April 06, 20241234567RHE
Win: McDermott (4-10) 7.092224
Loss: Summers (6-4) 6.064219
Barnes (BEL) 212020
Cockrill (BEL) 412100
Ledbetter (BEL) 302100
Johnson (VALPO) 312100
Rodas (VALPO) 302200

April 06, 20241234567RHE
Win: Johnson (11-3) 4.010009
Loss: Kowalski (2-7) 2.247751
Ensio (BEL) 423100
Johnson (VALPO) 311000
Rodas (VALPO) 301100
Hecker (VALPO) 301000
Softball Snaps Belmont’s Winning Streak in Saturday Twinbill Split
Saturday, April 6, 2024
Softball Snaps Belmont’s Winning Streak in Saturday Twinbill Split
Sydney McDermott earned a complete-game win in the circle in the opener.

Facing a Belmont squad riding an eight-game winning streak which ranked among the nation’s longest and which entered the Valpo Softball Complex in second place in the MVC standings, the Valpo softball team wasted no time jumping on the Bruins in the opener, pushing across four runs in the first two innings — tallies which were more than enough in an eventual 4-2 win. Belmont earned a split of the doubleheader with a 12-1 win in the nightcap.

How It Happened – Game One

  • Freshman Sydney McDermott (Stout, Ohio/Portsmouth West) pitched out of a jam in her first inning in the circle — facing runners on second and third with only one out, the rookie induced a soft liner to second for the second out and then did the rest herself with a strikeout to keep Belmont off the board in the first.
  • The Beacons took the lead for good in the bottom of the first. Sophomore Kam Utendorf (Columbus Grove, Ohio/Columbus Grove [Black Hawk College]) hit a liner down the left-field line which went for a one-out double and classmate Kim Rodas (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) followed with a base knock back through the box for an RBI single.
  • Valpo added a trio of runs in the second, all of which came across with two outs. Senior Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) plated the first run with a line-drive single to center, scoring sophomore Lexi Szostak (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park), who had walked earlier in the frame.
  • A throwing error by Belmont pitcher Emma Summers extended the inning, allowing Utendorf to reach and senior Kayla Skapyak (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) to score. Rodas followed with a fly ball to shallow left, but miscommunication from the Bruins’ defense allowed it to drop harmlessly for what turned into an RBI double, as Johnson crossed the plate to make it 4-0 Beacons.
  • Valpo had just one batter reach in the final four innings, but the four runs proved to be more than enough. While McDermott never tossed a 1-2-3 inning, she kept Belmont off the board through the first five frames.
  • Belmont got on the board with a two-out RBI single in the sixth to make it a 4-1 game. A trio of singles in the seventh inning pushed another run in and the Bruins had the potential tying runs on base, but McDermott got a pop-up to second to close out the complete-game win.

How It Happened – Game Two

  • Belmont grabbed the lead in its first turn at the plate, scoring two runs on only one hit in the top of the first. The Bruins added a single run apiece in the third and fourth frames, and then notched three more runs to push their lead to 7-0 through the top of the fifth.
  • The Beacons got on the board in the bottom of the sixth, as Johnson led off the frame with a single, moved up to second on a groundout and came around to score on an RBI single by Rodas.
  • Belmont capped the scoring with a five-run seventh inning.

Inside the Games

  • Valpo’s win in the opener came in the first meeting between the two programs since Belmont joined the MVC prior to last season.
  • The Beacons won for the first time this year when being outhit (1-20), as they tallied six hits in the opener versus Belmont’s nine base knocks.
  • This was the second straight strong start to a Valley weekend series for the Beacons, as they opened last weekend with a three-run bottom of the first against Bradley.
  • Valpo took full advantage of its scoring chances in the opener, going 3-for-5 with runners in scoring position as opposed to the Bruins’ 2-for-11 mark.
  • Johnson and Rodas both went 2-for-3 at the plate in the opener and each added a hit in the nightcap for respective three-hit afternoons.
  • Johnson and Rodas have each tallied six multi-hit games on the season. Rodas drove in a pair of runs in the opener as well, her third multi-RBI game this year.
  • McDermott had a gem of a start in the circle for the second straight weekend. The freshman dealt well with traffic on the basepaths all game long, stranding nine Belmont runners on base in the complete-game win as she improved to 4-10 on the season.
  • Senior Caitlin Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) started in the circle in the nightcap and was charged with the loss.

Next Up

Valpo (8-21, 2-6 MVC) concludes the three-game series against Belmont on Sunday at 11 a.m. at the Valpo Softball Complex. Note that the start time has been moved up one hour to protect against potential afternoon rain.