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Taylor Weissenhofer comes up big for VU in softball sweep

Freshman pitcher Taylor Weissenhofer winds up during third inning Valparaiso's game against Wright State University VU Tuesday April 2 2013.

Freshman pitcher Taylor Weissenhofer winds up during the third inning of Valparaiso's game against Wright State University at VU Tuesday April 2, 2013. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: May 4, 2013 6:45AM



VALPARAISO — Is Valparaiso University’s Taylor Weissenhofer a closer or a starter?

Either way, she dominated Wright State in a three-game sweep.

In Tuesday’s doubleheader, she struck out two to button up her fourth save in an 8-5 victory, then blitzed the Raiders with seven strikeouts in 41/3 innings of a 6-2 nightcap win.

Her heroics followed a 12-strikeout performance in a three-hitter Monday, giving the freshman lefty 21 in 12 innings.

Needless to say Valparaiso coach Jordan Stevens was impressed, especially with the masterful way she polished off Wright State in Game 1. Weissenhofer was summoned with one run in and two runners on base with one out, but needed only 11 pitches to preserve the victory for Sierra Pico (7-4).

“Taylor got thrown into a real tough situation and got out of it,” he said.

In Game 2, Wright State knocked out Amanda Bolton in the third inning, but Weissenhofer retired Taylor Knore on a foul pop to first baseman Brittany Duncan, then struck out the side in the fourth and allowed just two hits to improve to 9-6.

“She had great command and got into a real good rhythm,” said Stevens.

Valparaiso (18-12, 5-1 Horizon League) snapped a 2-2 tie with three runs in the fifth inning, freshman Janelle Bouchard’s two-run double doing most of the damage.

Jessie Marinec led an 11-hit assault in Game 1 with four hits, then drove in VU’s first run of the nightcap by hooking a triple into the right field corner in the second inning. For the day she went 6-for-7, scored four runs and knocked in three.

“That’s really important for us, especially where she’s at in the lineup (fifth), being able to protect Brittany (Duncan) a little bit,” Stevens said. .

Valparaiso tightened its grip on first place with a series coming Saturday at Loyola, which looms as the defending champion’s most dangerous challenger.

Stevens considers such talk as premature.

“First things first,” he said. “We’ve only played two series (in the Horizon) and we’ve got a trip to Eastern Michigan (today).”



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