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Verdun Sparks DePaul in 8-1 BIG EAST Win Over St. John's
Kirsten Verdun had two hits, a walk and three RBIs in DePaul's 8-1 victory over St. John's.

Kirsten Verdun had two hits, a walk and three RBIs in DePaul's 8-1 victory over St. John's.

March 22, 2014

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CHICAGO - The Blue Demons could hardly wait to play their home opener Saturday at Cacciatore Stadium.

After 22 consecutive games away from Lincoln Park, DePaul (17-6, 1-0) commenced the BIG EAST Conference season with an 8-1 victory over St. John's in the opener of a doubleheader.

Despite the breezy, 38-degree weather, the Blue Demons broke it open in the fourth inning on a two-run Kirsten Verdun single and an Allie Braden double for a 5-1 lead.

Kali Gardner led off the fifth inning with a solo shot over the center-field fence. Verdun collected her third RBI with a single that scored Ali Lenti.

In the sixth inning, Gardner's groundout brought home Maxine Rodriguez who had singled as a pinch-hitter and advanced to third on Dylan Christensen's team-leading seventh double.

DePaul came into the game leading the BIG EAST in 10 offensive categories including batting average, double, triples, home runs, RBIs and runs scored. In the circle, DePaul led the league in wins, saves and was third in earned-run average.

St. John's (13-14, 0-1) had two runners on with two out in the first inning when DePaul ace struck out Mo Landini.

The Red Storm opened the scoring with an RBI single by Ellen Czuba in the top of the second. The Blue Demons tied it in their half of the inning on a Morgan Maize walk, Nicole Pihl's single to right that send Maize to third and a daring double steal.

DePaul took the lead in the third on a Megan Coronado single, stolen base and a St. John's throwing error.

NOTES: This was DePaul's third win in a row and sixth consecutive win over the Red Storm... Gardner had her second career home run... winning pitcher Verdun improved to 11-3 on the season after scattering four hits with eight strikeouts and one walk... Verdun had two hits, a walk and three RBIs... Gardner added a single to the homer and had a pair of RBIs... Coronado came away with two hits... St. John's had one hit and two base runners over the last four innings.