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Furious Finish Falls Short in Loss to No. 18/16 Washington
Paige Peterson had two hits and helped ignite a late rally in Thursday's 6-4 loss to No. 18/16 Washington.

Paige Peterson had two hits and helped ignite a late rally in Thursday's 6-4 loss to No. 18/16 Washington.

March 14, 2013

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FULLERTON, Calif. - The Blue Demons were just one big hit away from a storybook finish on Thursday.

After spotting No. 18/16 Washington a five-run lead, DePaul battled back and had the bases loaded in the last inning of a 6-4 loss at the prestigious Judi Garman Classic.

The scintillating seventh began with Ali Warren's pinch-hit single to left field. Marsha' Pendilton went in as a pinch-runner.

Paige Peterson followed with another single to left. Morgan Maize coaxed a one-out walk to load the bases. Staci Bonezek's RBI walk scored Pendilton.

Leadoff batter Allie Braden came through with an RBI single to center that brought Peterson home. An error allowed pinch-runner Amanda Mener to score.

With the bases still loaded, the Blue Demons' most dangerous hitter Kirsten Verdun stepped into the batter's box.

"You can't ask for much more," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti. "We're down two, but bases are loaded and we have our No. 3 and No. 4 (Megan Coronado) hitters coming up."

Unfortunately, Verdun took a called third strike and Coronado battled before going down swinging.

"It was a real sloppy game and we defended poorly," said Lenti as DePaul committed three errors and Washington two. "They were routine plays, and that's why they're called errors.

"Hannah Penna pitched well enough to have a better result. But she did leave too many pitches over the middle of the plate and gave up a home run on an 0-2 pitch. That's the kind of stuff that hurt us."

Washington (20-6) received an RBI double from Kaitlin Inglesby in the bottom of the first and scored twice in the second on two hits, an error, an illegal pitch and a fielder's choice.

Another illegal pitch in the third inning sent Dani Braun to third base where she scored on Kylee Lahners' sacrifice fly. Braun hit a solo home run in the fifth.

Trailing 5-0, DePaul (12-9) got one back in the sixth when Braden walked, advanced to second on Samantha Dodd's base hit and to third on Verdun's fielder's choice. She scored on Coronado's sacrifice fly.

"Give our kids credit," Lenti said. "Down 6-1, they got the offense going and started banging out hits in the last inning."

The Blue Demons will take on North Carolina State (11-8-1) at 8:30 p.m. Thursday in their second game of the Judi Garman Classic.

NOTES: This was DePaul's first game in 11 days... the Blue Demons came into the Judi Garman Classic having won seven of their last eight games... Peterson sparked the offense with two hits and a run scored... Braden (RBI, run), Dodd, Verdun, Warren and Bonezek (RBI) each had one hit... pinch-runners Pendilton and Mener each scored a run... Coronado went hitless but had an RBI... Penna dropped to 4-4 on the season... the junior right-hander went six innings and gave up five earned runs and 10 hits with one strikeout and one walk.