Valpo Competes at Benedictine University Relays
The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s track and field teams participated in a two-day meet at Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill. on Friday and Saturday. The men earned 10th of 28 teams with 45 points, and the women finished in 15th with 19 points. Junior Ben Zibricky (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln Way Central) and senior Liz Owen (Freedom, Wis./Freedom) tabbed first-place results for the Crusaders, both in the 1,500m run.
How It Happened
- Zibricky captured first in the 1,500m run, finishing in 3:56.86. By crossing the line ahead of the pack, he helped Valpo secure 10 team points. Jack Mader nabbed five points for the squad in the race as well, coming in fourth (3:59.12).
- Earning the men’s next best results, sophomore Alexander Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./University) finished second in the 5,000m race (15:02.10) and freshman Ben Sekuloski (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) earned second in the 400m sprint (49.42). These outcomes scored the men eight points apiece to up the team’s total.
- Junior James Sampson collected two points in the 100m dash. He was part of the 4x100m relay that finished in sixth and received three points. The sprinter had help from senior Jeru Lollis (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield), senior Anthony Franze (Gunter, Texas/Gunter) and Sekuloski.
- For the throwers, sophomore Drew McKissick Jr. (Naperville, Ill./Neuqua Valley) tossed the javelin 172-3 to receive six points for Valpo. Freshman Jake Rasawehr (Celina, Ohio/Celina) hurled the discus 149-8 for an additional three points for the team.
- Owen hit the ribbon first in the women’s 1,500m race, running a 4:36.15 for 10 points. The veteran trimmed four seconds off her previous season top time.
- Freshman Nicole Berneche (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) ran the 5,000m event in 21:02.54, four seconds quicker than her previous best time in the race. This finish earned two points for the Brown and Gold.
- The young 4x400m relay of freshman Kayla Horne (Chicago, Ill./Williams Medical Prep), freshman Carly Bartholomew (Sugar Grove, Ill./Kaneland), freshman Shannon Lahey (Dixon, Ill./Dixon) and junior Allison Baylor (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) secured two points for the squad.
- For the field events, freshman Anne Mou (Bloomingdale, Ill./Lake Park) led the women in the long and triple jump. In the triple jump event, the rookie leaped a 35-6.5, helping Valpo earn five points.
The Crusaders travel south on Friday, April 21 for the Pacesetter Invitational, hosted by Indiana State University. The two-day event will begin at 3:30 p.m. CT on Friday at the Gibson Track & Field.
Webb Finishes Third in Muncie to Pace Crusaders
The Valparaiso University men’s golf team finished in a tie for sixth place with a three-round score of 1108 in a six-count-five format at Ball State’s Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational in Muncie on Saturday. Senior Peter Webb (Madison, Wis. / James Madison Memorial) had another strong performance, stroking a 69 on the final day of competition to finish with a three-round total of 209, placing third in an 85-player field.
How It Happened
- Michael Doherty (Lisle, Ill. / Naperville North) carded a 76 in Round 3 to finish at 222, tied for 26th and second on the Crusaders.
- Matthew McCarthy (O’Fallon, Ill. / Althoff Catholic) rounded out his weekend with a 78 on Saturday for a three-round total of 223, tied for 31st.
- Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis. / Kaukauna) posted a 78 in Round 3 to finish at 227, tied for 47th.
- Nick Seitz (Xenia, Ohio / Carrol) had his best round of the event at 75 to finish at 228, tied for 55th.
- Adam Baracari (Normal, Ill. / University) posted a 77 to finish at 236, tied for 71st.
Inside the Rounds
- The Crusaders finished the event with 185 pars, tied for second in the 13-team field.
- Valpo totaled 37 birdies, led by Webb’s nine. Doherty and Seitz each contributed seven.
- Valpo struggled on Par 5 holes at 5.56, last in the tournament. They had better success on Par 4s (4.22, third) and Par 3s (3.25, fourth).
- Ball State was initially thought to be the tournament champion, but a scorecard error involving one of the Ball State players led to his disqualification, making Eastern Kentucky the tournament champion.
- The Crusaders finished in a tie with Horizon League foe Wright State in the team standings. They finished ahead of two league foes – Northern Kentucky (10th) and Youngstown State (12th).
- Webb finished the event one stroke under par, one stroke behind Ball State’s Michael VanDeventer and Taylor’s Alec Dutkowski, who tied for first.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
"We came out of the gates pretty slow and we didn't get the start that we were looking for - too many bogeys to start the round. We also had our challenges with the second half of the front nine, but the guys played much better on the back nine, even with the wind picking up."
