Softball Falls to Valpo in Regular Season Finale, 7-3
By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Valparaiso avoided a weekend sweep at the hands of the Green Bay softball team as it outslugged the Phoenix, 14-5, en route to a 7-3 win on Sunday afternoon.
Green Bay saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end as it finished its regular-season slate of competition at 24-12 overall and 11-5 in the conference. Valparaiso improved to 21-32 overall and 11-8 in the League.
In the win, the Crusaders outhit the Phoenix, 14-5, and also left ten stranded, while the Phoenix left just four runners on the basepath in the losing effort.
Valpo took its first lead of the series after bringing in a run in the top of the first, but Green Bay responded to tie the game in the home half of the second inning. With two outs on the scoreboard, freshman Katelyn Huemmer (Sun Prairie, Wis.) battled a full count to earn a walk before junior Miranda Spangberg (Wausau, Wis.) delivered a ball deep to left field that allowed Huemmer to score all the way from first and knot the score at 1-1.
The Crusaders took the lead back, 3-1, with two runs in the top of the third, but Green Bay got one of those runs back in the home half. With one out, junior Hailey Mohrfeld (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) hit a sharp double down the left field line, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single through a gap on the left side of the infield by senior Miranda Reinke (Milwaukee, Wis.) to cut into the Valpo advantage, 3-2.
Valpo added to its lead in the top of the sixth, bringing in a lone run on four hits to go ahead, 4-2. However, the Phoenix again responded to get one of those runs back in the home half of the inning. Sophomore Marissa Michalkiewicz (Appleton, Wis.) led off with a triple to right and scored as Shannon Butts (Greenfield, Wis.) doubled to left to again get the Phoenix to within a run, 4-3.
But Valpo put the game away in the top of the seventh, adding three more runs for the final 7-3 margin.
Sophomore Briana Cavin (Elk Grove Village, Ill.) took the loss, throwing the first three innings while allowing three runs on five hits with four strikeouts and four walks. Senior Ashley Nannemann (Burlington, Wis.) also saw 3.1 innings of work, giving up three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts, and junior Lauren Danner (Kaukauna, Wis.) threw the final 0.2, giving up a run on two hits.
No Phoenix player recorded a multi-hit performance in the game, with Reinke,and Spangberg all finishing 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Valpo’s Taylor Weissenhoffer earned the win in relief, throwing 2.2 innings and allowing one run on two hits, while Sierra Pico picked up the save after two scoreless innings of work. Starter Mollie Lindeman exited the game after 2.1 innings and giving up two runs on three hits with a walk.
The Phoenix will now look forward to being the top seed in the upcoming Horizon League Tournament, starting on Wednesday.
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