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Pihl's Blast Helps DePaul to 6-4 Win at Creighton
Freshman Nicole Pihl staked DePaul to an early lead with her three-run homer in the first inning.

Freshman Nicole Pihl staked DePaul to an early lead with her three-run homer in the first inning.

April 18, 2014

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OMAHA, Neb. - Freshman Nicole Pihl launched a three-run homer in the first inning to stake DePaul to an early lead and the Blue Demons went on to a 6-4 win at Creighton on Friday afternoon.

DePaul moves to 31-8 overall and 11-0 in the BIG EAST Conference with the win, which was the 13th in a row for the Blue Demons -- their longest winning streak since 2011. Creighton dropped to 25-17 and 6-6 in league play with the setback.

Junior Mary Connolly (5-2) picked up the win in the circle, going five innings and striking out eight while allowing two earned runs. She defeated Creighton ace Becca Changstrom (14-10), who entered the game leading the BIG EAST with a 1.49 ERA but surrendered five earned runs in a complete game loss.

The Blue Demons got going right away as Pihl connected on an two-out, 0-2 pitch and sent it over the left field fence for her fourth homer of the season, plating three after DePaul loaded the bases with no outs on Changstrom.

The Blue Demons added a run on a passed ball in the second before the Bluejays got on the board in the bottom half of the inning.

Leading 4-1, freshman Dylan Christensen laced her team-best 12th double in the third to score Connolly.

In the bottom of the fifth, Creighton got a two-run homer from Liz Dike to get within two, 5-3, but Christensen answered in the seventh with a solo shot to make it 6-3 heading into the Bluejays final at bat.

Creighton got an RBI double, but would get no closer than two as Kirsten Verdun shut the door for her fourth save of the season.

DePaul and Creighton return to action immediately for the second game of a doubleheader.

Notes: Verdun moved into second-place all-time at DePaul with 859 strikeouts, recording four in two innings of work and passing associate head coach Lindsay Chouinard (858 K's, 2000-03)... Verdun walked three times at the plate to move into first all-time at DePaul in walks, passing Missy Nowak (141, 1992-95)... DePaul won its 13th game in a row, which is its longest winning streak since 2011 (16 games)... DePaul has out-scored its opponents 58-17 in the first inning this season... Braden extended her team-high hitting streak to 13 games and has reached base in 18 straight... Connolly saw a 13-game hitting streak snapped (0-1, 2BB, HBP)...