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Blue Demons Take It From the Top
Kirsten Verdun hit a game-winning, two-run blast in DePaul's 4-2 BIG EAST victory over Seton Hall.

Kirsten Verdun hit a game-winning, two-run blast in DePaul's 4-2 BIG EAST victory over Seton Hall.

April 28, 2012

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SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Take it from the top.

That's exactly what DePaul did Saturday in sweeping a BIG EAST Conference doubleheader from Seton Hall 4-3 in nine innings and 4-2.

Leadoff batter Lynsey Ciezki, second batter Samantha Dodd and third hitter Kirsten Verdun were responsible for the winning runs in both games.

After Seton Hall (20-29, 2-16 in the BIG EAST) had overcome a 3-0 deficit to tie it 3-3 in the opener, Ciezki led off the ninth inning with a double and Dodd singled her home.

In the nightcap, Seton Hall tied it at 2-2 in the fifth inning only to watch Verdun unload with a game-winning, two-run home run in the seventh with Dodd aboard. It was her 10th home run of the season.

The top three in the batting order combined to go 13-for-24 (.542) in the doubleheader with four RBIs and five runs.

That's generating momentum right off the bat.

"Getting runners on early in a game is ideal," said Verdun, who was on base six times in the doubleheader. "It sets the tone for the rest of the team, and that's especially important when you're playing on the road.

"Pushing even one run across early in the game gets everyone going."

DePaul (30-18, 11-7) scored in the second inning when Brittany Boesel singled with two out, advanced to third on Ciezki's double and came home on Dodd's infield single.

Seton Hall tied it in the bottom of that inning, and the Blue Demons went back in front with a Boesel sacrifice fly RBI in the fourth.

The Pirates drew even in the fifth, but threw one too many changeups to Verdun in the top of the seventh.

"The first changeup I let go for a ball," Verdun said. "I looked kind of ugly on the second one. I thought she (Casey Moses) would come back to the changeup, and I was ready for it."

Dodd was determined to make a difference in game one.

"I went up there looking for the hit," Dodd said. "I had told Lynsey earlier that if she got on, I was going to bring her in.

"Something like that gave our team momentum and a collective energy that helped us pull through in extra innings and carried over into the second game."

The doubleheader sweep had DePaul coach Eugene Lenti squirming a little in the dugout.

"It was a painful for me because we gave up a three-run lead in the first game and let Seton Hall come back and tie us twice in the second game," Lenti said. "But Verdun hit that big home run and sealed the deal for us.

"Ciezki and Dodd were hitting all day, and Paige Peterson really had a big game for us in the opener. She had a home run and two more hits in that game and had quality at-bats all day."

Relief pitchers Mary Connolly and Hannah Penna were effective in holding Seton Hall to one run and two hits over five innings in the nightcap. Such outings are critical as Lenti looks for ways to rest Verdun, who has made five consecutive starts in the last five days.

Look for "Bulldog Verdun" to be back on the mound at 10 a.m. Sunday when DePaul goes for the series sweep.

NOTES: Verdun was 3-for-4 in the nightcap with the home run, two RBIs and a run... Ciezki was 3-for-4 and Dodd 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run... Allie Braden went 2-for-4 with a run and Boesel was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run...that was Boesel's first collegiate RBI... Peterson was 1-for-3 and Katelyn Braget 1-for-4 in the 13-hit attack... the Blue Demons had a total of 22 hits in the doubleheader... Ciezki was 5-for-9 on the day with two runs while Dodd was 4-for-8 with three RBIs and a run... Verdun was 4-for-7 in the doubleheader with a home run, two RBIs and a run... Peterson was 4-for-7 with the home run, RBI and two runs... Braden was 3-for-8 with a run scored... on the season, Verdun leads the team in batting average (.378), home runs (10), RBIs (39) and hits (54)... Dodd is hitting .357 with 50 hits... Braden is at .298 and Ciezki .293 with a team-high 30 runs... Connolly is also batting .293 and has five home runs and 28 RBIs... Braget has seven homers and 27 RBIs... Verdun and Ciezki will carry seven-game hitting streaks into Sunday's game.