers and Bowling Green twice apiece.

Previously: Valpo posted a 1-4 record at last weekend's Frost Classic. The weekend was highlighted by a 2-1 extra-inning win over Georgetown, as Sydney McDermott two-hit the Hoyas for the program's first win over a current Big East program since 2016.

Looking Ahead: One final weekend of nonconference play awaits the Beacons next weekend, as they trek west to Omaha, Neb. for Omaha's Connie Claussen Classic.

Following Valpo Softball: All four games will be broadcast live on BTN+ ($). All four games will also have live stats available, linked at

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 261 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: Indiana - The Beacons are 0-11 all-time against the Hoosiers, including a pair of losses in the last matchups at the 2022 Hoosier Classic, 9-4 and 9-0. Kayla Skapyak had a pair of hits over the two games and stole a base, while Caitlyn Kowalski combined to pitch five innings of relief over the pair of contests.

Bowling Green - Valpo trails the all-time series against the Falcons, 6-4. This marks the second straight season and the third time in the last four years the two programs will meet in early-season action - last season, BGSU won 7-2 at the DePaul Dome Tournament, while the Falcons earned a 6-1 win in 2021 at the Thundering Herd Round Robin. Caitlyn Kowalski started in the circle in both of those contests. In last year's game, Regi Hecker went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored, Alexis Johnson was 1-for-4 with an RBI and Kayla Skapyak was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.

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 joined 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 for 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.

Finding the Formula: The Beacons have used the early-season tournaments to mix and match lineups, both offensively and defensively. Sophomore Kim Rodas is the only player to start all 14 games in the same spot in the batting order (third). Defensively, senior Kayla Skapyak has started all 14 games in center field, the only Beacon to start every game in the same position. At least three different players have started at least one game at pitcher, first base, shortstop, left field and designated player.

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

Winning in Extras: Valpo came away with a 2-1 extra-inning win over Georgetown last weekend, scoring one run in the international tiebreak in the top of the eighth before retiring the side in order in the bottom half of the frame. The win was Valpo’s first in extra inning since a 7-5, eight-inning win over Cleveland State March 8, 2020 in what turned out to be the final game of the COVID-shortened season. Valpo had dropped its last four extra-inning games before Saturday’s win.

McDermott Mows Them Down: Freshman Sydney McDermott came to Valpo after earning Ohio All-State honors each of her last three years of high school, and showcased that form in a trio of strong performances last weekend. She opened the weekend engaging in a pitcher's duel against the reigning Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year, giving up just three hits and one earned run in a tough-luck loss against Texas A&M-CC. McDermott rebounded with a two-hitter, surrendering a single unearned run while striking out a season-best eight, in the 2-1 extra-inning win over Georgetown. She closed the weekend by giving up just one run in 3.2 innings of relief work Sunday against Ohio. For the weekend, McDermott posted a 0.79 ERA and a .175 batting average against in 17.2 innings of work.

Runners on the Move: The Beacons continued their early-season aggression on the basepaths by going 7-for-9 on stolen base attempts over the weekend. After going just 21-for-36 in the steals department last season, Valpo is already 19-for-21 this season. Senior Kayla Skapyak is a team-best 6-for-6 on the bases this year and is up to 17 career steals, while fellow senior Alexis Johnson - who entered the season with just six steals in her first three seasons - already has five thefts on as many attempts through three weekends of play.

Garnica Getting on Base: Sophomore Kaia Garnica failed to reach base in her lone plate appearance against Lehigh in the finale on opening weekend, but since then, she has reached base at least once in nine consecutive games. Garnica - who delivered three RBIs in Valpo's win over Youngstown State - has drawn four walks and is tied for third in the MVC with three HBP, adding up to an on-base percentage of .400.

Rookies Delivering: Valpo faced a four-run deficit after the top of the first in its weekend finale against Ohio last weekend, but erased the entire deficit in its first turn at the plate thanks to a pair of key two-out hits by freshmen. Cici Wilson delivered a two-run single to get the Beacons on the board, giving her a team-best six RBIs on the year, and Kayden Krug drove in the first two runs of her collegiate career with Valpo's first triple of the season.

Newcomer of the Week: Sophomore Kam Utendorf became Valpo's first MVC Newcomer of the Week since May 2019 on Feb. 20 after slashing .643/.706/.786 the previous weekend at Presbyterian. She had a trio of multi-hit games, including three-hit performances in both of Valpo's victories - going 3-for-3 with two runs scored, an RBI, a walk and a stolen base in the win over Morehead State and 3-for-4 with a run scored, two RBIs and two doublesin the win over YSU. Through three weekends, Utendorf’s .419 batting average ranks second in the MVC.

Offensive Bests: Valpo exploded for 13 runs in its win over Morehead State to open the Pinnacle PC Invitational, the program's largest scoring output since a 13-0 win over Wagner in March 2019. The Beacons closed the weekend with a 13-hit performance in the win over YSU, the program’s best single-game total since racking up 16 hits in a win over Holy Cross in Feb. 2022.

Multi-Hit Efforts: Three different Valpo players already have at least four multi-hit games this year. Regi Hecker leads the way with five multi-hit efforts, including a pair of three-hit games. After tallying just six multi-hit games in her rookie season, Kim Rodas already has four multi-hit games this year, while Kam Utendorf counts a pair of three-hit games among her four multi-hit outings.

Making Debuts: All nine of Valpo's newcomers made their debuts in the Beacon uniform in the opening weekend of play, eight of those coming on opening day. Four of those debuts came in the season opener against Tulsa, as Kam Utendorf started at shortstop, Anna Wilming pitched in relief and Cici Wilson & Natalie Bush both appeared as pinch-hitters. Four more debuts came against Texas A&M, as Sydney McDermott started in the circle, Kayden Krug entered as a pinch-hitter and Carson Kuhlmann & Madison Stamper were both defensive replacements. Lana Tellez made her collegiate debut in the nightcap of the twinbill with Lehigh the next day as a defensive replacement.

Hecker Hacking: Senior outfielder Regi Hecker started the 2024 regular season just as she closed the 2023 regular season. Hecker, who paced Valpo last year in batting average, hits, doubles, RBIs and stolen bases, closed 2023 by hitting .412 (14-for-34) with four multi-hit games over the Beacons' final 12 games of the regular season. Through three weekends this year, Hecker ranks second on the team with a .350 batting average and a .447 on-base percentage.

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.