"While the birdie production was spread fairly evenly across the team today, we still need to convert more of those opportunities on the greens. We had a lot of putts today that we simply couldn't get to fall. I feel the guys are reading the greens well and hitting their marks, but we need to improve more on our speed, getting the ball closer to the hole."
"Pete has played very well for us, namely over the past four tournaments. A T7th, 1st, T3rd and 3rd place finish over those tournaments is a real testament to his ball-striking and his short game. He has been driving the ball straight and long and his short game has been very sharp, with great chipping around the greens and making some good putts. He is playing with a tremendous amount of confidence and that is exciting heading into the conference championship next week."
The Crusaders will next be in action when they participate in the Horizon League Championships beginning on Sunday, April 23 at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
Sysouvanh, Wind with Singles Victories in Loss to Milwaukee
The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team picked up two singles victories and one doubles triumph in a 5-2 loss to Milwaukee at the Valpo Tennis Complex on Saturday afternoon. The Crusaders hadn’t won more than one singles match in any of their first five Horizon League contests, but have now picked up multiple singles wins in back-to-back league matches.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders (2-15, 1-6 Horizon) fell at No. 1 doubles as Kathleen Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind. / Silver Creek) and Paige Heuer (Munster, Ind. / Munster) were on the wrong end of a 6-0 decision against Alyssa Straub and Berta Masdeval Masip of Milwaukee (9-12, 3-4 Horizon).
- Meg Modesto (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton) and Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) prevailed at No. 2 doubles on a tiebreak over Labina Petrovska and Hayley Marshall 7-6 (6-4). However, the Panthers grabbed the doubles point by virtue of Nicole Clarke and Eszter Zador’s 6-3 win over Morgan Paras (Indianapolis, Ind. / Bishop Chatard) and Erin Staal (Grand Haven, Mich. / Grand Haven) at No. 3.
- Singles play started unfavorably as the top two spots, which were the first to finish, both belonged to Milwaukee. Hebble fell 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 and Heuer lost 6-0, 6-3 at No. 2.
- Jordan Kopfer (Eagan, Minn. / Eastview) provided a closer match, but she too fell, losing 6-2, 6-2 to Straub at No. 4, securing the team win for the Panthers.
- The bottom of the lineup came through for the Crusaders for the second straight day. Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) took care of Clarke 6-4, 7-5 at No. 6, while Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) picked up a 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 10-6 win over Marshall in a three-set thriller at No. 5.
- Modesto played a competitive match at No. 3, but fell to Masdeval Masip 7-6 (8-6), 6-3.
Inside the Match
- Wind corralled her team-leading 10th singles victory of the year. She becomes the first Valpo player since Kate Avangelist in 2005-06 to post a double-figure singles win total.
- Wind and Modesto improved to 2-5 as a doubles team this season. Both players picked up their first Horizon League doubles win of the year.
- Sysouvanh has won back-to-back singles matches to lift her season win total to three. She went 2-0 in league play this weekend after dropping her first five league showdowns.
The Crusaders will host Chicago State on Tuesday afternoon in nonleague play. The match is slated to get underway at 1 p.m.
Grizzlies Take Rubber Match from Crusaders
The Valparaiso University baseball team couldn’t overcome a nine-run Oakland fourth inning on Saturday afternoon in an eventual 19-9 defeat at Emory G. Bauer Field. It was a day of big innings as the Grizzlies set the tone with four runs in the top of the first, while the Crusaders had a six-run fifth to chip into the large hole created by the nine-run fourth. Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge) had three hits to lead Valpo.
How It Happened
- The Grizzlies (6-26, 4-8 Horizon) jumped on the board when a single, E-6, walk and passed ball allowed Tyler Janish to cross the plate in the first. Valpo starter Grant Inman (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Carroll) issued another walk, then Matt Dileo ripped a bases-clearing double that made it 4-0.
- The Crusaders (13-20, 4-8 Horizon) got one of those runs back when Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic) drilled a solo homer to center in the second. Riley Dent (Long Beach, Calif. / Wilson) followed with a one-out double and the Crusaders had a chance for more, but he was stranded at second.
- Valpo continued to chip away in the third when Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) lashed a single to left, driving in Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge), who had singled to start the inning. Again Valpo had an opportunity for more with two on and one away, but the Crusaders settled for one.
- The Grizzlies changed the game in a hurry in the fourth inning, when they drilled back-to-back-to-back home runs on three consecutive pitches. Janish started the power surge with a grand slam against Inman, spelling the end of the day for the Valpo starter. Ellis Foreman (Round Rock, Texas / Stony Point) entered and served up long balls on each of the first two pitches he fired, one to Zach Sterry and one to Tyler Pagano.
- The Grizzlies added three more runs before the inning mercifully came to an end with Valpo down 13-2 after a nine-run frame.
