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Hitting Surge Continues as Peterson Belts Two Home Runs
Paige Peterson belted a pair of home runs in game two Saturday after hitting a two-run shot in game one of a doubleheader sweep.

Paige Peterson belted a pair of home runs in game two Saturday after hitting a two-run shot in game one of a doubleheader sweep.

April 6, 2013

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Paige Peterson had no explanation for how she hit three home runs in one day.

All she knew was that her pair of round-trippers Saturday afternoon helped light up the scoreboard in DePaul's 11-0, six-inning victory over Syracuse.

That gave the Blue Demons a sweep of the BIG EAST Conference doubleheader after Mary Connolly's home run, triple and five RBIs in game one had led to a 15-6, six-inning triumph.

DePaul (22-13, 9-1 in the BIG EAST) has now won nine of its last 10 games and has scored 44 runs in its last three games.

"I never hit three home runs in one day in my whole life---youth softball, travel ball, anywhere," Peterson said. "Every pitch you hit over the fence looks down the middle.

"On my home run in the first game, I knew an inside pitch was coming so I took a step back. On the other two homers, I was just seeing the ball well. Everything looks good."

Peterson's solo shot in the second inning staked DePaul to a quick lead. Her two-run shot in the fourth and Bree Brown's two-run homer made it 5-0.

Kirsten Verdun joined the home run derby with a two-run shot in the sixth. That six-run inning also included Connolly's two-run single, a Hannah Penna RBI single and a manufactured run.

"It was a slugfest," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti. "They are really hitting the ball well, and we had seven home runs in the doubleheader.

"We try to take a simple approach. Be aggressive and go after the good pitches right away. There's no logical reason for it. Hitting is such a fickle thing. Let's just ride the wave."

It was like a mini tidal wave as the Blue Demons outscored Syracuse 26-6 in the doubleheader and cranked out a total of 28 hits on the day.

Just three days earlier, Penna had six RBIs in an 18-5, five-inning conference triumph over Seton Hall.

"We have a lot of good hitters on this team," said Peterson who had five RBIs in the doubleheader. "If we all show up, this is what's going to happen every single time.

"We have a lot of talent and we work hard taking extra batting practice to get better. We feed off each other. When one player starts hitting the ball, we all think we can do it."

Overshadowed by the offensive flurry was the stellar effort of winning pitcher Hannah Penna. The junior right-hander shut down Syracuse (13-19, 1-4) on just two hits and finished with eight strikeouts and two walks.

DePaul will go for the series sweep with a 10 a.m. game against the Orange on Sunday.

NOTES: Peterson hit three home runs on Saturday while Connolly, Verdun, Staci Bonezek and Bree Brown each had one... Connolly had seven RBIs in the twin bill while Peterson and Verdun each had five RBIs and Dodd, Bonezek and Brown each had a pair of RBIs... Verdun was 5-for-7 in the doubleheader and Connolly 4-for-6... Dodd went 5-for-8, Peterson 3-for-7 while Allie Braden, Bonezek and Brown each had two hits on the day... in the stretch of nine wins in the last 10 games, the Blue Demons have scored 11 runs in a game, 13 runs twice, 15 and 18.