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Vintage Verdun Leads DePaul to a BIG EAST Sweep at St. John's
Kirsten Verdun was in rare form Wednesday, pitching both games of DePaul's doubleheader sweep at St. John's.


Kirsten Verdun was in rare form Wednesday, pitching both games of DePaul's doubleheader sweep at St. John's.

April 24, 2013

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QUEENS, N.Y - It was vintage Kirsten Verdun in the pitching circle for DePaul on Wednesday.

The junior left-hander was dominant in a 4-0 victory over St. John's to give her team a sweep of the BIG EAST Conference doubleheader.

In fact, Verdun pitched both ends of the twin bill, tossing a five-hitter in the 11-0, five-inning opener.

Verdun (18-9) didn't give up a hit in the second game until Carly Williams led off the bottom of the sixth inning with an infield single. The 2012 NFCA Second Team All-American went on to pitch a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and one walk.

"The biggest thing was moving my pitches in and out," Verdun said. "You can't work just one side of the plate the whole time.

"St. John's knew my speed from facing me the first game. But I kept their hitters guessing whether it would be inside or outside. And my changeup was working really well in the second game."

It was a low changeup that Williams hit in ruining Verdun's no-hit bid.

"It was a pretty good pitch and right where I wanted it," Verdun said. "She got just enough of it for an infield hit.

"By staying away from the walks and hit-batsmen, I was able to cut down on my number of pitches. That enabled me to pitch both games."

All the offense Verdun would need in this game came in the second inning when Megan Coronado and Staci Bonezek executed a textbook double steal with Coronado scoring from third base.

DePaul (26-16, 13-3 in the BIG EAST) padded the lead in the fifth on Mary Connolly's two-run single that scored Gena Lenti and Allie Braden.

Another insurance run crossed the plate in the seventh on Samantha Dodd's RBI single that brought home Marsha' Pendilton as St. John's fell to 12-33-1, 3-13.

"It was a great day," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti. "We like to hit home runs in New York. We hit four home runs in the first game today. When we swept a three-game series at Syracuse in early April, we hit eight home runs.

"That gives us 12 home runs in the state of New York. That's way more than we've hit in Chicago."

The Blue Demons have hit five long balls in nine games at Cacciatore Stadium compared to a dozen in five games in New York.

"Verdun pitched great today," Lenti said. "She kept the ball in the park and kept her walks down. She had her changeup going again, kept the ball low and turned it over to her defense."

It will be a quick turnaround for Verdun and her teammates as they are scheduled to arrive back on campus around 10:30 p.m. and have a 4 p.m. game on Thursday against Loyola Chicago at Cacciatore Stadium.

NOTES: On the day, DePaul outscored St. John's 15-0 and outhit the Red Storm 19-7... Braden was 5-for-7 in the doubleheader with two RBIs and four runs... Coronado broke out of a slump going 4-for-6 with two RBIs and three runs... Verdun was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Dodd 3-for-7 with two RBIs... Gena Lenti was 2-for-4 with two runs and Connolly had three RBIs in the doubleheader... Cherelle Chambers' base hit in game one was the first of her collegiate career... Braden, Bree Brown, Coronado and Verdun hit home runs on Wednesday... Verdun pitched a total of 12 innings with no runs, seven hits, 15 strikeouts and two walks... she pitched both ends of a doubleheader four times last season.