Last-Inning Rally Comes Up Short Against Illinois State
April 9, 2013
CHICAGO - DePaul came within one hit of an amazing comeback on Tuesday.
But a last-inning rally came up just a little short in a 5-4 nonconference loss to Illinois State at Cacciatore Stadium.
That snapped the Blue Demons' seven-game winning streak.
Trailing 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh, DePaul (23-14) scored a run thanks to back-to-back ISU errors. Samantha Dodd delivered a two-out, RBI single to center field as Gena Lenti crossed home plate.
With the tying run on second and the winning run on first, Mary Connolly battled Redbird reliever Sophia Perez.
"I wanted Mary up there in that situation," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti about the BIG EAST Player of the Week. "She hit a couple of fouls before they pitched her inside and got her to pop it up.
"I give our hitters all the credit for battling back and putting us in a position to win. The hitting was good again. When we're pitching like I know we can, four runs are enough to win almost every game you play."
Two walks, an error and a wild pitch gave Illinois State (18-15) a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. With two on and out, losing pitcher Kirsten Verdun left one over the plate and Jhavon Hamilton sent it over the left-field fence for a three-run home run.
"We always tell our pitchers to give us a chance to defend," Lenti said. "You can't defend things like walks, wild pitches, hit-by-pitches or home runs. Our pitching was disappointing today."
The Blue Demons cut the 4-0 deficit in half when Megan Coronado ripped a two-run double to right center in the fourth.
Illinois State made it 5-2 in the sixth on pinch-hitter Stephanie Gallant's RBI single to right.
"We outhit them (6-5) and played better defense than they did," Lenti said about the Redbirds. "But we didn't outpitch them today, and that was the difference."
DePaul looks to get back on the winning track with a 5 p.m. game on Wednesday at Illinois-Chicago.
NOTES: Tuesday's loss was the first time in five games that the Blue Demons did not run-rule their opponent.... they had beaten Seton Hall 18-5 and Syracuse 15-6, 11-0 and 16-2... Paige Peterson was 2-for-3 while Coronado (two RBIs), Dodd (RBI), Verdun and Staci Bonezek each had one hit... Verdun (15-8) pitched five innings and gave up four runs on three hits with eight strikeouts and three walks... Hannah Penna came on in relief for the final two innings and gave up one run on two hits with two strikeouts and two walks... DePaul pitching hit three ISU batters.