DePaul returns to the West Coast for the Easton Invitational in California
March 15, 2018
DePaul vs. #5/#5 Oklahoma
March 16 | 2:30 p.m. CT
DePaul at Cal State Fullerton
March 16 | 7:30 p.m. CT
DePaul at Grand Canyon
March 17 | 12:30 p.m. CT
DePaul at CSUN
March 17 | 5:30 p.m. CT
DePaul at Nebraska
March 18 | 12 p.m. CT
Live streaming for all games
Game Notes: DePaul
CHICAGO – The DePaul softball team heads back west for its second week in a row on Friday as the Blue Demons wrap up regular season tournament play at the Easton Invitational in Fullerton, Calif., March 16-18.
The Blue Demons are coming off a 2-2 weekend at the Rebel Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., where DePaul shut out Portland State 6-0 while also beating New Mexico State 11-5. The Royal Blue and Scarlet now sits at 16-7 on the season, just one week away from opening BIG EAST play.
On Monday, senior Megan Leyva was named the conference’s Player of the Week while freshman Pat Moore was tabbed with Pitcher of the Week honors. Leyva posted a team-best .467 batting average in four games at the Rebel Classic, driving in seven runs on seven hits, including two doubles and two home runs. Moore compiled a 1-0 record in three appearances at the Rebel Classic. The left-hander tallied nine strikeouts in eight innings of work. She combined with senior Kennedy Garcia in DePaul’s win over Portland State where she allowed just one hit in four innings. Moore leads DePaul with a team-high 75 strikeouts on the season, carrying a 1.76 ERA and 6-2 record in 13 appearances.
DePaul is also receiving quality at-bats from first baseman Morgan Greenwood. The junior carries a team-best .359 batting average, driving in 15 runs on 23 hits including eight doubles and a home run. Freshman Kate Polucha continues to aid the Blue Demons’ offensive efforts, posting a .300 batting average while leading DePaul in hits with 24. The left fielder went 5-for-14 at last week’s Rebel Classic and was instrumental in the defensive stand by the Blue Demons in their win against Portland State.
As a unit, DePaul carries a .271 batting average, outscoring its opponents 91-49 in 23 games. The Blue Demons have connected for 173 hits, including 29 doubles, one triple, and 13 home runs. DePaul’s pitching staff has a combined 1.83 ERA, striking out 169 batters in 160.1 innings. In the center circle, sophomore Missy Zoch leads the Blue Demons with a 9-3 record in 15 appearances.
Oklahoma enters the Easton Invitational as one of the nation’s top programs as the Sooners are currently ranked fifth in both NCAA Division I polls. The Sooners are the two-time defending national champions, having raised the championship trophy four times since 2000 (2000, 2013, 2016, 2017). In 2018, Oklahoma has stormed out to a 19-2 record and is riding a 10-game winning streak. During that 10-game stretch, the Sooners have outscored their opponents 74-7.
As a unit, the Sooners carry a .345 batting average through 21 games. The duo of junior Sydney Romero and Jocelyn Alo have been on a tear for the Sooners, leading Oklahoma in hits and RBIs. The pair has combined for 60 of the Sooners’ 183 hits, 12 of their 21 home runs, and 45 of their 125 runs batted in. Romero has one of the highest batting averages in the country with a .508 while Alo is close behind with a .483.
In the center circle, Oklahoma’s three feature starters are 17-2 in 21 appearances. Senior Paige Parker has carried the majority of the Sooners’ load, posting a perfect 10-0 record. The left-hander has a team-high 71 strikeouts in 54.1 innings of work, boasting an 0.51 ERA. As a group, the Sooner staff has an 0.78 ERA and, coupled w ith their relievers, 155 strikeouts. Oklahoma has allowed just 20 runs, 15 earned, on the season where the Sooners are outscoring their competition 134-20.
Prior to meeting with DePaul Friday afternoon, the Sooners open their run at the Easton Invitational with a noon showdown with CSUN. The Sooners lead the all-time series with DePaul 12-6. Oklahoma defeated the Blue Demons last season 6-0 at the Loyola Maramont Invitational in Los Angeles, Calif.
Cal State Fullerton, which serves as the host of the Easton Invitational, opens its tournament run against the Blue Demons on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Currently, the Titans are on a three-game skid, dropping games against #17/18 Ohio State, Fairfield, and Columbia. Through 24 contests, Fullerton sits at 11-13.
The Titans are hitting .287 as a squad, scoring 101 runs on the season. Freshman infielder Deshea Hill leads CSF with a .403 batting average, tallying a team-high 29 hits in 72 at-bats. Senior outfielder Brooke Clemetson has also been a threat at the plate for the Titans where she has tallied 25 hits and 16 walks to post a .482 on-base percentage.
