Tonoian Sets Program Record as Softball Falls to Loyola Wednesday

Vslpo softball junior catcher Taylor Tonoian (Saugus, Calif./Saugus) broke the program’s single-game record for runners caught stealing, throwing four runners out on the basepaths Wednesday as the Brown and Gold fell by a 7-1 final score at Loyola.

How It Happened

-        The Ramblers plated three runs in their first five batters of the bottom of the first despite picking up just one hit in that stretch. Later in the inning, with two on and two out, Tonoian successfully threw out Teagan Sopczak attempting to steal second to end the frame.

-        Loyola scored a run in the second inning, but Tonoian helped make sure it would be just a one-run frame for the Ramblers, throwing out Madison Ebeling trying to steal second for the second out of the inning.

-        A solo homer to lead off the bottom of the third made it a 5-0 game. Later that frame, with runners on the corners and two outs, Tonoian threw down to junior Jaina Westphal (Waterford, Wis./Burlington), who chased Sopczak back towards first and got the ball to sophomore Ryan Milkowski (Olathe, Kan./Olathe West), who applied the tag in time before the runner from third could score.

-        Valpo put its first two runners on base in the fourth as Westphal dropped down a bunt single and junior Taylor Herschbach (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Township) drew a walk, but a strikeout and a double play ended the threat.

-        Tonoian registered the record-breaking caught stealing in the bottom of the fourth, nailing pinch-runner Abby Brown on the back end of a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play.

-        The fifth inning started just like the fourth did, as Valpo’s first two batters reached on base hits from sophomore Lauren Kehlenbrink (Ballwin, Mo./Parkway South) and junior Kate Beckemeyer (Forsyth, Ill./Maroa-Forsyth [Parkland]). Two batters later, Tonoian drew a walk to load the bases with one out.

-        Valpo pushed its first run of the game across as a grounder by junior Peyton Moeder (Shawnee, Kan./Mill Valley) was mishandled by the Ramblers’ shortstop to allow Kehlenbrink to score. With the potential tying run at the plate, a strikeout and a foul-out limited Valpo to the one run.

-        Loyola closed the scoring with a pair of two-out unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Inside the Game

-        Tonoian’s four runners caught stealing surpassed the previous individual single-game record of three, which was accomplished on three occasions — most recently by Jenna Stauffenberg against Northern Illinois on May 2, 2018.

-        Four runners caught stealing is also a team single-game record as well, as Valpo had previously recorded three caught stealings as a defense four times.

-        The Valpo defense turned a pair of double plays on Wednesday and now has registered five double plays over the last four games.

-        Beckemeyer led the offense, reaching base in two of her three plate appearances with a single and a walk.

-        Junior Taylor Knight (Omaha, Neb./Elkhorn South) received the start in the circle and was charged with the loss Wednesday.

-        Freshman Caitlin Kowalski (Temperance, Mich./Notre Dame Academy) gave up just one earned run in 2.2 innings of relief work, while fellow rookie Madison Wathen (Floyds Knobs, Ind./Floyd Central) tossed two shutout innings.

Next Up

Valpo returns home to the Valpo Softball Complex for a three-game weekend series against Drake, scheduled to begin with a noon doubleheader Saturday.