Verdun Fans 12, Leads DePaul into BIG EAST Championship Final
May 9, 2014
ROSEMONT, Ill. – DePaul senior Kirsten Verdun rose to the occasion, going the distance and striking out 12 to lead the Blue Demons to a 9-1, six-inning romp over Creighton in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals on Friday at the Ballpark in Rosemont.
With the win, DePaul picked up its 40th victory of the season and moves into the BIG EAST Championships final for the third time in program history. Creighton’s first season in the conference comes to a close with a 29-24 mark.
The Blue Demons return to the diamond tomorrow as they await the winner of No. 2 seed St. John's and No. 3 seed Georgetown. Game time is slated for 11 a.m. CT at the Ballpark in Rosemont.
On the mound, Verdun (29-5) shut down the Bluejays, allowing one run on two hits to compliment her 12 strikeouts.
“When Kirsten is on and we hit and play defense like the way we did today, I really like our chances, said head coach Eugene Lenti.
“We’ve been opportunistic all season and wanted to get off to a great start today,” said Lenti.
The Blue Demons added to their lead with four more in the third. Lead-off hits by Braden and Mary Connolly set the table before Christensen smashed a single up the middle, clearing the bases and making it 4-0. Gena Lenti then connected on an infield single with two outs, bringing around two more after the ball caromed off Creighton’s diving second basemen.
With DePaul up 6-0, Creighton answered in the fourth on an Alexis Cantu double into the left-center gap, scoring one. That was all the offense the Bluejays were able to muster.
DePaul countered in the sixth when Braden tripled to right field, scoring two. Micah Fitzgerald pinch-hit a chopper to second base and scored Braden to push the score to 9-1 and end the game by mercy rule.
Notes: DePaul reached the 40-win plateau for the first time since 2011… the Blue Demons improve to 12-8 in BIG EAST Championship play… DePaul advanced to its third conference final… the last conference tournament championship for DePaul came in 2008… Verdun moved into third all-time in single-season strikeouts with 258, passing Lindsay Chouinard (257 K’s, 2002)… DePaul improves to 4-0 against Creighton in 2014 and 8-5 in the all-time series… the nine runs and eight-run margin were both the second-best in BIG EAST Tournament play… DePaul improved to 27-0 when holding its opponent to two runs or less… DePaul scored twice in the first inning and has a 71-17 advantage in the first frame this season… the Blue Demons are 32-4 when scoring the first run of the game… against BIG EAST opposition, the Blue Demons hold a 152-33 advantage in 20 games…