April 6, 2013
CHICAGO - Lauren Zaworski went 3-for-3, including her first home run of the season, and Loyola hit four long balls in a 7-0 win over Valparaiso in the series opener this afternoon at Loyola Softball Park. Loyola moves to 14-12 with the win while Valpo slumps to 20-13 with the loss.
With the wind blowing straight out, the pitchers faced a tough task to keep the ball in the park. Brittany Gardner started out strong, fanning three in the first two innings, and it was in the bottom of the second when Loyola drew first blood. Zaworski opened the inning with a base hit and, after a sacrifice bunt, Tarran Shaffer belted a two-run homer over the left-centerfield fence to give LU a 2-0 lead.
The Ramblers doubled their lead in the bottom of the fourth, as Zaworski and Brie Pasquale homered on consecutive pitches to make it 4-0.
Gardner was cruising along in the circle and, although Janelle Bouchard broke up her no-hitter with a lead-off single in the fifth, she responded by striking out the next three hitters to get the Rambler bats back to the plate.
Annie Korth was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the fifth before Brooke Andresen laced a line-drive home run to right-center to make it 6-0. After a pitching change and a strikeout, Lauren Moore and Zaworski singled and Pasquale roped a ground-rule double to left to make it a 7-0 game. A walk to Shaffer loaded the bases, as Loyola needed one more run to end the game, but Valpo was able to get out of the inning and Gardner was able to close it out, getting Angie Doerffler to fly out to right with two runners on to preserve the shutout.
In addition to Zaworski's performance, Pasquale finished a perfect 2-for-2 with a double, home run and two RBIs.
Gardner was solid in the circle, improving to 7-5 on the season by allowing just two hits while fanning nine en route to her fourth shutout.