Valparaiso University Sports Update, April 27, 2017

By: Valparaiso University Last Updated: April 27, 2017

VU-Weather-Alters-Baseball-Series-2017Weather Alters Baseball Series
The Valparaiso University baseball team has announced a schedule change to its series at Youngstown State this weekend.

The Crusaders and Penguins will play a doubleheader on Friday at 1 p.m. CT at Eastwood Field due to an unfavorable weather forecast for the remainder of the weekend. Game 3 in the series is tentatively scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. CT and is subject to change due to weather.

Links to live audio and stats for all three games in the series will be available on ValpoAthletics.com. Stay tuned to ValpoAthletics.com for any additional changes.

NIU Takes Two From Crusaders Wednesday
The Valparaiso University softball team took to the field for its final non-league action of the regular season Wednesday afternoon in DeKalb, Ill. as the Crusaders visited Northern Illinois. But despite scoring first in both games, Valpo was unable to come away with a victory, as the Huskies rallied for a 7-4 win in the opener and a 5-2 win in the nightcap.

How It Happened – Game One

  • Valpo struck immediately in the top of the first, as sophomore Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) led off the game with an infield single and came around to score on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt for a base hit by junior Lanie Callaghan (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland).
  • Later in the frame, with the bases loaded, freshman Hannah Dybalski (Lebanon, Ind./Lebanon) lined a run-scoring single into center field, and sophomore Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) followed with a first-pitch double to the gap in right-center to make it 4-0 Crusaders quickly.
  • NIU would turn around and cut the Valpo advantage to a single run in its first turn at the plate, courtesy of a two-run homer from Kayti Grable and a solo homer by Abby Howlett.
  • The Huskies went ahead for good on a two-run double from Jenny Van Geertry in the bottom of the fourth, starting off a four-run frame which would close the scoring.
  • Staring at a three-run deficit, the Crusaders were able to come up with just one baserunner – a one-out bunt single from Lawton in the sixth – over the final three innings.

How It Happened – Game Two

  • The Crusaders made NIU starter Keegan Hayes labor in the top of the first to the tune of 46 pitches, pushing across a pair of runs. Trepanier and senior Jorgi Calombaris (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) led off the game with a single and a double, respectively.
  • Then, with the bases loaded and one out, Lawton drew a four-pitch walk to force in the first run of the game. Junior Stephanie Moreno (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley) followed with a run-scoring groundout to give Valpo the early 2-0 edge.
  • While Valpo had at least one runner on base in five of the final six innings, the Crusaders were unable to add to their run total, as they left nine runners stranded on base for the game.
  • Meanwhile, NIU scored a single run in the bottom of the first to cut the lead in half, and then claimed the advantage by scoring two runs in the second without a ball leaving the infield. Single runs in the fourth and the sixth closed out the scoring.

Inside the Games

  • Trepanier and Lawton each picked up a pair of base hits in the opener, while the latter drove in two of Valpo’s four runs as well.
  • Freshman Lindsay Zdroik (Elgin, Ill./St. Edward) took the loss in the day’s first game to fall to 1-3 on the year.
  • Fellow rookie Emily Richardson (Oak Park, Ill./River Forest) closed out the opener in the circle, tossing 2.2 innings of shutout softball while striking out three.
  • Trepanier followed up her two-hit opener by reaching base in all four of her plate appearances in the nightcap, tallying a pair of singles and drawing two walks. But the sophomore was the only Crusader to reach more than once in the day’s second game.
  • Valpo went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in game two after going 3-for-8 in the same situations in the opener.
  • Junior Kenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) fell to 17-8 on the season as she was tagged with the loss in the starting assignment.

Next Up
The Crusaders (24-18) close out the regular season with two remaining Horizon League series, starting with a three-game set versus Oakland at the Valpo Softball Complex this weekend. Due to weather concerns, game times have been shifted, and the series will now open with an 11 a.m. doubleheader on Friday.

Women’s Golf Bids Farewell to Seniors Following Final Day of Competition
It was a mix of the past, present and future for the Valparaiso University women’s golf team in the final round of the Horizon League Championships on Tuesday in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. Strong performances from a pair of underclassmen built excitement for the future, while the final collegiate rounds for a pair of seniors led to reflection on the past.

