Valparaiso University Sports Update, March 22, 2017
Crusaders Round Out Twin Oaks Intercollegiate
The Valparaiso University men’s golf team closed out the Twin Oaks Intercollegiate in Springfield, Mo. on Tuesday. The Crusaders finished the event in ninth of 11 teams with a team score of 904. Peter Webb (Madison, Wis. / James Madison Memorial) paved the way with a 217 (+4) to finish tied for seventh of 69 total players.
How It Happened
- Webb paced the Crusaders for the second consecutive day, posting a 73 in Round 3 to finish at 217.
- Adam Baracani (Normal, Ill. / University) had his best round of the tournament, posting a 76 in Round 3 to finish at 235 (+22) over three rounds. He placed 59th overall.
- Nick Seitz (Xenia, Ohio / Carroll) finished second on the team and tied for 28th overall by notching a 223 (+10). He had Valpo’s third-best score of the day with a 77 in Round 3.
- Zach Cutler (O’Fallon, Mo. / Timberland) totaled an 80 in Round 3 to finish at 229 (+16), tied for 45th. Jeremy Wu (Medford, Ore. / St. Mary’s) carded an 80 in the final round to finish in 62nd at 239 (+26).
- Michael Doherty (Lisle, Ill. / Naperville North) golfed as an individual and stroked an 80 in Round 3 to finish at 232 (+19), tied for 52nd.
Inside the Rounds
- The Crusaders finished just two strokes behind Creighton for eighth and a comfortable 19 strokes ahead of Eastern Illinois for ninth.
- There was one other Horizon League team in the field, as Green Bay finished in a tie for sixth at 888 (+36).
- Valpo ranked sixth in the field on Par 5s with a 4.93 average, three strokes under par on Par 5 holes.
- The Crusaders had 20 birdies in the tournament, sixth of the 11 teams. They led the field in Round 1 birdies, as 15 of those 20 birdies came in the opening round.
- Webb had eight birdies in the tournament, ranking third among all participants.
- Webb’s strongest performances came on Par 3 holes, as he averaged 3.10 on Par 3s to tie for fourth among all participants.
The Crusaders will head to the Hoosier Invitational in Bloomington, Ind. on April 1-2.
Bats Break Out as Valpo Downs Chicago State
After being limited to two total runs in a three-game weekend series at Wright State, the Valparaiso University baseball team made it clear early on that the offensive struggles would end on Tuesday night at Cougar Stadium in Chicago. The Crusaders had three extra-base hits in the opening inning and scored three times to set the tone for an eventual 13-1 rout of Chicago State.
How It Happened
- Two batters into the game, the Crusaders (7-11) owned a two-run lead as Nate Palace (Westlake Village, Calif. / Oaks Christian) lifted a home run to right center. James Stea (Los Alamitos, Calif. / Los Alamitos [Golden West]) was along for the ride after a wind-aided triple down the right-field line started the game.
- Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic) followed Palace’s homer by banging a double to center to make it three consecutive extra base hits to greet Chicago State starting pitcher Grant Trower. Jake Hanson (Yorkville, Ill. / Aurora Christian) was then hit by a pitch, but Sam Shaikin (West Hills, Calif. / Chatsworth) bounced into a double play. The Crusaders notched their third run of the inning when Scott Kapers (Schererville, Ind. / Mt. Carmel) reached on a throwing error and Hanson crossed the plate for an unearned run.
- Valpo added to the lead in the third when Kapers reached on an infield single to plate Palace, who had reached safely on a misplayed slow chopper to short. Patrick Donohue (Arlington Heights, Ill. / Prospect) accepted a bases-loaded walk to force in a run, making it 5-0 Crusaders.
- The Cougars (4-13) scored their only run of the day in the bottom of the inning, when an errant relay throw to first on a fielder’s choice bouncer allowed an unearned tally to cross the dish.
- The next scoring came in the fifth, when Chase Dawson (Chesterton, Ind. / Andrean) went the other way for a sharp single to left, driving in Kapers and building the lead back to five.
- Neither team scored again until the eighth, when back-to-back bunt singles started the inning and eventually allowed the Crusaders to produce a run as Palace bounced into a double play. Chicago State’s Jay Gutierrez limited the damage to one run after Valpo had the bases loaded with nobody out.
- The Crusaders poured it on in the top of the ninth, when they tacked on six runs to seal the victory. Jayden Eggimann (Mesa, Ariz. / Desert Ridge [Central Arizona]) had a run-scoring single, Donohue scored on a wild pitch and Eggimann scored on an errant pickoff throw. That set up Palace’s second blast of the day, a three-run shot to right.
Inside the Game
- Valpo starting pitcher Michael Mommersteeg (St. Thomas, Ont., Canada) yielded just one unearned run in four innings. He yielded five hits and walked a pair. Mommersteeg has worked 14 1/3 innings this season and has yet to permit an earned run.
