Last Time Out
DePaul finished tied for third at the Hedrick's Hallowell Chevrolet Classic hosted by Fresno State (March 8-11). The Blue Demons went 3-3 in the tournament, losing to no. 1 UCLA (4-0), no. 7 Fresno State (2-1) and no. 14 Oregon State (1-0). Lindsay Chouinard was named to the all-tournament team.
No. 11 DePaul will travel to Fullerton, Calif. this weekend for the Kia Klassic. The tournament, hosted by Cal State Fullerton, is the third straight tournament the Blue Demons have played in whose field contains a bevy of top teams.
The tournament field is divided into four pools of four teams each; DePaul's pool contains no. 10 Arizona State, no. 9 Cal State Fullerton and no. 30 North Carolina.
Ranked teams who are in other pools are no. 2 Arizona, no. 5 Oklahoma, no. 7 Fresno State, no. 12 Washington, no. 14 Notre Dame and no. 24 Cal State Northridge.
After round robin play in the pools, a single-elimination championship bracket will be formed.
Fans and media can follow updated game results for the entire tournament at www.depaulbluedemons.com
Sophomore Lindsay Chouinard and freshman Sarah Martz have combined to give the team a 0.55 ERA and have allowed just 67 hits in 101 innings. The duo is holding opponents to a .184 batting average.
Tourney opener no bargain
DePaul wil play no. 10 Arizona State in its tournament opener. This marks the third straight week the Blue Demons have opened a tournament against a top 10 team. DePaul played then no. 5 California two weeks ago and no.1 UCLA last week.
Below are the series histories with this weekends scheduled opponents:
Arizona State: 0-1
3-4-00: ASU 8, DPU 0
Cal State Fullerton: 2-0
3-17-00: DPU 2, CSF 0*
3-20-99: DPU 5, CSF 3*
North Carolina: 1-0
2-26-94: DPU 8, UNC 0
Freshman and sophomores dominate DePaul's statistical leaders. The only three players batting over .300 are two freshman and a sophomore and five of the top six averages on the team are owned by underclassmen.
The pitching staff consists of a freshman and a sophomore as well. Sophomore Lindsay Chouinard leads the team with a 0.40 ERA and is holding opponents to a .158 batting average.
Lindsay Chouinard was DePaul's representative on the Hallowell's all-tournament team last weekend. The sophomore pitcher went 2-1 with her only loss coming against no. 7 Fresno State. In 20.2 innings she gave up just two earned runs and 14 hits, while striking out 17.
Catcher Gina Ramacci provided a potent combination to complement the team's pitching over the weekend. Ramacci went 8-for-17 with a double and two RBI. Now hitting .345, she raised her average almost .200 points with the stretch.
The Blue Demons may have a case of "weren't we just here" this weekend. The team just returned Sunday from Fresno, Calif. and was back in the air Wednesday to return to Fullerton, Calif.
Testing, one, two
DePaul is in the middle of the most difficult portion of its schedule. In the past two weeks, the Blue Demons have played five games against teams ranked in the top 15.
That streak won't end this weekend as all three teams in its pool are ranked or receiving votes. In addition, 9 of the 16 teams in the field are ranked and three others are receiving votes.On the next page is a list of ranked schools on the Blue Demons' schedule:
USA Today/NFCA Poll
March 14 records through 3-13
|Fresno St. |
|Arizona St. |
|Oregon St. |
|Notre Dame |
|Southern Miss |
|North Carolina |
Combined Record 201-53-2
Dropped out of voting since preseason poll: UIC, South Florida, Northwestern
Best Preseason Ever
Ranked 10th in the NFCA/USA Today Coaches preseason poll, it is the highest preseason ranking DePaul has ever received. The highest they have been ranked at any time was third in the final poll from 1999.
Kissing your sister
For the first time since May 1, 1990 DePaul tied an opponent. The Blue Demons registered the tie in the semi-finals of the NFCA Leadoff Classic. DePaul and no.14 Oregon State played scoreless through eight innings before DePaul was able to push a run across in the top of the ninth. The game ended due to rain before it could be completed and was declared a tie since the eighth was the last official inning.
For the first time in over 10 years, DePaul was crowned champion in a preseason tournament. The Blue Demons topped Missouri 3-0 in the championship game of the Missouri Round Robin Tournament.
Top pick in C-USA
The coaches in Conference USA selected the Blue Demons as the preseason favorite to win the league. DePaul finished second to Southern Miss last year, the first for C-USA softball. Both teams had just one loss, to each other, but Southern Miss held the tiebreaker due to completeing more conference games. They were 16-1 to DePaul's 14-1.
C-USA player of the year
Shavaughne Desecki was tabbed as the C-USA preseason "Player of the Year." Desecki led the team in batting last year with a .376 average, 11 2B and nine HR and was named first team all-conference and all-Midwest Region.
More C-USA honors
Lindsay Chouinard was chosen preseason "Pitcher of the Year." The sophomore was a third team All-American last year while leading the team in wins, strikeouts, innings and saves. Chouinard was also named C-USA Freshman of the year and All-Midwest region.
DePaul has had a freshman All-American in each of the last two years. Shavaughne Desecki in 1999 and Lindsay Chouinard in 2000. Sarah Martz, who set the Illinois high school state records for career wins (103) and strikeouts (1,402), is the best candidate to continue that trend. Martz also batted .515 with 42 stolen bases as a high school senior. DePaul has had at least one All-American for the past seven years.
Young but experienced
The four seniors on this years team are the fewest DePaul has had in three years. They had just one in 1998. The Blue Demons return six starters to a squad that won 40 games for the sixth time in seven years. The team has averaged 45 wins a year for the past five seasons.
The Douglas sisters, Sarah and Christina, are identical twins. Christina emerged 19 minutes after Sarah much to the surprise of her parents and doctors, who had not anticipated twins.
Junior pitcher Vanessa Saavedra (#24) is no longer with the team. She withdrew for personal reasons.