VALPARAISO | Siena Gyure told her Crown Point teammates she didn't think anyone was going to hit a home run Thursday afternoon because of the weather conditions.
She proved her teammates wrong, belting a solo shot in the fifth inning as the Times No. 6 Bulldogs defeated Valparaiso 8-0 in a Duneland Athletic Conference softball game.
"I was like, '... The wind's blowing ... and it's going to be impossible to hit a home run out here today,' and then I did it, so it was kind of ironic," Gyure said. "I struck out once, so I had to make an adjustment. I was just feeling it and wanted to help my team out."
Gyure's first home run of the season put Crown Point (4-0) up 2-0 in the fifth inning. She went 3-of-4, drove in three runs and pitched all seven innings. Gyure (3-0) gave up five hits and struck out five Vikings.
"She had the whole package today," Crown Point coach Brett Crutchfield said. "She pitched a really good game, hit a lot of good spots for us and was mixing up the pitch a lot. Defense played well behind her, and then she hit the bomb. It's pretty tough to get a ball out of here with the wind, and she hit it into the teeth of the wind and did pretty well."
The Bulldogs had a 3-0 lead going into the seventh inning. They rattled off three consecutive hits, including Gyure's double that drove in two runs to put Crown Point up 5-0.
"It took us awhile to time their pitcher (Megan Krantz)," Crutchfield said. "Their pitcher did a good job at keeping us off balance and jamming us inside. Until we made the adjustment, we weren't doing much against her."
A sacrifice fly by Matyson Coppess allowed Gyure to score and make it 7-0 with no outs. The Vikings then pulled Krantz and put in Evann Grabow to finish the game. A wild pitch by Grabow brought in another run, and then Courtney Holm doubled in Mandey Shrader, making it 8-0. The Bulldogs scored five runs on five hits in the seventh inning.
"For six innings we were in it and very much a part of the game, but then their bats exploded," Valparaiso coach Tracy Corneil said. "That really was the difference."
The Vikings (2-4) were unable to get a runner past second base for the second consecutive game. Their best scoring opportunity came in the fifth inning with runners on first and second base, but Kathy Minko lined out to center field ending the inning. Krantz gave up 11 hits, one walk and struck out three through six-plus innings, giving up six runs.
"Some of it was timely hitting and base running, but we had some opportunities today where we could have cashed in, and we didn't do that. We have to learn how to finish and take care of business," Corneil said.