Blue Demons Clear Fence Three Times, Defeat UConn 8-0
Feb. 22, 2014
CLEARWATER, Fla. – After rain suspended play on Friday evening, DePaul softball finished off a dominant 8-0 win over Connecticut on Saturday morning at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.
The win was the fifth straight for DePaul (9-3), which used the longball to establish a large lead against its former BIG EAST Conference rival. Connecticut dropped to 0-2 on the season with the loss.
DePaul hit three home runs in the game and was paced offensively by junior Mary Connolly, who finished 2-for-3 with two homers and three RBI. Freshman Nicole Pihl continued to swing a hot bat as well, connecting for a three-run homer in her lone official at-bat and drawing two walks. Brittany Boesel added an RBI triple, while Rachel Entwistle clinched the run-rule win with an RBI groundout in the fifth.
Senior Kirsten Verdun made the start, firing a two-hitter during 4.2 innings of work and striking out seven to improve to 6-1 on the season. Classmate Hannah Penna finished off the game by recording the last out of the fifth.
DePaul wasted no time establishing a lead as Micah Fitzgerald reached via a walk in the first and was followed by Verdun, who singled to left field to put two on with just one out. That sequence brought up Pihl, who had brought around the go-ahead runs in DePaul’s early game against UMass with a sixth inning homer, and she connected again for a three-run slam to give the Blue Demons an early lead. Not to be outdone, junior Mary Connolly followed Pihl with a solo homer to make it 4-0.
In the third, Pihl started another rally with a leadoff walk before Gena Lenti was inserted to pinch run. Lenti then swiped second for her third steal of the season before Connolly brought her around with her second home run in as many at-bats.
DePaul returns to action immediately, beginning its originally scheduled double-header with an 11:00 a.m. CT matchup against Rutgers. The Blue Demons will cap the day with a 1:30 p.m. CT meeting against College of Charleston.
Notes: Pihl launched a home run for the second consecutive game and extended her hitting streak to five games… she has knocked in at least two runs in three of DePaul’s last four games and is seven for her last 10 (.700) at the plate… it was her third multi-RBI game of the season... Connolly cleared the fence twice for the second time in her career… her first two-homer game came last spring at Providence (March 24, 2013)… Connolly tied a season-high with three RBI… Verdun's win was the 78th of her career, moving her past Sarah Martz (2001-04, 77 wins) for fourth all-time in DePaul history... due to the rain delay, it was the first time in seven starts Verdun missed out on a complete game... Verdun has also reached base in nine straight games...