Verdun's Four-Hitter, Home Run Spark 2-0 Win Over Connecticut
May 5, 2013
STORRS, Conn. - Kirsten Verdun wanted to make sure DePaul headed into this week's BIG EAST Championship tournament on the upswing.
With one swing of the bat and some dominant pitching, Verdun led the Blue Demons to a 2-0 BIG EAST victory Sunday over Connecticut in the final game of the regular season.
It was Verdun's eighth shutout of the season as the junior left-hander improved to 22-12.
Verdun's solo home run and four-hit shutout set the tone as DePaul (31-20, 16-6) will face Georgetown (21-32, 10-12) at 9 a.m. Thursday in the first round of the conference tournament hosted by USF.
Verdun led off the fourth inning with a shot over the center-field fence for her eighth home run of the season. DePaul scored later in the inning when Paige Peterson scored on an illegal pitch.
The Blue Demon ace limited UConn (26-27, 8-14) to four hits over seven innings and finished with 12 strikeouts and just one walk.
"Verdun did a great job," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti. "She only gave up the one walk and kept the ball in the park. There were a lot of strikeouts, and she got a lot of ground balls and easy plays.
"We did a good job defensively. Pitching and defense is going to be critical in the BIG EAST tournament. We left too many runners (10) on base again, and we'll have to work on that."
Verdun said she made an adjustment after losing to Connecticut on Saturday.
"My dropball was working yesterday but I went away from it," Verdun said. "I talked to pitching coach Nancy Evans before the game today and she reminded me to stick with what's successful.
"The drop was working really well. I worked ahead in the count so I could use that pitch more effectively."
Verdun remembered that Huskie starter Kiki Saveriano had a tendency throw the ball across the plate when she fell behind in the count. That's exactly what happened on Sunday.
"I missed a lot of fat pitches yesterday," Verdun said. "When she fell behind in the fourth inning, I made up my mind that if the next pitch was decent, I was taking a hack at it.
"It was right down the middle."
NOTES: DePaul did not face Georgetown in BIG EAST competition this season... the Hoyas finished their BIG EAST season with a 2-1 loss at home to Seton Hall... this is the eighth consecutive year the Blue Demons have qualified for the BIG EAST Championship... Verdun was 2-for-4 on Sunday with an RBI and a run scored... Mener was 1-for-1 with her first double of the season... Gena Lenti and Staci Bonezek were both 1-for-2... Paige Peterson was 1-for-3 with a run scored... Mary Connolly and Samantha Dodd were both 1-for-4... Verdun wound up batting .466 in BIG EAST games with six home runs and 21 RBIs... Dodd hit .440 in conference play and was followed by Connolly (.427, six homers, 29 RBIs), Gena Lenti (.400), Megan Coronado (.333), Allie Braden (.317) and Hannah Penna (.314)... Bonezek hit five home runs in league play and Peterson four.
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