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Peterson's Pop Powers DePaul Past Northern Illinois
Paige Peterson's first collegiate triple and second home run of the season sparked a 6-1 win over Northern Illinois.

Paige Peterson's first collegiate triple and second home run of the season sparked a 6-1 win over Northern Illinois.

April 10, 2012

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DEKALB, Ill. - Paige Peterson packed a powerful punch on Tuesday.

It was more than enough to knock out Northern Illinois 6-1 in a nonconference victory for DePaul as Peterson had a triple and a two-run home run with three runs and two RBIs.

"After my rough weekend at Georgetown, I went up there today really wanting to hit the ball hard," Peterson said. "I wanted to get my cuts early in the count."

Peterson hit the second pitch for the triple and the first pitch for the home run.

"On the triple, the Northern Illinois right-fielder misjudged how far the ball was going," Peterson said. "I was able to take third standing up.

"The home run was a middle fastball. I thought it was going to bounce to the fence, but it wound up clearing it. I was a little surprised."

It was Allie Braden who got DePaul (22-12) off to a fast start with a clutch two-out, two-run single in the top of the second inning for a 2-0 lead.

Mary Connolly (single), Katelyn Braget (walk) and Bree Brown (walk) had loaded the bases with one out. After Ali Warren's popup, Braden drilled her base hit to left field.

Peterson led off the fourth with the three-bagger to right field and came around to score on Brown's double.

Emily Woller's RBI double in the fifth cut the Blue Demon lead to 3-1.

Back came Peterson who manufactured a run with a little help from the Huskies. The freshman outfielder led off the sixth with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on an error.

In the seventh, Connolly came through with a one-out double and gave way to pinch-runner Ali Lenti. With two outs, Peterson went yard for the second time this season.

"Scoring early took the heat off, and Verdun was great from the mound," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti as his ace limited NIU (16-21) to one run on three hits while finishing with eight strikeouts and one walk.

"Our players learned a lesson from last week."

Exactly seven days ago, a disappointing effort resulted in DePaul's 1-0 loss to Loyola Chicago---who had come into the game with an RPI of 206.

"There is nobody on our schedule that we can afford to take lightly," Lenti said as NIU came into the game with an RPI of 130 compared to DePaul's 22 RPI. "I didn't say anything to the players before the game. They knew they had to come ready to play."

Peterson certainly noticed the difference.

"We were a little tired going into the Loyola game, and we didn't take it as seriously as we should have," Peterson said. "We figured we could just go out there, have some fun and win.

"We came out with a lot more intensity today."

The Blue Demons are looking for a repeat performance at their 5 p.m. game Wednesday against Illinois State in Normal.

NOTES: This was Peterson's first triple of her collegiate career... it was the second Blue Demon triple this season with Samantha Dodd getting the other one... Peterson's home run was her second of the spring... DePaul's defense ranked No. 12 in the nation going into Tuesday, and the Blue Demons committed one error against NIU... in RBIs per game, Verdun ranks No. 35 in the country... along with Peterson, DePaul's 10-hit attack on Tuesday featured Braden going 2-for-3 with the pair of RBIs, Brown going 2-for-3 with an RBI, Connolly 2-for-4 with a run and Verdun and Lynsey Ciezki each going 1-for-4... the Blue Demon pitching staff has given up just two runs in the last six games... in her last six games, Verdun is 5-1 with a 0.72 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 39 innings... Verdun will take a team-high, eight-game hitting streak into the game at ISU.