- Valpo’s bats came back to life in the fifth inning when Jacob doubled, Jake Hanson (Yorkville, Ill. / Aurora Christian) reached on an error and Christian Barczi (Naperville, Ill. / Naperville North) earned an RBI single. Shaikin walked to fill the bases with nobody out, but back-to-back strikeouts followed. Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mount Carmel) stroked a two-run single to right center, then Jayden Eggimann (Mesa, Ariz. / Desert Ridge [Central Arizona / Grand Canyon]) clubbed a two-run double to make it 13-6. Jacob squirted a single through the left side to drive in two more and make it 13-8, causing Oakland’s co-head coaches to remove starter Jake Lee after 4 2/3, one out shy of qualifying for the victory. The Crusaders scored six times in the frame.
- Two walks and an error handed the Grizzlies a bases-loaded nobody out chance in the sixth. Alex Dirienzo (Somerset, Pa. / Somerset [Akron]) relieved Michael Hardtke (Mission Viejo, Calif. / Capistrano Valley) and did a strong job limiting the damage. The Grizzlies got a run on a double-play bouncer, then Dirienzo induced another ground ball to end the frame.
- The Grizzlies got three more in the seventh against Dirienzo, two of which came on Sterry’s second home run of the game.
- Chet Joslyn (Battle Creek, Mich. / Lakeview) sent down Oakland in order in the eighth and notched back-to-back strikeouts to begin the top of the ninth. However, he then issued a walk and allowed three straight hits, allowing the Grizzlies to build their lead to eight at 19-8, which stood as the final score.
Inside The Game
- Inman was hit with the defeat after allowing eight runs (seven earned) on six hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings. Cole Gibson earned the win for Oakland, working 2/3 of an inning and allowing no runs. Inman drops to 3-4, while Gibson’s decision was his first.
- Jacob notched his fourth three-hit game of the season and his 11th multi-hit output.
- Shaikin notched two hits and reached safely for the 17th straight game. He now owns Valpo’s longest on-base streak of the season.
- Hanson ripped two hits and has multiple hits in four of his last six.
- Garbella started all three games in the series with Palace out of the lineup and responded well, posting a .417 average with a double, homer and two RBIs. Jacob was the only Crusader with a more prosperous offensive series, as he went 7-for-14 with three doubles, two RBIs and six runs scored.
The Crusaders will step out of league play as they continue the homestand on Tuesday afternoon against Chicago State. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT. The game can be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR. Links to live audio and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Shutout Secures Softball Series Sweep
There would be no late-game heroics necessary for the Valparaiso University softball team on Saturday afternoon, as after waiting out a pre-game rain delay, the Crusaders jumped on top of Cleveland State with three first-inning runs and never looked back in an eventual 5-0 victory over the Vikings to complete the series sweep.
How It Happened
- Sophomore Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) set the tone immediately, lining the first pitch of the game through the right side for a leadoff single. Trepanier then stole second and moved up to third on a double by sophomore Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]).
- Senior Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) followed by dropping a run-scoring single into left field to give the Crusaders the lead just four batters into the game.
- Two batters later, junior Jenna Stauffenberg (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) turned on a pitch and lined a double to the wall in left to score both Lawton and Stewart, pushing Valpo’s advantage to 3-0 after just one time at bat.
- Cleveland State threatened to cut into the advantage in the bottom of the second, loading the bases with one out on three singles – two of which didn’t leave the infield. But junior Kenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) got a pair of groundouts to escape the jam, including a dribbler in front of the circle which she deftly charged and flipped to Stewart at the plate to force the lead runner.
- Valpo added to its lead with a single run in the third, as Stewart led off the inning with her second hit of the game and eventually scored on a CSU error. The senior made it a three-hit game in the seventh, launching a leadoff homer for the second straight contest.
- Meanwhile, Grossmann and the Crusader defense kept the Vikings off the board. Starting with the second inning, 13 straight CSU hitters were retired before back-to-back two-out singles in the sixth. Grossmann got out of that inning with a strikeout to keep the shutout alive, and then pitched around a leadoff single in the seventh to close out the win.
Inside The Game
- The Crusaders earned their first three-game sweep of the season, as they entered Saturday’s game having won the first two games of a Horizon League series for the first time in 2017.
- It was Valpo’s first three-game sweep in league play since going 3-0 against Youngstown State in the final series of the 2015 campaign.
- Grossmann recorded her second complete-game shutout of the year to improve to 15-7, scattering six hits while striking out four CSU hitters.
- All six hits the Vikings recorded on Saturday were singles, as the Crusader pitching staff limited CSU to just one extra-base hit – a double – over the three-game sweep.
- Grossmann moved up to seventh position on Valpo’s single-season wins list with her 15th victory, just two wins out of fourth position.