How It Happened

  • As a team, the Crusaders climbed over Detroit Mercy in the team standings in Round 3 to finish in fifth at 960 (+96).
  • Freshman Tiffany Curtis (Crown Point, Ind. / Crown Point) led the Crusaders out of the No. 5 position, finishing with a 54-hole score of 236, tied for 11th overall. Curtis carded a 76 on the final day of competition.
  • The top Valpo player in Round 3 was sophomore Madison McCreary (Batesville, Ind. / Batesville), who cut 16 strokes off her Round 2 score with a 75 in Round 3. She finished the three days at 248, tied for 27th.
  • Kylie Shoemake (Schererville, Ind. / Lake Central) finished second on the team and tied for 20th overall with a total score of 243. She rounded out the event with an 84 on Tuesday.
  • Narrowly behind Shoemake was senior Angie Kim (Schaumberg, Ill. / Fremd) at 244, placing 22nd. She carded an 83 in her final collegiate round on Tuesday.
  • Sydney Shrum (Cloverdale, Ind. / Cloverdale) also played in her final collegiate tournament, posting an 83 in Round 3 to finish at 251, in 32nd.

Inside the Rounds

  • Shrum had an eagle for the Crusaders – one of four eagles in the event.
  • Curtis led the Crusaders with six birdies, while McCreary had five.
  • Kim had 30 pars to lead the Crusaders.
  • Curtis matched a career low by stroking a 76 in Round 3.
  • Kim finishes with a career scoring average of 81.27 and a season average of 79.78. Her career average ranks narrowly behind Kelly Voigt (2010-2014) for the program record. Voigt finished at 81.25. Kim stands in second in Crusader history.
  • Willenbrink finishes the season at 79.70 to lead the Crusaders. Her season average ranks third in program history, while Kim’s 2016-17 season average now sits fourth. Voigt holds the single-season scoring average record at 77.52 (2012-13), while Michelle Kleckner is second at 78.71.
  • Valpo finishes the season with a team scoring average of 322.17, which shatters the program record for team season scoring average. The previous best for the program, which began in 2009, was 323.4 in 2012-13.

Standings – Final
4 1 1 Cleveland State 319 302 307 928 +64
3 3 2 Youngstown State 315 310 306 931 +67
1 2 3 Northern Kentucky 304 318 313 935 +71
2 4 4 Oakland 312 316 310 938 +74
T5 6 5 Valparaiso 324 319 317 960 +96
7 5 6 Detroit Mercy 327 315 323 965 +101
T5 7 7 Illinois-Chicago 324 332 333 989 +125
8 8 8 Green Bay 342 322 329 993 +129

Thoughts from Head Coach Jon Haas
“I am really proud of my team, especially Tiffany and Madison who came in with the lowest scores today and helped us get fifth as a team. It’s great to see a sophomore and a freshman lead in the final round. Kylie fought hard today and finished strong. Today was officially Angie and Sydney’s last collegiate tournament. It was great to see Sydney have an eagle during her round. Angie might not have had the best three days, but she fought hard and maintained consistency throughout. I will definitely miss Angie and Sydney. They have been great leaders to the team and it was a great experience being able to coach them.”

Crusaders Fall to Notre Dame
The Valparaiso University baseball team suffered a 10-3 loss to Notre Dame on Tuesday night at Frank Eck Stadium. Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic) provided a bright spot for the Crusaders by continuing his recent stretch of offensive success with two doubles.

How It Happened

  • Garbella crushed one 395 feet to deep right center in the second inning, but it banged off the top of the wall for a two-out two-bagger. He was left stranded as the game remained scoreless.
  • The bottom of the inning saw the Fighting Irish (19-22) get on the board with a four spot against Valpo starter Michael Mommersteeg (St. Thomas, Ont., Canada / St. Joseph’s). Mommersteeg’s throwing error on a sacrifice bunt led to most of the damage, as three of the four runs were unearned. Nick Podkul’s two-run double was the highlight of the uprising.
  • The Crusaders (16-23) were handed a scoring chance in the top of the third as Notre Dame starter Ryan Smoyer issued back-to-back walks to start the inning, but Valpo walked away empty handed.
  • The Fighting Irish tacked on three more in the third against reliever Alex Dirienzo (Somerset, Pa. / Somerset [Akron]). This time it was Nick Neville with a two-run double before Jake Shepski tacked on an RBI single and was cut down trying to move up to second on a strong throw from Valpo right fielder Christian Barczi (Naperville, Ill. / Naperville North).
  • The Crusaders took a bite out of the deficit in the fourth inning as they posted a three spot against Smoyer. Garbella continued his recent tear with his second double of the game to drive in Barczi, who had doubled to start the inning. Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mount Carmel) grounded a single up the middle to drive in a pair, making it 7-3 Notre Dame.
  • Hayden Kissee (Indianapolis, Ind. / Greenfield Central [Kaskasia College]) came in to pitch for Valpo in the fourth and did not allow a run in the fourth or fifth. He exited with two outs and two on in the sixth, and both runners eventually scored and were charged to Kissee. Those runners crossed the dish as part of a three-run triple by Ryan Lidge against Luke VanLanen (Pulaski, Wis. / Pulaski). Lidge reached third as both Garbella and James Stea dove for the ball in left center and neither made the play.
  • The Crusaders had a scoring chance with the bases loaded in the seventh, but they failed to score. Valpo went down in order in the eighth and ninth innings.