- Since Mommersteeg didn’t go five innings, Alex Dirienzo (Somerset, Pa.) was awarded the victory in relief to up his record to 2-1. He issued one walk and did not allow a hit or a run over two innings. Montana Quigley (Lake Forest, Calif. / El Toro) walked two but did not allow a run or a hit, earning his first save by virtue of three quality innings of relief to close the game.
- Trower (0-1) took the defeat for the Cougars. He was charged with six runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks in five innings.
- Palace and Dawson remain tied for the team lead in multi-hit games with six apiece. Dawson, a sophomore, enjoyed a three-hit performances, becoming the fourth Crusader this season to do so. It was the fifth three-hit game of Dawson’s Valpo career.
- Palace delivered his first two-homer game since Feb. 28, 2016 at New Orleans. He also launched two home runs on March 7, 2015 at USC Upstate, making this his third career two-homer game. The five RBIs marked Palace’s highest total since driving in seven in that game on March 7, 2015 at USC Upstate.
- Palace was the first Crusader to have more than three RBIs in a game this season. Last year, a Valpo player had four or more runs driven in on nine occasions.
- The performance helped break Palace out of a slump as he held a .167 average during Valpo’s six-game losing streak after hitting .415 over the team’s first 11 games.
- Eggimann had his third multi-hit game of the season, while Hanson enjoyed his fourth and Kapers his second.
- This was Valpo’s 20th straight win in head-to-head meetings with Chicago State.
The Crusaders will return to Horizon League play for a three-game weekend series at UIC beginning on Friday at 4:05 p.m. CT. Links to live coverage will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Softball Falls In Extra Innings Tuesday
The Valparaiso University softball team faced extra innings for the first time this season in its final tune-up for Horizon League play, but were unable to come out victorious, falling 4-3 in Chicago to Loyola on Tuesday afternoon.
How It Happened
- Valpo opened the scoring on Tuesday in the top of the second inning. Junior Jenna Stauffenberg (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) reached to lead off when two Loyola fielders ran into each other, and moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore Jaymee Lawton (Goodyear, Ariz./Desert Edge [Utah Valley]) followed with a double to the fence in left-center, scoring Stauffenberg to make it 1-0 Valpo.
- Loyola responded immediately in its half of the second, as after the first two batters reached, Shannon McGee connected for a three-run homer. After a subsequent walk, freshman Emily Richardson (Oak Park, Ill./River Forest) entered out of the bullpen and retired the next three Loyola hitters in order to limit the damage.
- The Crusaders then tied the game in their next at-bat. Freshman Gabby Magnifico (Elmhurst, Ill./York) led off the inning with a hard-hit single and moved up to second on a sacrifice. Senior Jorgi Calombaris (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) recorded an infield single on a slow roller to the left side, a ball in play which turned into a run when the third baseman’s throw to first was wild, allowing Magnifico to score.
- Senior Sam Stewart (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) followed with a single the other way, and after a wild pitch, Stauffenberg dropped a run-scoring single into shallow left to tie the game at 3-3.
- The game would remain tied at 3-3 into extra innings, as neither squad would score for the remainder of regulation. Valpo threatened with a runner on second and one away in the fourth, and runners on second and third with two down in the fifth, but could not score either time.
- Meanwhile, the Crusaders’ defense behind Richardson, and later junior Kenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]), helped keep the Ramblers at three runs. Valpo turned a 6-4-3 double play – its 11th twin-killing of the season – in the fourth, and then freshman Morgan Matalin (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) laid out for a diving catch in the gap to end the fifth.
- After a leadoff walk in the sixth, Grossmann entered in the circle. A sacrifice and a single would make it runners on the corners with one away for Loyola before the junior hurler came up with a big strikeout. A grounder up the middle looked destined to get through and give the Ramblers the lead, but Lawton dove to her left to corral it and then flipped it with her glove to Carly Trepanier (Manteno, Ill./Manteno) covering second for the force to end the frame.
- Matalin singled with two outs in the eighth to give the Crusaders a runner on in extra innings, but was left stranded on first. Then, in the bottom of the inning, a double, hit by pitch and walk loaded the bases with one out, and Kristin Lea recorded the pinch-hit, walk-off single for the Ramblers.
Inside the Game
- The meeting was the first in spring play between the Crusaders and Ramblers since Loyola’s last season in the Horizon League in 2013.
- Tuesday’s loss was Valpo’s first of the year (10-1) when out-hitting its opponent – the Crusaders out-hit Loyola, 7-6.
- Matalin was the lone Crusader to pick up multiple hits on Tuesday, as she finished the day 2-for-4 – her second multi-hit game of the year. Magnifico also reached base twice with a hit and a walk.
- Stewart’s base hit extended her on-base streak to 19 consecutive games.
- Richardson enjoyed the best performance of her young career in the circle, throwing four shutout innings in relief while giving up just one hit.
- Grossmann took the loss, falling to 7-5 on the year as she surrendered the one run in 2.1 innings of work.
The Crusaders (12-7) open up Horizon League play this weekend on the road at Northern Kentucky, starting with a single game scheduled for Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. CT. Links for live coverage all weekend will be available via ValpoAthletics.com.