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Connolly's Two Home Runs Power DePaul Past Providence
Mary Connolly blasted a pair of home runs and had four RBIs in DePaul's 13-8 BIG EAST victory over Providence.

Mary Connolly blasted a pair of home runs and had four RBIs in DePaul's 13-8 BIG EAST victory over Providence.

March 24, 2013

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. - You know how difficult it is to score 13 runs in one game?

DePaul did it twice in a row.

In a wild BIG EAST Conference Sunday slugfest, Mary Connolly's three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning led the Blue Demons to a 13-8 victory over Providence. It followed up Saturday's 13-6 win over the Friars.

Let's set the stage for Connolly's decisive blast---her second homer of the game.

DePaul (16-12, 3-0 in the BIG EAST) had taken a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning on Megan Coronado's two-run single and RBI singles by Staci Bonezek and Morgan Maize.

But Providence's Friars (9-16, 0-3) came right back with four of their own aided by a pair of Blue Demon errors.

Not to worry---DePaul responded with back-to-back home runs from Connolly and Kirsten Verdun in the fifth inning and Samantha Dodd's RBI single after an Allie Braden triple in the sixth.

The Blue Demons led 7-4 and needed three outs in the bottom of the seventh. Instead, Megan Rollings hits a two-run homer, and with two out, Shanelle Harrell goes deep to tie it up.

DePaul was anything but deflated. A Bree Brown single, Braden double and Dodd's RBI single makes it 8-7 and brings Connolly to the plate.

DePaul coach Eugene Lenti flashed the squeeze-bunt sign with the speedy Braden on third base.

"I just missed it," Connolly said. "I know Eug (Lenti) was pretty mad at me. Good thing Allie didn't get caught off third or I would've gotten yelled at for that, too."

Connolly hit the next pitch out of the park.

"I was glad to be able to pick up the slack for my mistake," Connolly said. "Missing that bunt could have cost us another run.

"After they tied it in the seventh, I had confidence we would come back as a team. In the past when we'd give up a big lead, everyone would be let down. But, we came back yesterday, and I knew we'd do it again."

Just to be sure, Verdun singled after Connolly's shot, Paige Peterson doubled and Staci Bonezek culminated a spectacular offensive weekend with a two-run double. In the three games at Providence, Bonezek was 7-for-12 (.583) with two home runs, three doubles and nine RBIs.

"Give Providence credit because they never gave up," Lenti said as the Friars scored once in the eighth. "No matter what, they kept making things happen. But we were able to answer back every time.

"We could have gotten down on ourselves after blowing the three-run lead in the bottom of the seventh. Instead, we battled right back and scored six runs in the eighth.

"The offense carried the day. Everybody in the starting lineup drove in a run or was responsible for scoring a run."

And what about Connolly's second home run of the game?

"It's like in basketball when your player takes a crazy shot and you're screaming no, no, no!" Lenti said. "Then it goes in to win the game and you say: "Great shot."

The Blue Demons return to action on Friday for a 1 p.m. home season opener against BIG EAST opponent Pittsburgh.

NOTES: In the last two games, DePaul has scored 26 runs on 34 hits... Braden had a triple, two doubles and scored twice on Sunday while Dodd was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs... Connolly had two home runs and four RBIs and Verdun was 2-for-3 with a home run, RBI and two runs... Megan Coronado had one hit and two RBIs while also scoring a run... Bonezek was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and Paige Peterson had a double and scored twice... for the three-game series, Connolly hit .571 with two homers, four RBIs and three runs... Verdun batted .556 with two home runs, four RBIs and four runs... Braden hit .538 with a home run, triple, three doubles, four runs and an RBI... Dodd batted .385 with three RBIs and three runs while Coronado had four RBIs and three runs... Peterson had a home run, three RBIs and four runs.