April 10, 20241234567RHE
Win: GOMEZ (2-4) 7.041125
Loss: Kowalski (2-8) 3.243001
COWING (UIC) 312200
CASAS (UIC) 312100
Szostak (VALPO) 302100
Softball Falls to Flames Wednesday
Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Softball Falls to Flames Wednesday
Lexi Szostak smiles following her RBI triple Wednesday.

The Valpo softball team concluded an eight-game homestand at the Valpo Softball Complex on Wednesday afternoon, falling to visiting UIC by a 4-1 final.

How It Happened

  • The start of the game looked much like Tuesday’s matchup between the two squads, as over the first three innings, neither team got a runner past second base. The best chance early on for either team came in the top of the second, as UIC got a leadoff single who moved up to second on a wild pitch. But starting pitcher Caitlyn Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) retired the next three batters in order, all in the air to keep the runner at second.
  • UIC cracked the scoreboard first in the top of the fourth, as a pair of Valpo errors led to the Flames plating three unearned runs.
  • The Beacons got one of those runs back right away in their half of the fourth. Sophomore Kim Rodas (Sen Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) drew a one-out walk, and pinch-runner Lana Tellez (Chino Hills, Calif./Chino Hills) eventually scored on an RBI triple from sophomore Lexi Szostak (Roselle, Ill./Lake Park).
  • UIC closed the scoring as it responded with a two-out RBI double in the top of the fifth.
  • Valpo had a pair of base hits over the final three innings, but neither runner was able to advance past first base.

Inside the Game

  • Wednesday’s game was the second in Valpo’s three-game, split-site Valley series against the Flames. The series concludes April 30 in Chicago.
  • Szostak went 2-of-3 at the plate Wednesday, accounting for half of Valpo’s base hits. It was the third multi-hit game of her collegiate career and second in the last four days.
  • Szostak’s RBI triple in the fourth inning was the first three-bagger of her career.
  • Sophomore Kam Utendorf (Columbus Grove, Ohio/Columbus Grove [Black Hawk College]) reached base twice as well, tallying a hit and a walk.
  • Utendorf and Szostak teamed up to turn a double play in the sixth inning, the 10th double play by the Valpo defense this season.
  • Kowalski was charged with the tough-luck loss in the circle despite not giving up an earned run in her 3.2 innings of work. Freshman Anna Wilming (Columbus, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) tossed the final 3.1 innings in relief, scattering four hits and surrendering just one run.
  • Neither Kowalski or Wilming issued a walk on Wednesday, the second straight game Valpo pitching has been flawless when it comes to free passes, as freshman Sydney McDermott (Stout, Ohio/Portsmouth West) did not walk a batter on Tuesday.
  • Prior to Tuesday, the Valpo pitching staff had not had a walk-free game all season. The last game with no walks issued by the Beacons’ pitching also came against UIC at home, last season on April 19.
  • The last time Valpo posted back-to-back games with no walks from its pitchers came in games against Eastern Kentucky and Charleston Southern Feb. 16, 2018.

Next Up

Valpo (8-23, 2-8 MVC) hits the road for its first road games since March 17, making the trip to Normal, Ill. to face Illinois State this weekend. The three-game series begins Friday afternoon at 5 p.m.