May 08, 20241234567RHE
Win: Sydney Kennedy (19-11) 7.030017
Loss: McDermott (5-23) 6.082221
Skapyak (VALPO) 301000
Hecker (VALPO) 301000
Rodas (VALPO) 201010
Lauren DeRolf (BRADLEY) 303000
Softball Season Comes to End at MVC Tournament
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
Softball Season Comes to End at MVC Tournament
Kayla Skapyak celebrates following her leadoff base hit Wednesday.

The 2024 campaign came to an end for the Valpo softball team on Wednesday afternoon in Normal, Ill., as the 12th-seeded Beacons fell in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament to fifth-seeded Bradley, 2-0.

How It Happened

  • What proved to be Valpo’s best chance at scoring came a handful of pitches into the game, as senior Kayla Skapyak (Macomb, Mich./Dakota) led off the game with a single and senior Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) followed by getting hit by a pitch. Freshman Natalie Bush (Hudsonville, Mich./Unity Christian) sent a deep fly ball to center, but it didn’t quite have enough juice to leave the yard and turned into a double play.
  • The Braves scored the game’s opening run in the bottom of the third, turning a leadoff double into the first tally. Later in the frame, Bradley had runners on first and second with one out before freshman Sydney McDermott (Stout, Ohio/Portsmouth West) snagged a hard liner back at her in the circle and tossed it to first for an inning-ending double play.
  • A two-out RBI double in the bottom of the fifth extended the Braves’ lead to 2-0.
  • The Valpo defense turned another double play to finish off the sixth inning, this one a more conventional 6-4-3 twin killing.
  • Sophomore Kim Rodas (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) worked a two-out walk in the top of the seventh to bring the potential tying run to the plate before a strikeout ended the game.

Inside the Game

  • Rodas was the lone Beacon to reach base twice, picking up a single in addition to her seventh-inning walk.
  • Senior Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) tallied a single as well.
  • McDermott went the distance in the circle, surrendering just the two runs — the seventh time this season she has given up two runs or fewer in six or more innings of work.
  • The Valpo defense was steady as ever on Wednesday, highlighted by the pair of double plays. Valpo finished the year with 15 double plays turned.
  • The Beacons were errorless in the field yet again, closing the campaign with five straight games without committing an error. It is the program’s longest stretch of games without an error since posting seven straight games in the middle of the 2012 season.

Inside the Careers

  • Five Valpo seniors played their final collegiate softball on Wednesday.
  • Emily Crompton (Salem, Ill./Christ Our Rock Lutheran) finished with 101 career appearances, including 73 starts, and tallied 39 hits, 18 walks and 12 RBIs.
  • Hecker was named to the MVC All-Freshman Team as a rookie, the MVC All-Defensive Team last year and the All-MVC Second Team this season. She made 172 appearances, starting 160 times, and recorded 121 hits, 37 runs scored and 53 RBIs.
  • Johnson represented Valpo on the MVC All-Defensive Team this year after committing just one error in conference action. For her career, she had 120 starts and 153 career appearances, notching 81 hits, 38 runs scored, 28 RBIs and 22 stolen bases.
  • Caitlyn Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) finishes her time at Valpo tied for fifth in program history with 107 career pitching appearances. Kowalski registered 229 career strikeouts and threw a no-hitter last year at Bradley.
  • Skapyak made 163 appearances, including 140 starts, over her four years. She tallied 64 hits, 36 runs scored and 19 stolen bases, while also posting 254 putouts in the outfield.