Blue Demons Bash Syracuse 16-2 for Seventh Win in a Row
April 7, 2013
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - All it took was one swing on Sunday to know DePaul's bats were still smokin' hot.
Mary Connolly's three-run home run in her first at-bat was the precursor to a 16-2, five-inning victory over Syracuse for the Blue Demons' seventh win in a row.
The three-game, BIG EAST Conference sweep and 10th win in the last 11 games boosted DePaul to 10-1 in conference and 23-13 overall.
The Blue Demons have scored 60 runs in their last four games that all ended by the eight-run rule.
"Getting six runs in the first inning put them on their heels right away," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti. "It's easier to play with a quick lead. Our kids can relax and there's no pressure. It's also easier for Kirsten Verdun (15-7) to pitch with a big lead.
"I don't have an explanation for our 60 runs in the last four games. If I did, I'd be a millionaire."
Lenti's team was solid gold once again on Sunday. Another Bonezek RBI single in the second inning along with Ali Warren's pinch-hit, two-run double and Megan Coronado's bases-loaded walk made it 10-0.
DePaul added three more in the fourth on Bree Brown's two-run single and Allie Braden's RBI single. Three more crossed home plate in the fifth thanks to Coronado's RBI groundout and Kali Gardner's first collegiate home run---a two-run shot.
"It's just a lot of fun," Connolly said about the offensive surge. "Everyone is having quality at-bats and putting the ball in play hard.
"The best part is that everyone is contributing up and down the lineup. The players on the bench can come in and change the game with one swing. Kali had the pinch-hit home run and Ali (Warren) a pinch-hit double. Amanda Mener had a pinch-hit single.
"We're all going after the first good pitch we see, and that's what I did in the first inning. It was a fastball right down the middle."
Connolly was nominated for BIG EAST Player of the Week after batting .714 in the three games at Syracuse with two home runs, a triple, 10 RBIs and five runs.
"I'm trying to stay more relaxed in the batter's box," said Connolly who leads DePaul with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs. "I'm not trying to hit a home run every time. Just hit the ball hard and try to move the runners around."
Blue Demon fans will get a chance to see if Connolly & Co. can continue their torrid hitting on Tuesday when DePaul takes on Illinois State in a 4 p.m. nonconference game at Cacciatore Stadium.
NOTES: The seven-game winning streak is the longest of the season... the Blue Demons hit nine home runs in the three-game sweep of Syracuse and raised their team batting average from .290 to .307... the 60 runs they have scored in the last four games is more than they totaled in the previous 11 games... Kali Gardner's two-run shot was the first home run of her collegiate career and Gena Lenti recorded her first collegiate RBI... on Sunday, Allie Braden was 2-for-4 with a run and Samantha Dodd 2-for-3 with a run... Connolly was 1-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs while Kirsten Verdun went 1-for-1 with three runs... Paige Peterson scored twice and Hannah Penna was 1-for-1... Megan Coronado drove in two runs and scored twice without a hit but walked twice... Staci Bonezek was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs... Bree Brown was 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and Amanda Mener was 1-for-1... Gena Lenti went 2-for-3 with the RBI... Ali Warren was 1-for-1 with two RBIs and a run... Verdun pitched five innings and limited Syracuse to a pair of runs on four hits with three strikeouts and no walks... Verdun hit .750 over the weekend with a home run, five RBIs and five runs... Dodd hit .636 with five runs and two RBIs... Bonezek batted .500 at Syracuse with a home run, five RBIs and four runs... Brown batted .375 and had a home run and four RBIs while Braden hit .308 with four runs and an RBI... Peterson (.300) bashed three home runs and had five RBIs and five runs.