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Braden Brings Blue Demons Big Comeback Win
Allie Braden brought home the winning runs in DePaul's 5-3, comeback win over UCF on Saturday.

Allie Braden brought home the winning runs in DePaul's 5-3, comeback win over UCF on Saturday.

Feb. 23, 2013

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CLEARWATER, Fla. - Allie Braden knew exactly what DePaul needed on Saturday.

Her clutch bases-loaded, two-run single in the top of the seventh inning lifted the Blue Demons to a 5-3 comeback victory over UCF at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.

Central Florida had just taken the lead in the bottom of the sixth on Jasmine Acevedo's two-out RBI single.

The Blue Demon response began with Kali Gardner's one-out single followed by pinch-hitter Ali Warren's base hit. After Samantha Dodd was it by a pitch, Braden stepped into the batter's box.

"Someone needed to spark the team in that situation," Braden said. "I focused on hitting the ball down and following through with my back hand.

"It was actually the greatest feeling ever coming back to win after being down a run. I knew the team needed me to make a difference. After that hit, everyone got real loud and started cheering even more."

Starting pitcher Kirsten Verdun was intentionally walked to reload the bases and Megan Coronado came through with an RBI sacrifice fly.

"That was a nice comeback win and something we haven't been able to do lately," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti. "Allie Braden had a great hit. She shortened her swing and extended it up the middle. It was a great at-bat for her.

"We put all phases of the game together in this one. Verdun was effective enough in the circle, the defense was solid and the hitting was timely."

Dodd literally got the Blue Demons off to a fast start when the senior outfielder stole home in the first inning. Paige Peterson's double put runners on second and third, but Mary Connolly grounded out.

DePaul (6-7) moved ahead 2-0 in the top of the third as Dodd reached on a bunt single, advanced to second on an illegal pitch and crossed home plate after Verdun's one-out, RBI single.

UCF (7-7) tied the game in the bottom of the inning with Farrah Sullivan's two-run single.

DePaul will face Pacific at 5 p.m. Saturday in its fourth game at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.

NOTES: DePaul's seven hits were spread throughout the lineup as no one had more than one hit... Dodd had one hit, a stolen base and scored three times... Braden had one hit and two RBIs... Verdun had one hit and one RBI... Coronado had one hit and one RBI... Peterson, Gardner and Warren each had one hit... Cherelle Chambers and Staci Bonezek each scored a run... Verdun went the distance holding UCF to three runs on five hits while striking out eight and walking four... so far, the Blue Demons are 2-1 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.