April 07, 20241234567RHE
Win: Johnson (12-3) 5.040008
Loss: McDermott (4-11) 4.277652
Gressly (BEL) 312211
Blume (BEL) 412301
Szostak (VALPO) 302000
Softball Drops Series Finale to Belmont
Sunday, April 7, 2024
Softball Drops Series Finale to Belmont
Lexi Szostak had a multi-hit game Sunday.

The Valpo softball team took a second-inning lead in its series finale against Belmont at the Valpo Softball Complex on Sunday, but the visiting Bruins scored the game’s final seven runs to earn an 8-2 win and take the series.

How It Happened

  • Belmont took a 1-0 lead three batters into the game, as an RBI double brought home an unearned run. The Bruins threatened to add more later in the frame, getting runners to second and third with two outs, but freshman Sydney McDermott (Stout, Ohio/Portsmouth West) reared back and got a big strikeout to hold Belmont to the single tally.
  • Valpo was unable to take advantage of a pair of walks in its first turn at the plate, but took the lead in the bottom of the second. Sophomore Kaia Garnica (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield Central) led off the inning with a first-pitch single, and pinch-runner Carson Kuhlmann (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc) immediately scored on a double to the right-center gap from freshman Kayden Krug (Milford, Ohio/Mount Notre Dame).
  • Belmont went to the bullpen and called upon ace Maya Johnson to try to settle things down, but after back-to-back outs, senior Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) dropped an 0-2 pitch into shallow right for an RBI single, scoring Krug to make it 2-1 Beacons. An error extended the frame and Valpo eventually had two in scoring position in its efforts to add on, but a strikeout ended the inning.
  • Belmont took the lead for good in the top of the third as Emily Cockrill connected on a two-run homer.
  • Valpo threatened in its half of the third, with back-to-back base hits from senior Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) and sophomore Lexi Szostak (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park) opening the inning. A hit batter later in the inning loaded the bases with two outs, but the Beacons were unable to push across any runs.
  • The Valpo defense stepped up to keep the deficit at one run in the top of the fourth. With the bases loaded and one out, a sharp grounder to third was fielded cleanly by sophomore Kim Rodas (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon), who quickly came home for the force. Sophomore Lyna Vasquez (Moreno Valley, Calif./Valley View) turned and fired to first to complete the double play and keep it a 3-2 game.
  • The Bruins pulled away with four runs in the fifth inning, including a three-run homer by Brenna Blume. Belmont capped the scoring with a solo homer from Grace Gressly in the top of the sixth.

Inside the Game

  • Szostak was the lone Beacon with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 on Sunday. It was her first multi-hit game this season and the second of her career.
  • Johnson had a base hit and an RBI, capping a weekend where she went 4-for-10 at the plate.
  • As a team, the Beacons were 5-of-20 with nobody on or a runner on first, but were just 1-of-8 at the plate with runners in scoring position.
  • The double play Valpo turned in the fourth inning was the team’s ninth double play of the season.
  • McDermott took the loss in the circle, going 4.2 innings. Freshman Anna Wilming (Columbus, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) threw the final 2.1 innings and gave up just one run on one hit.

Next Up

Valpo (8-22, 2-7 MVC) closes its eight-game homestand with midweek action as the Beacons open their series against UIC with single games on both Tuesday and Wednesday at 3 p.m. from the Valpo Softball Complex.