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DePaul Squanders Early Lead in Loss to James Madison
Paige Peterson was 3-for-3 with two RBIs in Friday's 7-5 loss to James Madison.

Paige Peterson was 3-for-3 with two RBIs in Friday's 7-5 loss to James Madison.

Feb. 22, 2013

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CLEARWATER, Fla. - Right from the first pitch, this one was hard to figure.

Despite scoring four runs in the top of the first inning, DePaul came up short in a 7-5 loss to James Madison Friday at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.

It was a wild beginning with the Blue Demons and the Dukes combining to score 10 runs in the first inning.

DePaul (5-7) opened the game with four runs behind an Allie Braden double, Paige Peterson's RBI single, and single runs scoring on a passed ball, wild pitch and an error. DePaul scored those four runs on two hits and two errors.

James Madison (5-1) parlayed two DePaul errors, two hit-batsmen and three hits into a six-run inning against starting pitcher Kirsten Verdun.

"After we played well in our first game (4-2 win over Fordham), we reverted back to last weekend in the second game," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti in referring to his team's 0-5 performance at the Hilton Houston Plaza Invite.

"Verdun is really struggling to execute the pitches we're calling, but this wasn't all her fault. Our defense (three errors) was atrocious. We were going the wrong way on ground balls and misplaying pop-ups.

"The difference between the two games was pitching. Hannah Penna pitched great the first six innings against Fordham but tired in the seventh. Verdun came in and closed it down or the save. I told her that's how she needed to pitch against James Madison."

The Blue Demons narrowed the gap to 6-5 in the top of the third after a Verdun double, Megan Coronado single and Peterson's second RBI single of the game.

The Dukes extended their lead to 7-5 in the bottom of the fourth with two singles, two stolen bases and Erica Field's RBI sacrifice fly.

DePaul will look to get back on the winning track with a noon game Saturday against UCF.

NOTES: Peterson had her best game of the season going 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs... Coronado was 2-for-2 with a run scored... Braden and Verdun each went 1-for-4 with a run scored... Samantha Dodd and Mary Connolly each scored a run apiece... Verdun pitched six innings and gave up two earned runs, seven runs overall with seven hits, three strikeouts and one walk... the Blue Demons committed three errors and James Madison two... Coronado leads the team in hitting with a .393 batting average... next among the regulars is Verdun at .278 and Dodd at .265.