WMU Falls to Valpo in Road Twinbill
VALPARAISO, Ind. - WMU Softball went on the road to face the best team in the Horizon League and had its chances for a sweep but came away empty, falling 2-0 and 3-2.
In the opener the Broncos put the pressure on the Crusaders, loading the bases in the top of the sixth after both offenses were stagnant over the first five frames.
After Diana Patterson struck out swinging on a 2-2 offering, Gracie Barstad was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Bri Russell hit a ball to the shortstop who threw Rousseau out at home and the threat ended when Myranda McDonald grounded out to the shortstop.
WMU out hit Valpo, 7-4, in the first game, as Christina Pigozzi continued her hot hitting from this past weekend, going 2-for-4 in the loss. Patterson, Russell and Allie Carlson all collected hits as well. For Russell, it was her first career hit.
Meredith Whitney threw 97 pitches and gave up only four hits but it was her 82nd pitch, the seventh of the sixth inning that the Crusaders' Brittany Duncan took advantage of, sending it over the center field wall on the first pitch of the at bat, scoring two after Jessie Marinec led off the inning with a single up the middle.
In game two there was a run scored in every inning except the first and the last as Valpo scored on a double in the second then WMU put a run on the board in its half of the third and fourth innings.
Jennifer Tschetter, who was 2-for-3 in the night cap, belted a double left field to score Shepeck in the third and Rousseau registered a sac fly in the fourth to bring home Jenny Rohn pinch running for Patterson after she doubled to center field with one out.
Western Michigan clung to that 2-1 lead until the bottom of the fifth when a bases loaded walk tied the game. Becca Shemberger faced three batters with the bases loaded and no outs, fanning the first two before providing a free pass to Angie Doerffler.
The Crusaders tacked on the go-ahead run in the sixth on Kelsey Phalen's one-out base hit to right center field. WMU was not done though as the Broncos as Barstad singled to right center and pinch hitter Elisha Handshoe collected an infield single to put runners on the corners with two outs. Tschetter ripped a line drive to second base to end the inning and the game.
Western Michigan will play its final non-conference game of the season when the Broncos travel to East Lansing, Mich. to take on Michigan State at 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon.