DAYTON, Ohio—In the first day of the Horizon League Softball Championship, No. 1 Green Bay and No. 3 Valparaiso earn spots in the semifinals Friday, May 9 while No. 6 UIC, No. 5 Cleveland State, No. 4 Youngstown State and No. 2 Wright State battle it out in the loser’s bracket tomorrow in games beginning at 11:00 a.m.
Day 1 Results:
Game 1—No. 3 Valparaiso 4, No. 6 UIC 3
Game 2 – No. 4 Youngstown State 3, No. 5 Cleveland State 2
Game 3 – No. 3 Valparaiso 4, No. 2 Wright State 0
Game 4 – No. 1 Green Bay 5, No. 4 Youngstown State 2
Day 2 Schedule:
Game 5 – 11:00 a.m. – No. 5 Cleveland State vs. No. 2 Wright State
Game 6 – 1:30 p.m. – No. 6 UIC vs. No. 4 Youngstown State
Game 7 – 4:00 p.m. – Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6
No. 3 Valparaiso 4, No. 6 UIC 3
A walk-off two RBI double in the bottom of the seventh by Angie Doerffler sealed the win for the Valparaiso softball team in a 4-3 ballgame over UIC. Doerffler’s shot to left center propelled the No. 3 seed Crusaders into next round of the winner’s bracket to face No. 2 seed Wright State.
UIC grabbed a lead early in the third inning with a RBI single to center field by Paige Peterson to score pinch-runner Savannah Soppet from second base. Valparaiso bounced back quickly as Amanda Wisniewski hit a 2-run shot over the left field fence to put the Crusaders up 2-1.
Scoring slowed down until the top of the sixth inning when UIC’s Laura Swan and Jenna Marsalli hit back-to-back home runs to put the Flames up a run.
After scoreless bottom of the sixth and top of seventh innings by both squads the Flames brought the game down to two outs with two Crusader runners on the base path. Doerffler went down in the count 0-1 before finding the gap in left center to bring home the tying and eventual winning run for Valparaiso.
UIC’s Marsalli led all Flames’ hitters going 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and home run while Valparaiso’s Tarah McShane went 3-for-4 to lead the Crusaders. Kaitlyn Ranieri added two hits and a walk for Valparaiso.
Mollie Lindeman picked up the win pitching 2.0 innings for the Crusaders relieving Taylor Weissenhofer who fanned three batters while only walking one. Alice Fitzpatrick was the losing pitcher for UIC after facing 35 batters and collecting five strikeouts.
No. 4 Youngstown State 3, No. 5 Cleveland State 2
Horizon League Freshman of the Year Sarah Dowd clinched the 3-2 victory for Youngstown State in its first round matchup against Cleveland State with a two RBI walk-off single up the middle. The Penguins advance to face the top-seeded Green Bay Phoenix in the nightcap.
Cleveland State started off strong with a RBI double in the top of the first inning by Erica McNew that scored Nena Doran from second base. The 1-0 lead, however, didn’t last long as the Penguins manufactured a run of their own as Katie Smallcomb made her way around the base path to score for the Vikings after a lead-off walk in the bottom of the second.
The teams exchanged a scoreless third inning before Cleveland State took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth off of a lead-off walk from McNew who eventually scored on a double to left field by Katelind Phillips.
Pitchers Casey Crozier of Youngstown State and Susan Knight of Cleveland State then got into rhythms to make quick innings out of the fifth and sixth.
In the bottom of the seventh, Snodgrass singled to left field followed by a single to left center from Darcella Blakey to give the Penguins runners on the base path. Knight returned with a full-count walk to pinch-hitter Kayla Haslett to load the bases for Youngstown State with no outs. With all bases occupied, Dowd got behind in the count 1-2 against Knight before knocking a hard single up the middle to bring two Penguins across the plate to take the victory.
Snodgrass and Blakey led all hitters for Youngstown State going 2-for-3, respectively. McNew topped the Viking squad with a 1-for-2, one walk, one RBI and one run scored performance.
Horizon League Pitcher of the Year Crozier was solid on the mound for the Penguins pitching a complete-game, allowing only four hits, one walk and striking out seven. Knight fanned three batters for Cleveland State while only giving up six hits.
No. 3 Valparaiso 4, No. 2 Wright State 0
Jessie Marinec led Valparaiso at the plate going 2-for-2 with a walk, run scored and RBI to propel the Crusaders to a 4-0 victory over Wright State Wednesday afternoon. The Raiders face Cleveland State tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. for an elimination game while Valparaiso continues play Friday morning in game one of the semifinals.
Wright State pitcher Krystian DeWitt and Valparaiso’s Taylor Weissenhofer both settled in early on the mound and dominated hitters throughout the first three innings. After both teams left on base a combined three runners going into the fourth inning, the Crusaders broke the game open off of a double by Janelle Bouchard that brought Amanda Wisniewski across the plate.
Weissenhofer continued to overpower the Wright State batters through the fourth and fifth innings to continue her shutout performance. Only five of the 21 outs for the Crusaders went assisted as Raider hitters continually hit pop-ups that were caught for outs in the field of play.
At the top of the sixth inning, Valparaiso put three more runs across the plate off of two hits and taking advantage of a Wright State throwing error. The Crusader’s 4-0 lead proved to be enough as they held off the Raiders the next two innings to capture the victory.
DeWitt finished with a complete game giving up seven hits and striking out five Crusaders while Weissenhofer earned the win fanning four while only giving up three hits in seven innings of work.
Kacie Rapshus went 1-for-2 at the plate to lead Wright State while teammates Jess Gorman and Taylor Knore picked up one hit each.
Bouchard went 2-for-3 for the Crusaders with a run scored and RBI as Kaitlyn Ranieri and Jorgi Calombaris tallied one hit apiece.
No. 1 Green Bay 5, No. 4 Youngstown State 2
It wasn’t until the bottom of the fourth inning where Green Bay broke out the bats to put four across the plate to take a 4-0 lead on Youngstown State. The lead would be enough earn a 5-2 win and a spot in the semifinals Friday for the Phoenix. The Penguins managed to produce runs in the fifth and sixth innings but could not catch up to Green Bay’s early scoring round.
Green Bay’s Ashley Nannemann pitched a complete-game shutout only allowing two hits and striking out two batters. Youngstown State sent a trio of pitchers to the mound led by Casey Crozier’s 3.1 innings pitched permitting seven hits and fanning one batter.
The Phoenix had solid performances at the plate by Shannan Butts, Haley Morhfeld and Kelli Hutchinson each collecting multiple hits. Hutchinson went 2-for-2 with a double while Butts went 3-for-4 and Morhfeld had one run scored and a double going 2-for-4. However, it was Abby Brinkmeier’s three RBI double that was the ultimate catalyst for the offense.
Youngstown State struggled at the plate but managed to push two runs across on just two hits and capitalizing on four Green Bay errors. Samantha Snodgrass led the way going 1-for-3 with a solo home run to center field for her third of the year. Katie Smallcomb garnered the other Penguins’ hit with a single to left field and also picked up a RBI in the sixth inning to bring the game within two runs.