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Opportunistic Blue Demons Win Fourth in a Row
Paige Peterson's solo home run highlighted the Blue Demons' 6-1 win over Northwestern on Wednesday.

Paige Peterson's solo home run highlighted the Blue Demons' 6-1 win over Northwestern on Wednesday.

May 2, 2012

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CHICAGO - The Blue Demons took full advantage of just about every opportunity that came their way on Wednesday.

They turned four unearned runs into a 6-1 nonconference victory over Chicago-area rival Northwestern at Cacciatore Stadium on a warm and muggy afternoon.

"That's what happens when you put the ball in play and the other team throws it around," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti. "We got runners on base and capitalized on their mistakes."

DePaul's fourth win in a row and sixth of the last seven came after scoring a pair of runs in each of the first three innings.

Lynsey Ciezki, Samantha Dodd and Kirsten Verdun led off the bottom of the first with consecutive base hits. A Wildcat passed ball brought Ciezki home and Allie Braden's infield single scored Dodd.

Paige Peterson led off the second with a shot beyond the left-field fence for her fourth home run of the season. Staci Bonezek reached on an error, advanced on a ground-ball out and scored on Dodd's single to center.

"I was looking for a good pitch to drive, but I didn't get it," Peterson said. "I got a pitch that was lower in the strike zone. I didn't think it was going to clear the fence, but it did."

Mary Connolly led off the third with a walk and gave way to pinch-runner Brittany Boesel who then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Boesel scored on a throwing error that sent Allie Braden all the way to second base.

Braden moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on another throwing error. That's two runs without the benefit of a hit for DePaul (32-18).

Northwestern (21-27) scored its only run in the fourth inning on pinch-hitter Sammy Albanese's home run to left field.

"The defense did a great job all the way around," Lenti said. "They have two speedy slappers at the top and we did a nice job keeping them under control. That can be demoralizing for a team.

"And there was Paige making a nice running catch in foul territory right by the stands in left field."

The Wildcats had the bases loaded with two out in the third and clean-up hitter Marisa Bast at the plate. But Verdun was able to induce a popup to end the threat.

All that's left of the regular season is a three-game series against BIG EAST Conference opponent Providence beginning with a noon doubleheader Saturday at Cacciatore Stadium.

"You want to finish strong heading into the conference tournament," Lenti said. "It's also Senior Day on Sunday, and we want to send our seniors out on a winning note."

NOTES: Winning pitcher Kirsten Verdun improved to 23-11 on the season with an ERA of 1.71... the Blue Demon ace gave up one run on four hits and finished with six strikeouts and four walks... Verdun also went 2-for-3 at the plate while Dodd was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run... Ciezki was 2-for-4 with a run and Peterson 1-for-3 with the home run, an RBI and a run... pinch-hitter Allie Warren was 1-for-1 and Allie Braden rounded out the nine-hit attack going 1-for-3... Verdun will take a nine-game hitting streak into the final weekend of the regular season while Peterson has hit safely in her last four games... Verdun is batting .392 and also leads the team in home runs (11), RBIs (40), doubles (12) and hits (58)... Dodd is hitting .356 followed by Ciezki (.293, 31 runs), Braden (.291) and Connolly (.285, five homers , 28 RBIs.