DePaul Holds On for a 4-3 Victory Over No. 15/15 Michigan
Feb. 24, 2013
CLEARWATER, Fla. - For the third game in a row, it all came down to the seventh inning.
This time, DePaul held on for a 4-3 victory over No. 15/15 Michigan Sunday at the NFCA Leadoff Classic.
After beating UCF and Pacific in the last inning on Saturday, the Blue Demons jumped out to a 4-0 lead on Sunday and withstood the Wolverines' comeback attempt.
In the bottom of the seventh, winning pitcher Kirsten Verdun (5-4) gave up a two-out single before nailing down the Blue Demons' third win in a row.
"We have finished strong the last three games," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti. "We had two come-from-behind wins and held off nationally ranked Michigan at the end. Knowing that we can win games in the seventh inning is really important.
"We jumped out to a 4-0 lead. People always ask why I like to bat first. It gives you a chance to score right away, and that gets in your opponents' heads. They have to play catch-up from the start. Plus, it's the only way you can guarantee you'll get 21 at-bats, and our players love to bat."
DePaul (8-7) scored those four runs in the top of the second inning on a walk, three hits and three errors. Hannah Penna, Verdun and Megan Coronado came through with the base hits and Morgan Maize had the base on balls.
"We had some quality at-bats in that inning," Lenti said. "Hannah, Kirsten and Megan squared up the ball and several others hit line drives. We took advantage when they made mistakes.
"There were plenty of opportunities to score more runs throughout the game as Michigan committed five errors. But we ended up leaving 12 runners on base."
Michigan (10-3) got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third with Sara Driesenga's bases-loaded walk. On the next play, Mary Connolly threw out Nicole Sappingfield at home.
The Wolverines added a pair in the fifth on a Blue Demon error and Sierra Lawrence's RBI single.
After a bit of a shaky start on Friday, DePaul finished strong with a 4-1 record at the NFCA Classic.
"I like the way we played in these last three games," Lenti said. "If you had told me before we left for Florida that we'd be 4-1 with a win over Michigan, I would've definitely taken it."
DePaul will look to extend the winning streak beginning Friday at the Eller Media Stadium Classic in Las Vegas.
NOTES: Verdun had two hits, two RBIs and a run against Michigan while Coronado was 2-for-3... Allie Braden had one hit and one RBI... Mary Connolly, Staci Bonezek, Penna and Maize each had one hit... Samantha Dodd, Brittany Boesel and Bonezek each scored a run... Verdun went the distance giving up two earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts and four walks... Coronado wound up batting .429 at the Leadoff Classic with two RBIs... Braden hit .400 with three RBIs and three runs... Paige Peterson hit .389 with four RBIs and two runs... Dodd hit .294 and scored eight runs while Verdun hit .278 with four RBIs and two runs and went 2-1 in the pitching circle... Braden and Verdun were chosen for the all-tournament team... Maize batted .273 with three RBIs... on the season, Coronado leads the team with a .405 batting average and is followed by Dodd (.295, 12 runs), Verdun (.283, 10 RBIs) and Braden (.268, 10 runs).