- Grossmann was the winning pitcher in all three victories against the Vikings, becoming the first Crusader pitcher to win all three games in a series since Valpo joined the Horizon League.
- The last Crusader pitcher to pick up three wins in any length series came back in 2004, when Amanda Gilbertson registered three of Valpo’s four wins in a Mid-Continent Conference series against UMKC.
- Stewart led the way for the Valpo offense with her second three-hit game of the year. The senior’s home run was her 11th of the year and 25th of her career – both of which are tied for third in program history on their respective charts.
- With her pair of RBIs, Stewart now has driven in 38 runs this year – tenth-most in a single season in program history.
- Lawton registered two doubles in Saturday’s victory and now has 12 hits in Horizon League play this year, nine of which are of the extra-base variety.
- Rain started pouring down about 15 minutes before Saturday’s scheduled first pitch and lasted for about 35 minutes. First pitch was delayed 43 minutes from the scheduled noon start.
Thoughts From Head Coach Kate Stake
“The brief rain delay didn’t affect the team. We are no strangers to weather, and getting to simply sit or dance in the dugout, instead of having to pull the tarp on and off, feels like vacation in those moments. So we listened to music, played some frisbee to warm back up, got back into the right frame of mind, and used the extra 30 minutes to keep us loose and ready to go out of the gate.”
“Kenzie did a good job building her zone early on in each game, and then finding ways to get their hitters to swing at her pitches as the game went on. She never let the count or situation dictate her best pitch and continued to deliver with confidence. She competed.”
“I’m proud of the team for responding to the losses against UIC by turning those results on their head and getting our first league sweep of the season. I think we played good enough ball this weekend to earn the sweep, but I also know we still haven’t shown our best against a league opponent. We took a step in the right direction this weekend, though, and we’ll use our midweek doubleheader to work on a few things to get us ready to play better against Detroit.”
The Crusaders (22-13, 9-6 Horizon) step out of league play briefly next week for a non-league doubleheader versus Central Michigan at the Valpo Softball Complex on Tuesday afternoon. First pitch of game one is slated for 2 p.m., and links for live coverage will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.
Men’s Golf Fifth Through Two Rounds in Muncie
The Valparaiso University men’s golf team sits in fifth place at 733 (six-count-five) in a 13-team field at Ball State’s Earl Yestingsmeier Memorial Invitational after the opening day of competition on Friday. Through two rounds, the Crusaders are ahead of three Horizon League foes in the team standings.
How It Happened
- Peter Webb (Madison, Wis. / James Madison Memorial) turned in yet another noteworthy performance, carding a 68 in Round 1 followed by a 72 in Round 2 to finish the day tied for fifth at 140. Webb was in second place after the first round. His score, which is right at par, is four strokes off the lead.
- Matthew McCarthy (O’Fallon, Ill. / Althoff Catholic) turned heads on the first day of competition. The freshman posted a 74 in the first round, then trimmed three strokes off his score in Round 2 to finish the day at 145 (+5), tied for 15th. He had the best Round 2 score of any Crusader.
- Michael Doherty (Lisle, Ill. / Naperville North) is tied for 22nd through two rounds at 146, one stroke behind McCarthy. He too carded a 74 on the first 18 before notching a 71 on the second.
- Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis. / Kaukauna) turned in a 76 in Round 1, then bettered his score to a 73 in Round 2, finishing tied for 37th at 149.
- Nick Seitz (Xenia, Ohio / Carrol) scored a 77 the opening round and followed with a 76 to complete the day at 153, tied for 57th.
- Adam Baracari (Normal, Ill. / University) stroked a 77 in Round 1 and an 82 in Round 2 to enter Saturday at 159, tied for 74th.
Inside the Rounds
- Webb has now turned in a 68 or lower in six rounds this season. He has done so 12 times in his collegiate career.
- Since the Valpo men’s golf program resumed in 2009, there have been 23 rounds of 68 or lower. Webb owns over half of those rounds.
- As a team, the Crusaders improved from 369 in the first round to 364 in the second round. They are one stroke ahead of Wright State for fifth and seven strokes in back of Taylor for fourth.
- McCarthy’s 71 was his career best. In fact, both of his rounds on Saturday eclipsed his previous watermark in his rookie campaign.
- The Crusaders are in third overall in Par 3 scoring (3.21) and Par 4 scoring (4.18), but they’re 12th of 13 in Par 5 scoring at 5.67.
- Valpo has 24 birdies, led by Doherty and Webb with six apiece. Webb also turned in an eagle.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dave Gring
“Our birdie production improved in the second round versus the first round. Ball-striking was pretty good today and we seemed to drive the ball well off the tee. If we can hit some more greens in regulation tomorrow and narrow that proximity to the hole, our scoring will be even better in the third round."