CSF, which captured the 2017 Big West conference title to reach the NCAA tournament, is led by freshman Taylor Dockins in the center circle. The right-hander has pitched five complete games in 12 appearances, posting a 5-4 record in 10 starts. In 60 innings of work, the hurler has struck out 21 batters and is carrying a 3.27 ERA. As a staff, the Titans have a 4.06 ERA in 151.2 innings.
While DePaul leads the all-time series with Fullerton, the Titans defeated the Blue Demons 5-0 in the two squads’ last meeting in 2015.
Grand Canyon starts the Easton Invitational facing Nebraska and Ohio State on day one of the three-day tournament. The Lopes then meet DePaul to start day two at 12:30 p.m. GCU sits two games above .500 on the season with a 16-14 record. The Lopes are 0-3 against Top 25 teams in 2018 but are 16-9 at home while going 0-5 at neutral sites.
The Lopes are carrying a team batting average of .316 through 30 games where they outscoring opponents 167-134. Twin sisters Sierra and Shea Smith are GCU’s one-two punch at the plate and on the base paths. The Smith duo has combined for 80 of the Lopes’ 264 hits and have accounted for 12 doubles, seven triples, and four runs, all while driving in 48 runs. Sierra Smith leads the Lopes with a .423 batting average and is a perfect 8-for-8 in stolen bases. Shea Smith is close behind with a .398 and has a team-high .478 on-base percentage behind 39 hits and 14 walks.
Sophomore Brianna Aguilar-Beaucage has been GCU’s go-to in the center circle where the right-hander has collected eight wins in 17 appearances, including 15 starts. In 92.2 innings of work, Aguilar-Beaucage has 47 strikeouts where batters are hitting .288 against her. Alexa Coons has also been a force for the Lopes with a 7-2 record in 13 appearances, recording 38 strikeouts while allowing 32 runs, 28 earned, in 59 innings of work.
Grand Canyon defeated DePaul 3-1 on March 18, 2016, in the two teams only other meeting.
CSUN (formerly Cal State Northridge) looks to bounce back into the win column during the Easton Invitational after dropping six straight games. Prior to Friday’s invitational, the Matadors dropped two home games to #17/18 Ohio State (5-1) and North Dakota State (12-6), bringing their season record to 10-19. The Matadors have battled against five Top 25 opponents in 2018, posting an 0-5 record. CSUN will meet #5/5 Oklahoma and Nebraska on day one of the invitational before seeing DePaul in its third game of the three-day tournament.
Senior Savannah Horvath has been the Matadors’ leader at the plate, storming out to a .410 batting average in 29 games. The infielder has driven in 22 runs on a team-best 32 hits and has scored on 33 occasions. Carrying a .574 on-base percentage, Horvath has walked on 21 occasions to total 78 bases and has posted a 1.000 slugging percentage in clutch situations. To add to her arsenal, Horvath has kept opponents on alert as she has swiped 14 bases in 16 attempts.
The Matadors lead the all-time series with DePaul 6-2. The two programs split their last meeting in 2013 as CSUN won game one 4-2 while the Blue Demons took game two 7-1.
Nebraska and DePaul conclude the Easton Invitational with a noon showdown on Sunday. The Huskers currently ride a six-game winning streak after sweeping doubleheader action against South Dakota State on Wednesday. Nebraska looks to extend its streak on Friday at the Easton Invitational after racing out to a 17-7 start in 2018.
Sophomore Tristen Edwards has been an early candidate for team MVP in 2018 for the Huskers as the infielder has dominated at the plate with a .372 batting average that includes a team-best 20 RBIs on 29 hits. Her five home runs lead Nebraska while her .654 slugging percentage is a squad high as well. Senior Kaylan Jablonski is close behind Edwards with a .351 average where she has connected for 27 hits in 77 at bats. Senior Taylor Otte has given the Huskers an edge in the running game as well, as the outfielder is a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen bases.
Jablonski also carries Nebraska’s pitching staff with a 10-5 record in 19 appearances. In 10 starts, Jablonski has thrown three complete games and converted four saves in 77.1 innings of work. The right-hander has struck out 52 batters and given up 34 runs, two unearned, while allowing batters to connect for 80 hits while posting a .265 batting average against the hurler.
While DePaul leads the all-time series against the Huskers 7-5, Nebraska defeated the Blue Demons 7-5 in the two teams’ last meeting on March 20, 2016 at the Easton Tournament.
For up-to-date information on the 2018 Easton Tournament, check in with DePaulBlueDemons.com or visit the tournament central page by clicking here.
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