Softball Swings Into the Judi Garman Classic to Compete Against the Nation's Elite
CHICAGO -- The No. 23/20 DePaul softball team will face some of nation's elite this weekend at the Judi Garman Classic hosted Fullerton at the Titan Softball Complex. The Blue Demons begin play on Thurs., Mar. 12 when they take on tournament host Fullerton at 7:30 (CST). The squad plays a doubleheader Friday beginning at 11 a.m. against No. 9/8 Oklahoma and immediately following, tangles with No. 6/11 Arizona State at 1 p.m. Saturday the Blue Demons take on New Mexico, while they close out the tournament on Sunday with No. 24/21 Fresno State.
DePaul (9-4) enters the Judi Garman after a week off following the NFCA Leadoff Classic which was shortened because of heavy rains. Annie Demas, Becca Heteniak and Amber Patton all enter the Classic with averages over .420. Patton leads the trio with a .500 average and 21 hits while Heteniak and Demas combine for 10 doubles and three home runs.
In the circle, Lindsey Dean boasts a 5-1 record, while Hetenaik (4-3) has struck out 45 batters in 47.2 innings of work. The duo has a combined 2.61 ERA for DePaul.
The Blue Demons are a combined 18-18 against the Judi Garman field. DePaul holds a 5-1 series advantage over Fullerton, while the Oklahoma series is tied at six games apiece. The last time the Blue Demons and Oklahoma met was at the 2007 NCAA Norman Super Regional when DePaul ousted the Sooners in two straight games to punch its ticket to the Women’s College World Series.
Oklahoma (19-6) enters the tournament ranked No. 9/8 and has won three of its last six. Amber Flores averages a team-high .426, while Kristen Allen leads a quartet of pitchers with a 2.23 ERA.
2008 defending National Champion Arizona State holds a 4-1 series lead on DePaul, however the Blue Demons’ only series win over the Sun Devils came at the 2007 WCWS in an elimination game. DePaul topped Arizona State 3-1.
The Sun Devils (21-4) have won their last eight games and have outscored their opponents 118-12 in that stretch. Kaitlin Cochran leads the team with a .455 average with 25 hits, seven double, seven home runs and 23 RBI. The ASU pitching staff has combined for 109 strikeouts while it has been tagged for 132 hits.
The Blue Demons and New Mexico have not faced off since 2002 with the series tied at one game apiece. The Lobos (8-10) split a four-game series with Iowa State prior to the Judi Garman Classic. New Mexico has given up 112 runs and struck out just 21 batters so far this season. Samantha Hughes leads the team with 25 hits and is second on the team with 12 RBI.
DePaul’s final game of the Judi Garman with Fresno State (11-8) will take the teams away from the Titan Softball Complex as it will be played at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif. The Bulldogs have won four of their last five. Last season the two teams met in Fresno Tournament when the Bulldogs topped the Blue Demons 4-2. Haley Perkins leads the Bulldogs with a .361 average and 22 hits.
Following the Judi Garman Classic the Blue Demons welcome St. John’s for their BIG EAST Conference opener on Sat. Mar. 21. The BIG EAST doubleheader is scheduled to begin at noon.