"We needed to improve our scores in the second round and we accomplished that task, but we still left too many shots on the course. I'm encouraged that our scoring continues to improve this spring, but we need to avoid the double and triple bogeys by each player and our scoring will get better."
"I would like to see a few scores under par tomorrow. It was good to see Pete in the red numbers and Michael, Matt and Mitch all played well enough today to close with some good rounds tomorrow. We are looking forward to the opportunity."
The Crusaders will continue the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational hosted by Ball State at Delaware CC with the final round on Saturday. A link to live scoring can be found on ValpoAthletics.com.
Modesto Comes Through with Thrilling Win, Propels Valpo to First Horizon League Victory
The Valparaiso University women’s tennis team flashed a flair for the dramatic on Friday afternoon at the Valpo Tennis Complex, starting the holiday weekend with a heart-pounding 4-3 victory over Green Bay. The match came down to No. 3 singles, where Meg Modesto (Chesterton, Ind. / Chesterton) picked up Valpo’s most memorable victory of the season to clinch the team win.
How It Happened
- The match between Modesto and Green Bay’s Olivia Headford was delayed in the first set due to an injury to Headford, who was eventually able to continue. Because of the delay, the match went far longer than every other court, leading to a climactic finish with every player, coach and fan from both teams looking on.
- Modesto came from behind to win the first set 7-6 (6-4), then rode that momentum to a 6-1 win in Set 2, sending Valpo players and supporters into a state of jubilation.
- The Crusaders (2-14, 1-5 Horizon) had to win four of the six singles matches to pick up the victory after dropping the doubles point. Kathleen Hebble (Sellersburg, Ind. / Silver Creek) and Paige Heuer (Munster, Ind. / Munster) rolled to a 6-1 win over Samm Pedersen and Theresa Tebon at No. 1 doubles, but Valpo fell to Green Bay (2-12, 0-6) at the other two spots.
- Jule-Sophie Hermann and Chiara Berg earned a narrow 7-5 win over Valpo’s Dao Sysouvanh (Sun Prairie, Wis. / Sun Prairie) and Morgan Paras (Indianapolis, Ind. / Bishop Chatard) at No. 3 doubles, leaving the point hinging on No. 2, which went to a tiebreak. Tallie Piaskowski and Headford pulled out the 7-6 win for the Phoenix against Randi Wind (Park Ridge, Ill. / Maine South) and Modesto.
- Every singles match was decided in straight sets. Valpo’s bottom of the lineup turned in strong performances, one of which came from freshman Sysouvanh, who bested Tebon 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5. Wind was also victorious, beating Pederson 6-2, 6-3 at No. 6.
- The top two singles spots were split, with Valpo winning at No. 2 as Heuer topped Hermann 6-2, 6-2 and losing at No. 1 as Hebble fell to Berg 6-0, 7-5. Jordan Kopfer (Eagan, Minn. / Eastview) dropped her No. 4 singles match with Piaskowski 6-3, 6-2, leaving No. 3 singles as the match-decider.
Inside the Match
- This marks the fourth straight year the Crusaders have beaten the Phoenix.
- Hebble picked up her 30th career doubles victory, while Heuer notched her 39th. Hebble ranks 10th in program history in career doubles wins, while Heuer sits in eighth in Valpo history.
- Hebble and Heuer increased their season doubles win total to 13. They need one more doubles win to move into Valpo’s all-time single-season Top 10.
- Wind’s win at No. 6 was her team-leading ninth of the season. She already has 15 career singles wins as only a sophomore.
- Sysouvanh, Modesto and Heuer all earned their first Horizon League singles victories of the season. For Sysouvanh, a freshman, this marked her first career league victory and second career win overall. Modesto boosted her season win total to four and Heuer corralled her second victory and her first in dual play.
The Crusaders don’t have much time to bask in the glory of Friday’s win, as they take the court again on Saturday against Milwaukee at 12:30 p.m. CT. The Panthers are coming off a 4-3 loss to UIC on Friday and stand at 8-12 overall, 2-4 in Horizon League play.
Crusaders Down Phoenix, Stay Unbeaten in League Play
The Valparaiso University men’s tennis team came out on top in a battle of the two most recent Horizon League champions and a pair of teams that entered the match undefeated in league play on Friday morning at the Valparaiso Tennis Complex. The Crusaders downed Green Bay 6-1, locking up at least a share of the Horizon League regular season title. Valpo can clinch the No. 1 seed in the league tournament by the end of the weekend depending on other Horizon League results.
