Seventh-Inning Rally Comes Up Short For Softball Sunday

The Valpo softball team put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh inning of the nightcap of Sunday’s MVC doubleheader with Drake, getting the potential winning run to the plate with one out, but the rally came up short as the Bulldogs earned the 6-3 win. Drake won the opener as well by a 10-2 final.

How It Happened – Game One

-        Drake plated four runs over the first three innings, scoring one in the first, one in the second and two in the third.

-        Valpo had opportunities to crack the scoreboard in the first two innings as well, getting a runner to third with one out in the first and recording back-to-back singles to open the second inning. But the Brown and Gold were unable to convert either of those chances.

-        Finally, the bottom of the third saw Valpo score a pair of runs. Juniors Jaina Westphal (Waterford, Wis./Burlington) and Peyton Moeder (Shawnee, Kan./Mill Valley) led off the inning with back-to-back walks, and a single by senior Addi Burke (Mesquite, Texas/John Horn) loaded the bases with nobody out.

-        Sophomore Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway South) drove in Westphal with an RBI groundout to get Valpo on the board, and two batters later, junior Kate Beckemeyer (Forsyth, Ill./Maroa-Forsyth [Parkland]) lined a shot back up the middle to plate Moeder and bring Valpo within 4-2.

-        Drake capped the scoring with six runs in the top of the fifth, five of which were unearned and four crossing the plate with two outs.

How It Happened – Game Two

-        Drake opened the scoring with three runs in the top of the first and added a single run in the third and two in the fourth.

-        Valpo hit the board in the bottom of the fourth. Burke led off the frame with a single up the middle, stole second, moved up to third on a wild pitch and eventually scored on a blooper on the infield from Beckemeyer.

-        Freshman Madison Wathen (Floyds Knobs, Ind./Floyd Central), who came out of the bullpen to get the final out of the fourth, kept the Bulldogs off the board in each of the final three frames to keep Drake at six runs.

-        Valpo put together a big seventh-inning rally in an effort to earn the win. Freshman Alexis Johnson (Schererville, Ind./Lake Central) drew a walk as a pinch-hitter to lead off the frame, and two batters later, Beckemeyer picked up an infield single to put runners on the corners with one out.

-        Rookie Emily Crompton (Salem, Ill./Christ Our Rock Lutheran) pinch hit and worked an eight-pitch at-bat before hitting a liner the other way into shallow left-center to plate Johnson with Valpo’s second run of the game.

-        Freshman Regi Hecker (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Blue Springs South) then watched five pitches go by as she drew a walk to load the bases and bring the potential tying run to the plate. Junior Taylor Tonoian (Saugus, Calif./Saugus) stepped in and fouled off multiple two-strike pitches before lining a shot off the glove of the Drake second baseman into right-center, scoring Beckemeyer to make it a 6-3 game.

-        With the potential winning run at the plate and still just one out, an infield fly and a groundout ended the game in the Bulldogs’ favor.

Inside the Games

-        Beckemeyer went 4-for-5 over Sunday’s two games, recording multiple hits in both ends of the doubleheader. The junior has now picked up at least one hit in four straight games.

-        Westphal drew walks in all three of her plate appearances in the opener, the first three-walk game of her career and the first three-walk effort by a Valpo player this season. Three walks in a single game is also tied for third-most by an individual in program history.

-        Crompton’s RBI in her pinch-hitting appearance in the nightcap was the first of her Valpo career.

-        Wathen tossed 3.1 shutout innings in relief in the nightcap, her longest scoreless outing of the season. Sunday’s performance came just four days after throwing two shutout innings at Loyola.

Next Up

Valpo will host Loyola on Wednesday at the Valpo Softball Complex. It will be a doubleheader rather than the originally scheduled single game, as one of the scheduled games at Loyola last Wednesday was moved to this coming Wednesday. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.