- May 14, 2012
- 12:47 pm
- Steve Christensen
Softball season ends in HL championship game
Angie Doerffler’s RBI double with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted host and top seed Valparaiso (42-17) to a 2-1 victory over No. 2 seed Loyola University Chicago (26-23) in the title game of the Horizon League Championship on Saturday at Valparaiso Softball Field.
The game was a pitcher’s duel with the teams combining for only two hits through the first innings until Valpo broke through against Loyola freshman Amanda Ciran in the bottom of the sixth.
Doerffler drew a leadoff walk and one out later, Brittany Duncan walked to give the Crusaders runners at first and second. Jordan Rutkowski followed with a double that hugged the left field line to score pinch runner Hayley Bridwell and give Valpo a 1-0 lead. However, Ciran was able to limit the damage, which proved to be critical, by getting Joylyn Ichiyama-Drewry to foul out and Kelsey Phalen to ground out to end the threat.
Loyola equaled its hit output through the first six innings by tallying a pair of huge hits in the top of the seventh. Lauren Arceneaux ripped a triple to right field and just beat the throw at third to give the Ramblers a runner in scoring position with one out. That set the stage for Lauren Zaworski, who stroked a clutch RBI single to right that brought home Arceneaux and tied the game at 1-1.
Valpo rallied in the bottom of the seventh however when Amanda Wisniewski coaxed a one-out walk from Ciran and after Sara Strickland fouled out, Doerffler stroked the game-winning hit to right center.
Ciran was impressive in defeat, allowing only three hits in 6.2 innings. Brooke Andresen, Olivia Bell, Brittany Gardner, and Zaworski were named to the All-Tournament Team, while Gardner collected Pitcher of the Tournament accolades.
Loyola, which was playing in the Horizon League Championship title game for the first time since 2004, finishes the season with a 26-23 record. The future is bright for the Ramblers as they lose only one starter, Arceneaux, from this year’s squad.