How It Happened
- The Crusaders (20-3, 6-0 Horizon) cruised to the doubles point from the Phoenix (6-8, 3-1 Horizon) with Kyle Dunn (Fond du Lac, Wis. / Fond du Lac) and Garrett Gardner (Poland, Ohio / Poland) whitewashing Green Bay’s Joshua Schramm and Ivan Radomirovic 6-0 at No. 3 doubles and Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio / Perrysburg) and Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) grabbing a 6-3 win at No. 1 against Florian Kraenzler and Charlie Ridout.
- The No. 2 doubles match went unfinished with Dave Bacalla (Skokie, Ill. / Niles North) and Chad Kissell (Latrobe, Pa. / Greater Latrobe) holding a 5-3 edge on Miles McDowall and Matej Kostadinov.
- Brandon Ancona (Belvidere, Ill. / Rockford Christian) won by default over Ridout at No. 5 singles.
- Schorsch downed Kraenzler 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 singles.
- The No. 3 singles match was won by Bacalla, who defeated Schramm 6-2, 6-2.
- Valpo clinched the match with Dunn’s 6-4, 6-3 win over McDowall at No. 4.
- Kissell topped Kostadinov 6-3, 7-5 at No. 2 singles, while Radomirovic secured Green Bay’s only win at No. 6 singles, beating Gardner 6-7 (7-9), 6-2, 10-7.
Inside the Match
- The Crusaders are 6-0 in Horizon League play with one match remaining, while Green Bay sits at 3-1 and Detroit Mercy at 2-1. Everyone else in the league has at least two league losses. Valpo still has Detroit Mercy on its schedule, so the Crusaders still need one more Detroit Mercy loss to clinch the No. 1 seed in the Horizon League Tournament, which begins on April 28 in Ann Arbor. The Titans host Wright State on Saturday at 4 p.m. CT and Northern Kentucky on Sunday at noon.
- The Crusaders nailed down their third straight 20-win season with the victory. They are three wins away from breaking the program record of 22 set a year ago.
- The No. 1 doubles team of Schorsch and Emhardt picked up their 19th win of the year and remained perfect in Horizon League play. They have strung together six straight doubles wins as a combo. Emhardt has 26 doubles wins this year, while Schorsch has 28. Schorsch’s single-season total is tied for third in program history, two behind Schorsch and Emhardt’s program record of 30 in 2014-15.
- Gardner and Dunn are also unbeaten in league play when playing doubles together. They moved to 14-4 overall, 9-2 in dual matches and 4-0 in the Horizon League with Friday’s win.
- Schorsch climbed to 6-0 in league singles competition while grabbing his 24th win of the season, while Dunn also picked up his 24th triumph. Dunn and Schorsch are currently tied for sixth in program history in single-season singles wins. Schorsch set the program record with 29 a year ago.
- The Crusaders are 14-0 against Horizon League opponents (including league tournament matches) over the last two seasons.
- Schorsch picked up his 108th career singles win and 110th career doubles victory, while Emhardt extended his program record with his 112th career doubles win.
The Crusaders will close out the regular season on Sunday, April 23 against Detroit Mercy at 1 p.m. CT at the Valpo Tennis Complex. A win will assure the Crusaders their second straight outright Horizon League regular season title and allow them to finish the regular season undefeated in league play. It’s Senior Day for the most successful class in program history as Jeffrey Schorsch, Charlie Emhardt, Kyle Dunn and Dave Bacalla will play the final home match of their collegiate careers.
Late Heroics Secure Doubleheader Sweep For Cardiac Crusaders
Down three runs entering the seventh inning, and still trailing down to its final strike? No problem Friday for the Valparaiso University softball team. Senior Jorgi Calombaris (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) tied the nightcap with Cleveland State with a two-out, two-strike base hit in the seventh, and classmate Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) delivered the game-winning blow with a homer in the eighth to give Valpo a 4-3 win and the doubleheader sweep. The Crusaders scored the first five runs en route to a 5-3 victory over the Vikings in the day’s opener.
How It Happened – Game One
- After a trio of scoreless innings both ways to open the game, the Crusaders busted things open with a crooked number in the top of the fourth. Sophomore Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) got things going with a one-out shot to the wall in right-center for a triple, and junior Jenna Stauffenberg (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) followed with a perfectly-executed squeeze bunt for a single which scored Lawton.
- Following a walk, freshman Gabby Magnifico (Elmhurst, Ill./York) drove the first pitch she saw to the wall in center for a run-scoring double. Fellow rookie Morgan Matalin (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) then lined a shot down the third-base line to score two more runs and give Valpo a 4-0 lead.
- The Crusaders added an insurance run to their side of the ledger in the sixth inning, as Matalin singled with one out and eventually came around to score on an RBI single from freshman Hannah Dybalski (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon).
- Junior Kenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) cruised through the first five innings, allowing just a single runner to reach second base, but ran into trouble in the sixth. Mackenzie Joecken recorded a two-run double to cut Valpo’s lead to 5-2, and later in the frame, CSU had the bases loaded with two outs. But Grossmann induced a grounder to strand all three runners and maintain the three-run lead.
- Freshman Lindsay Zdroik (Elgin, Ill./St. Edward) entered in relief in the seventh inning to lock down the win. The Vikings made it a two-run game on a two-out RBI single from Hanna Breeden, but with the potential tying run at the plate, a fly-out closed out the Crusader victory.
How It Happened – Game Two
- Cleveland State struck first in the nightcap, scoring a pair of unearned runs on one hit and two Crusader errors in the third.
- The Vikings added another run in the fourth to push their lead to 3-0, but with the bases loaded and two outs, freshman Emily Richardson (Oak Park, Ill./River Forest) came out of the bullpen and got a grounder back to the circle to limit the damage in the frame to just the one run.
- The deficit was still three runs entering the seventh inning, as Valpo was unable to advance a runner beyond second base in the first six frames. But the Crusaders broke through in the top of the seventh. Stauffenberg led off the inning with a double to the track in center, and Magnifico followed with a two-bagger of her own just inside the left-field line to make it a 3-1 game.
- Two batters later, Matalin went the other way, sending a shot through the right side of the infield to plate Magnifico and cut the deficit to one run.
- After a groundout moved Matalin into scoring position, Calombaris fell behind in the count 1-2 and fouled off a pair of two-strike pitches before finding the one that was to her liking, lining it into center field to score Matalin standing up and tie the game at 3-3.
- CSU put a runner on via walk with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Grossmann came in out of the bullpen and got a ground-out to force extra innings.
- After watching her classmate provide the heroics to tie the game in the seventh, Stewart delivered to lead off the eighth, crushing a 3-1 pitch off the tennis dome beyond the fence in right-center for her 10th home run of the season to give Valpo the lead.
- Grossmann set down the Vikings in order on two grounders and a strikeout to close out the win.
Inside The Games
- The win in the nightcap was the Crusaders’ third this year when trailing after six innings, a new single-season high dating back to 1999.
- Valpo picked up its first extra-inning victory of the season Friday.
- Eight different Crusaders combined for Valpo’s nine hits in the opener, with Matalin the only player with a multi-hit game. The freshman also tallied the first two RBIs of her career in the fourth inning of the opening win.
- Magnifico reached base twice in the opener as well, recording a hit and drawing a walk.
- Grossmann earned the victory in the day’s first six game with six strong innings, scattering four hits while striking out eight. Zdroik’s work in the seventh inning earned her the second save of her freshman year.
- Stewart posted a pair of hits in the nightcap win, while Magnifico and Matalin each reached twice on a base hit and a walk.
- Stewart’s home run in the eighth inning was her 10th of the year, tied for fifth-most in a single season at Valpo. She has now tallied 24 home runs as a Crusader, one shy of third place on Valpo’s career chart, while the solo blast also marked her 100th career RBI, tied for fifth in program history.
- Junior Ashlyn Montgomery (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) started the nightcap and went 3.2 innings, surrendering just one earned run. Richardson tossed three shutout innings and gave up a single hit, while Grossmann earned her second win of the day by picking up the final four outs in relief.
- With the pair of wins on Friday, Grossmann improves to 14-7 on the year. Her 14 victories are already tied for ninth-most in a single season in program history.
Thoughts From Head Coach Kate Stake
“I don’t love that we saved our offensive production for the seventh inning in the second game, but I do love that we’ve consistently shown that we don’t give up, regardless of the uphill battle in front of us. Jenna got us rolling and we generated some difficult-to-stop momentum from there. During the pitching change, “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” played over the speakers, and our dugout essentially became a mosh pit. I watched it back on video, and in addition to our dugout jumping all over the place, our batters on deck were as well. Our ability to pull out the game is a perfect example of “culture wins.” Everyone fed each other in that seventh inning with their energy. Not everyone stood in the box that inning, but everyone on our team contributed to the runs.”
“Jorgi and Sam both stepped up in back-to-back innings offensively, and both had strong days on the other side of the ball as well. They continue to be excellent senior leaders by example and influence.”
“Morgan had a nice day for herself. She’s not consistently been in the starting lineup, and it’s challenging to bounce back and forth between starting and not – I think she’s handled it well. She found ways to get on base today and looked eager and prepared for her chances.”
“Emily had the best performance of her young career today. I thought she had good command of her zone and worked well with Sam. I was also impressed with her poise in the circle. She took her opportunity and ran with it. I’m proud of her growth over this year.”
