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Softball Stays Alive in NCAA Tournament, Beats Ohio 5-1
Kirsten Verdun went six scoreless innings, striking out 11 to help DePaul extend its NCAA Tournament run on Saturday.

Kirsten Verdun went six scoreless innings, striking out 11 to help DePaul extend its NCAA Tournament run on Saturday.

May 17, 2014

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Facing elimination, DePaul softball came up with a big first inning and rode the momentum to an eventual 5-1 win over Ohio in its second NCAA Tournament game on Saturday at John Cropp Stadium.

With the win, DePaul (42-10) sets itself up for a rematch against James Madison tonight at 5:00 p.m. CT. The Blue Demons dropped a 6-1 contest to the Dukes in their opening game yesterday afternoon.

Ohio's second NCAA Tournament appearance comes to a close after a 2-0 loss to UK last night. The Bobcats finish their season at 32-26.

Senior ace Kirsten Verdun was fantastic just one day after walking a career-high seven batters, limiting the Bobcats to two hits and striking out 11 over six innings. Classmate Hannah Penna came on to pitch the final inning, navigating through a two-on, two-out jam to close the door on OU.

DePaul got 10 hits from its offense, with seven of them coming from the top three spots in the lineup. Verdun, Allie Braden and Mary Connolly went a combined 7-for-10 at the plate and scored four runs as a trio. Senior Megan Coronado had the big blow, ripping a three-run double in the first to give DePaul an early lead.

Verdun added her first NCAA Tournament home run in the fifth to give DePaul some insurance.

The Blue Demons wasted no time getting on the board in the bottom of the first, getting singles from Verdun, Braden and Connolly to open the inning. Following a fly out by Christensen, Coronado smashed a liner to right center to score all three runners.

With one out, Morgan Maize cracked a drive at the shortstop, which snuck into the outfield on an error and brought Coronado in from second.

Dorsey tripled with two outs in the OU second, but Verdun stranded her with her fifth strike out.

No one cracked the scoreboard again until Verdun's leadoff shot in the fifth made it a 5-0 game. OU scored on a grounder in the seventh, but left runners on second and third to finish the game.

Notes: The Blue Demons improved to 43-36 all-time in NCAA Tournament play... it was the first time DePaul had played OU in the tournament... after getting four runs in the opening inning today, DePaul has out-scored its opponents 76-17 in the first frame this season... DePaul evened the all-time series against Ohio at 2-2... after recording one out in the game, Verdun joined associate head coach Lindsay Chouinard (975.1 innings, 2000-03) as one of just two DePaul pitchers to ever reach the 900-inning plateau... Verdun's fifth inning homer was the first NCAA longball of her career...