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DePaul Bats Quiet in NCAA Opener Loss to JMU
Mary Connolly went 2-for-2 with an RBI double on Friday.

Mary Connolly went 2-for-2 with an RBI double on Friday.

May 16, 2014

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – DePaul softball couldn’t make an early lead stand up, dropping its NCAA opener against James Madison 6-1 on Friday at John Cropp Stadium.

With the loss, the Blue Demons drop to 41-10 overall and face a potential elimination game tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. CT against Ohio, which lost its first game 2-0 to hosting Kentucky.

Kirsten Verdun went 3-for-3 at the plate and Mary Connolly added two hits, but the pair didn’t get much help from the rest of the order as the Blue Demons collected just six hits total and stranded eight runners.

JMU’s Jailyn Ford improved to 24-6 in the circle, going the distance and racking up seven strikeouts. Verdun dropped to 30-6 overall, losing for the first time since March 26 and walking a career-high seven batters.

DePaul struck first, getting a leadoff double from Verdun to threaten immediately. After a pop out by Allie Braden, Connolly crushed a double down the left field line to plate Verdun and put the Blue Demons up 1-0.

Verdun allowed her first runner in the second, walking the leadoff batter after a 1-2-3 first.  JMU got a double by Caitlin Sandy next, which glanced off Dylan Christensen’s glove in left, to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Verdun then notched a strikeout before JMU’s Cassidy Clayton singled to right to tie the ballgame. A ground out and pop out would end the Dukes’ threat.

In the top of the third, Verdun worked a one-out walk and advanced to third on a two-out single by Connolly. Batting next, Christensen grounded out to first to end the inning.

A one-out third-inning walk to JMU’s Hannah Hayes and subsequent steal put a runner in scoring position, which came around on a single to left by Ford.

Up two to begin the fourth, the Dukes loaded up the bases with one out and worked back-to-back walks to increase their lead to 4-1.

JMU’s Taylor Newton added another run with a solo shot in the fifth and the Dukes scored again in the sixth on an RBI single by Erica Field.

Notes: DePaul drops to 33-5 when scoring the first run… DePaul has out-scored its opponents 72-17 in the first inning this season… Verdun lost for the first time since March 26 and the Blue Demons lost for just the second time since then… Verdun’s seven walks were a career-high… DePaul drops to 42-36 in NCAA Tournament play… JMU now leads the all-time series 3-0…