“Our pitching staff, as a whole, did a great job today, each handling whatever role they were given during the doubleheader. Monica strategized very well with our pitching personnel and called two very good games.”
“Beating any team three times is difficult. They’ve seen all our pitchers and we’ve seen theirs. Tomorrow isn’t so much about how we beat Cleveland State, as it is how we come out playing our best brand of ball. We had moments today, but we have the opportunity tomorrow – especially with our bats – to make adjustments and really challenge their defense.”
The Crusaders (21-13, 8-6 Horizon) look to close out the sweep of the Vikings at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday from Cleveland. The game can be seen live on ESPN3, WatchESPN and the ESPN app, with links for the live video and live stats available via ValpoAthletics.com.
Crusaders Draw Even with Late Rally, Fall in Extras
The Valparaiso University baseball team came from behind late for the second straight day, but this time the rally came up shy as Oakland scored three times in the top of the 10th and held on to beat the Crusaders 9-6. The Crusaders plated three runs in the bottom of the ninth to draw even after the Grizzlies had grabbed two insurance tallies in the top of the ninth.
How It Happened
- For the second straight day, the Grizzlies played long ball early as Tyler Pagano drilled a three-run homer in the first inning against Wes Gordon.
- The Crusaders got an unearned tally in the bottom of the inning as a throwing error by Oakland’s second baseman allowed Chad Jacob (Irvine, Calif. / Woodbridge) to score on a ground ball by Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth)
- Gordon left after just one inning (4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO) as freshman Jon Tieman (Crystal Lake, Ill. / Prairie Ridge) was inserted on the mound to begin the second.
- Valpo chipped away again in the third as Christian Barczi (Naperville, Ill. / Naperville North) hit a ground ball to short that appeared to be a tailor-made double play, but Oakland’s second baseman made a wild throw to first to allow Barczi to reach on a fielder’s choice and earn an RBI, as Jacob scored from third.
- Zach Sterry belted a solo homer to left in the fifth, doubling Oakland’s lead to two at 4-2.
- There was no further scoring until the eighth inning. The Valpo bullpen did a strong job as Tieman allowed just one run on six hits over 4 2/3 innings, then Montana Quigley (Lake Forest, Calif. / El Toro) sent down the first seven batters he faced.
- In the bottom of the eighth, Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Ind. / Andrean) reached on an error by the shortstop and Riley Dent crossed the plate for an unearned run. That trimmed the lead to one at 4-3.
- The Grizzlies got two insurance tallies in the top of the ninth. Tyler Janish ripped a run-scoring triple, then Tyler Pagano lifted a sacrifice fly. Sterry was cut down attempting to advance to second, but Janish had already crossed the plate to make it 6-3.
- A string of three straight singles started the bottom of the ninth. After Oakland’s Nick Parr got the first out, Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic) singled to left to drive in Jacob and make it 6-4. Dent was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing in a run to make it 6-5.
- Oddly enough, the bottom of the ninth inning ended with the same unusual play – a sac fly turned double play with a run crossing the plate before the final out was recorded – that ended the top of the ninth. Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mount Carmel) lifted a fly ball to right, and Garbella got caught in a rundown between second and third. He was eventually tagged out to end the inning, but Jayden Eggimann (Mesa, Ariz. / Desert Ridge [Central Arizona / Grand Canyon]) had crossed the plate to score the tying run and send it to extras, 6-6.
- Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) replaced Quigley for the 10th inning and struck out the first man he faced, but then issued back-to-back walks. The second walk prompted Brian Schmack to call upon Luke VanLanen (Pulaski, Wis. / Pulaski), who gave up a go-ahead single through the right side. The Grizzlies tacked on two more runs by the end of the inning, including one on a squeeze bunt by Misch, to make it 9-6.
- Jared Burkert pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th to nail down his first save.
Inside The Game
- Parr blew the save in the ninth, but was awarded the win to improve to 3-3. Rhodehouse worked 1/3 of an inning and was charged with two earned runs to take the loss in relief, dropping his record to 3-4.
- This was Valpo’s first extra-inning loss of the season.
- Stea, Hanson, Barczi and Garbella had two hits apiece. Stea moved into a tie with Nate Palace for the team lead with 11 multi-hit games.
- Shaikin has reached base in 16 consecutive games, while extending his hitting streak to seven.
- Jacob drew three walks, scored three runs and reached base four times on Saturday. He accepted three of his team’s four bases on balls. Jacob set a career high in runs scored and matched a career watermark by drawing three walks for the first time since May 20, 2015.
- Valpo did not have any extra-base hits for the sixth time this season.
The Crusaders and Grizzlies will conclude the three-game series with Saturday’s finale. The first pitch is slated to occur at 1 p.m. CT. The game can be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso, WVUR. Links to live audio and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.