Inside the Game

  • Garbella now has eight doubles and 12 extra-base hits this season. He has multiple hits in four of his last six.
  • Shaikin drew a walk, extending his on-base streak to 23.
  • Smoyer picked up the win to improve to 3-2, while Mommersteeg was hit with the loss to drop to 1-2.
  • Chet Joslyn (Battle Creek, Mich. / Lakeview) and Easton Rhodehouse (Gilbert, Ariz. / Highland) each worked scoreless innings out of the Valpo bullpen.

Next Up
The Crusaders will travel to Youngstown State for a three-game series beginning on Friday at 4 p.m. CT. Live audio will be available of all three games with Brandon Vickrey providing the play-by-play. Links to audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.

Seniors Conclude Illustrious Crusader Careers
The Valparaiso University men’s golf team wrapped up its 2017 campaign on Tuesday at the Horizon League Championships in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. The Crusaders finished fourth of eight teams with a team score of 908 after carding a 303 in Tuesday’s third round. Valpo was three strokes behind Wright State for third.

How It Happened

  • Nick Seitz (Xenia, Ohio / Carroll) rounded out his Crusader career on a high note, carding a 69 on the final day of competition, trimming five strokes off his Round 2 score. Seitz led the Crusaders with a fourth-place finish with a 54-hole score of 218.
  • Peter Webb (Madison, Wis. / James Madison Memorial) turned in an 80 in Round 3 to finish at 230, tied for 17th.
  • Michael Doherty (Lisle, Ill. / Naperville North) carded a 76 in Round 3, the second-best round of any Crusader on Tuesday. That allowed him to climb to T-17 overall at 230.
  • Mitchell Wittmann (Kaukauna, Wis. / Kaukauna) finished in a tie for 24th after turning in a 78 on Tuesday to bring his 54-hole score 233.
  • Zach Cutler (O’Fallon, Mo. / Timberland) posted an 84 on the final day to finish at 242, tied for 32nd.

Inside the Rounds

  • Seitz closed his senior year on a high note with a season-low 69 (-3).
  • The Crusaders led all teams with 167 pars in the tournament.
  • Valpo was strong on Par 4 holes, tying with Cleveland State for the top Par 4 scoring average at 4.27.
  • Doherty accounted for the lone eagle of the event for Valpo.
  • Seitz led the Crusaders with 10 birdies.
  • Wittmann racked up 38 pars, tied for second among all participants.
  • This marked the final round of the collegiate careers of seniors Seitz and Webb. The senior duo leave the program with their names all over the program record book. Webb finishes with a program-record 74.26 career scoring average, while Seitz is second at 74.92. The record book began when the program was resurrected in 2009.
  • Webb finishes the season with a scoring average of 73.30, which eclipses his own single-season program record of 73.61 from a year ago. Seitz’s season scoring average was 74.33, which ranks fifth in program history.

Standings – Final
1 1 1 Cleveland State 294 302 291 887 +23
3 2 2 Oakland 301 297 296 894 +30
5 6 3 Wright State 303 311 291 905 +41
2 3 4 Valparaiso Univ. 297 308 303 908 +44
7 5 5 Green Bay 310 302 299 911 +47
4 4 6 Detroit Mercy 302 307 309 918 +54
6 8 7 Northern Kentucky 307 327 314 948 +84
8 7 8 Youngstown State 319 309 324 952 +88