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Penna's Six RBIs Spark an 18-5 Triumph Over Seton Hall
Hannah Penna went 4-for-4 with six RBIs and had seven strikeouts as the winning pitcher in an 18-5 win over Seton Hall.

Hannah Penna went 4-for-4 with six RBIs and had seven strikeouts as the winning pitcher in an 18-5 win over Seton Hall.

April 3, 2013

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CHICAGO - There's not much more Hannah Penna could have done Wednesday at Cacciatore Stadium.

The winning pitcher went 4-for-4 and had six RBIs in leading DePaul to an 18-5 five-inning triumph over Seton Hall in the second game of a BIG EAST Conference doubleheader. The 18 runs was a season-high for the Blue Demons.

Penna improved to 7-5 on the season with the win, firing four innings and surrendering just two earned runs and three hits to go with seven strikeouts.

Following up a 5-4 win in the opener, DePaul improved to 20-13 overall and 7-1 in the BIG EAST. Seton Hall slipped to 11-18, 1-7.

DePaul coach Eugene Lenti was all smiles after the sweep and joked around with his star of the game.

"I said to Hannah: `Who's the idiot that doesn't let you bat in the lineup?'" Lenti said in poking fun at himself.

"When he told me that, I just laughed," Penna said. "Hopefully I'll get more chances to bat.

"I hit a home run in Florida, and coach kept me in the batting order for a few games. When I didn't do so well, he took me out. It's been an up and down thing."

DePaul was up from the get-go with a six-run outburst in the first inning and loaded the bases in each of the first three innings.

In the bottom of the first, Allie Braden set the tone with a quick single to left. Following a fielder's choice and a single by Mary Connolly, Kirsten Verdun laced a double to dead center to make it 2-0.

Paige Peterson followed with a two-base hit of her own to plate another pair. The Blue Demons would add two more on an error and a Penna single for a 6-0 lead.

In the second inning, Penna knocked in two additional runs with a single to center and the Blue Demons cruised into the third with an 8-0 cushion.

In the circle, Penna was lights-out in fanning four of the first six batters she faced. The Pirates came back with four runs in the third inning despite Penna striking out another three.

But DePaul would get those runs back and more in the bottom half, plating eight to take a commanding 16-4 lead.

Braden kick-started the third-inning surge with a walk and became the first of six-straight Blue Demons to cross home plate. Peterson and Penna both added two-run singles as the Blue Demons pulled away big-time.

"The offense was dominant in the second game," Lenti said. "Seton Hall made a comeback attempt, but give our players credit for responding with an eight-spot. They put the game out of reach.

"Hannah played great today. She had seven strikeouts in four innings, four hits and six RBIs. She had it going all the way around and was definitely the player of the game."

In the fourth, Penna mashed a two-run double for her third run-scoring hit in a row and capped the Blue Demon scoring.

"It was actually easier for me to hit than to pitch in the cold weather," Penna said as temperatures hovered in the upper 30s and low 40s all afternoon. "When we were hitting for a long time, my hands would freeze.

"But you always want the long offensive innings and great run support. It was so much fun today. You go up to bat and there isn't much pressure on you."

DePaul is in action this weekend at Syracuse, opening with an 11 a.m. doubleheader on Saturday followed by a single game on Sunday.

NOTES: The Blue Demons went 16-for-30 (.533) and had a total of 16 RBIs... all the damage came without a single home run... Connolly, Verdun, Peterson, Penna and Kali Gardner each had a double... Peterson had two hits and four RBIs while Connolly had three hits and two RBIs... Verdun had one hit, two walks, and two RBIs... Samantha Dodd had two hits and an RBI and Bree Brown drove in a run... Verdun scored three times while Dodd, Connolly, Peterson and Megan Coronado each scored twice... Penna gave up two earned runs in her four innings with seven strikeouts and no walks... she limited the Pirates to three hits... DePaul has won seven of its last eight games.