March 17, 20241234567RHE
Win: Weatherford (2-0) 7.051013
Loss: Wilming (2-3) 6.062226
Johnson (VALPO) 302000
Smith (UE) 303100
Softball Drops Heartbreaker in Evansville Series Finale
Sunday, March 17, 2024
Softball Drops Heartbreaker in Evansville Series Finale
Anna Wilming threw a complete game Sunday.

The Valpo softball team carried a shutout into the sixth inning of its series finale Sunday at Evansville, but the Purple Aces tied the game with a solo homer in the sixth and walked off with a 2-1 win in the seventh.

How It Happened

  • Valpo jumped on top in the top of the first for the second straight day. Sophomore Kam Utendorf (Columbus Grove, Ohio/Columbus Grove [Black Hawk College]) singled with one out, moved up to second on a walk and then came all the way around to score on an Evansville error.
  • With two on and two out later in the frame, the Beacons had a chance to add to their lead, but the Purple Aces’ second baseman backhanded a grounder up the middle and successfully made the only play she could, a glove flip to second for a force.
  • Freshman Anna Wilming (Columbus, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) dealt with some traffic in the bottom of the first, as a pair of Evansville batters reached base, but the rookie handled it well and delivered a pair of strikeouts in keeping the Purple Aces off the board.
  • That was a harbinger of how the game would go in the circle for Wilming, as she never retired Evansville in order, but was able to put zeros on the board for the first five innings. Most notably, the Purple Aces had runners on second and third with two outs in the third before Wilming got a fly ball to center.
  • In the fourth, Evansville had a runner on second with one out. Wilming won a 10-pitch battle for a strikeout for the second out and then got a fly to right to keep the Purple Aces from scoring.
  • Meanwhile, the Valpo offense had a couple more innings where it would have added to the lead had it not been for standout defensive plays by the Purple Aces. Senior Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) led off the third with a ground-rule double and was making her way home on a two-out fly ball to shallow center from freshman Kayden Krug (Milford, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame) until the Evansville center fielder laid out for a diving catch.
  • Utendorf led off the top of the sixth with a liner to the left-center gap which looked destined to fall until UE’s center fielder made her second diving catch of the game. That proved crucial when Krug doubled to the wall later in the frame.
  • Still hanging on to the one-run advantage, Wilming retired the first two batters in order in the sixth, but Jess Willsey connected on a two-out solo homer to even the score at 1-1.
  • Valpo was retired in order in the top of the seventh, and Evansville got a walk-off single from Lacy Smith in the bottom of the frame.

Inside the Game

  • Wilming posted the first complete game of her collegiate career, surrendering just two runs in six innings of work and striking out a season-best six batters.
  • Johnson recorded her second consecutive multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a double to boost her batting average above the .300 mark.
  • Utendorf closed out a four-hit weekend of Valley play by going 1-for-3 with a run scored.

Next Up

Valpo (6-18, 0-3 MVC) is right back on the road next weekend as the Beacons head to Drake for a three-game series, beginning Friday evening at 5 p.m.