Blue Demons Give One Away to Louisville
March 30, 2011
CHICAGO - This was anything but DePaul softball.
The Blue Demons had more errors (five) than hits (four) in a 13-2, five-inning loss to Louisville Wednesday in the second game of a nonconference double-header at Cacciatore Stadium.
In the opener, DePaul (17-10) had a 1-0 lead until the sixth inning when the Cardinals pushed across a pair of runs for a 2-1 victory.
"I thought everything was going to be better after winning two of three last weekend at Providence," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti. "But today, the defense collapsed and we hit the bottom."
The Blue Demons, who came into the double-header with the second-best fielding percentage in the country, made three errors in the first game and five in the nightcap. These were the first two games ever played in the new Cacciatore Stadium.
"The errors are what caused us to fall apart," Lenti said. "Today was a total breakdown of everything we've ever done, and it was a total embarrassment to the DePaul softball program."
Louisville (23-10) jumped out to a 3-0 lead against second-game starter Bree Brown. The Cardinals scored once in the second inning and added a pair in the third when DePaul committed three errors.
Then came the Louisville fourth, and that's when the roof caved in.
The Cardinals scored eight runs on five hits and two errors, sending 11 batters to the plate.
What happened to the DePaul team that only made three errors in its first 17 games?
"You'd have to ask the players," Lenti said. "They're not doing what they are coached to do. A lot of the breakdowns are mental for them. They aren't showing the mental toughness it takes to make the play."
Kirsten Verdun only gave up four hits in the first game, but was victimized by three errors in the sixth inning that led to the two unearned runs.
"Kirsten had a good game, but needed to make some good pitches in that sixth inning," Lenti said. "Sometimes when your team only gives you one run, you have to pitch a shutout.
"Those errors made it tough on her, but good pitchers elevate their games to overcome poor fielding."
DePaul will look to get back on the winning track with a noon double-header Saturday against BIG EAST Conference rival St. John's at Cacciatore Stadium.
The three-game series will conclude with an 11 a.m. game on Sunday.
NOTES: Alex Morocco was 3-for-5 in the double-header and raised her team-leading batting average to .404... Verdun, Coronado and Lynsey Ciezki each scored a run on Wednesday... Morocco and Lindsey Dean each had one RBI... Verdun did not give up an earned run in her seven innings and lowered her team-leading earned-run average to 1.91... Morocco leads the team in hits with 36 and runs with 15... Samantha Dodd (.310) is second in hits with 27... Sean Plese is batting .357 and Verdun .290 with a team-high six home runs, 17 RBIs and 21 walks... as a team, the Blue Demons are batting .241 and have scored the same amount of runs (98) as their opponents... DePaul's team ERA is 2.89 and its opponents' ERA is 2.69... Verdun is 9-3 in the circle, Bree Brown 5-3 and Dean 3-4.