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Seven in a Row for No. 25 DePaul
Miami native Hannah Penna improved to 3-1 on the season with a 5-1 win over Delaware in front of family and friends.

Miami native Hannah Penna improved to 3-1 on the season with a 5-1 win over Delaware in front of family and friends.

March 9, 2012

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MIAMI - No. 25 DePaul won its seventh game in a row on Friday, but Blue Demons coach Eugene Lenti wasn't entirely pleased with the proceedings.

A 5-1 victory over Delaware that followed up an earlier 7-3 win over Florida International at the FIU Invitational had Lenti comparing his team to the 1983 White Sox.

"It was winning ugly today," Lenti said. "Our pitching wasn't sharp, our defense wasn't sharp and we didn't put teams away.

"In the first game, we had a 7-0 lead and let FIU get back into it. In the second game, we had the 5-1 lead when Mary Connolly gave up two walks in the seventh inning with nobody out.

"Our starting pitcher against Delaware (3-14), Hannah Penna, wasn't always sharp. And just like Kirsten Verdun in the first game, all three of our pitchers were behind in the count."

Verdun and Connolly combined to give up six walks in their nine innings of work. Penna (3-1) went five innings giving up one run on three hits with two strikeouts and one walk.

DePaul (13-4) jumped ahead of Delaware 3-0 in the top of the first inning on Katelyn Braget's RBI single and RBI bases-loaded walks from Ali Warren and Bree Brown.

That was Braget's fourth hit of the day and fifth RBI as she went 3-for-3 with a two-run home run and four RBIs in the 7-3 victory over FIU.

"We did hit the ball well, especially Katelyn who had four hits and a walk in her first five at-bats today," Lenti said. "And we hit two home runs while not giving up any, so that's a positive."

Verdun's solo home run leading off the seventh provided an extra insurance run.

Connolly singled in the fifth inning and was replaced by pinch-runner Ali Lenti. Ali Warren drove a single to right, and with the help of a Delaware error, Lenti came around to score.

Coach Lenti discounted the week-long layoff as a contributing factor for what he described as a subpar performance on Friday.

"That should have refreshed us," Lenti said. "It gave our pitchers opportunities to sharpen their game and work on the strike zone. What I saw from our pitchers today was disappointing to me.

"We did enough good things to beat FIU and Delaware, but like I told the players---it's not just about winning. What also matters is how well you play the game.

"We'll take our two wins and try to be better tomorrow."

The Blue Demons, who have won 10 of their last 11 games, have a rematch against FIU at 11 p.m. on Saturday.

NOTES: Braget has played seven games in Florida this season, including five at the NFCA Leadoff Classic two weeks ago... in those seven games, the DePaul senior has 10 hits in 22 at-bats for a .455 batting average with one home run, nine RBIs and three runs scored... Braget was 4-for-7 on Friday with the home run and five RBIs... against Delaware, Warren, Bree Brown, Verdun and Braget each had one hit and one RBI... Connolly, Paige Peterson, Lynsey Ciezki and Samantha Dodd had one hit apiece... Verdun, Connolly, Ciezki, Dodd and Ali Lenti each scored a run... Ciezki extended her hitting streak to eight games and has reached base 11 games in a row... Dodd has a seven-game hitting streak and Connolly has hit safely in her last six games... winning pitcher and Miami native Penna pitched in front of family and friends... Connolly picked up the first save of her collegiate career with two innings of relief, holding Delaware to no runs on one hit.