Blue Demons Travel to East Carolina
CHICAGO--The 16th-ranked Blue Demon softball team returns to the field this weekend in Greenville, N.C. facing the East Carolina Pirates. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday followed by a single game on Sunday. Game time is set for 12:00 both days. Saturday marks the first meeting between the two teams and the beginning of Conference USA play for the Blue Demons.
BLUE DEMONS BEAT
DePaul enters this weekend with a 12-5 record. The Blue Demons are coming off a 2-3 weekend at the Kia Klassic in Fullerton, Calif. After drilling New Mexico 7-1 in the opener of the tournament, Texas knocked off the Demons 1-0 in eight innings. On the second day of the Klassic, eighth-ranked Arizona State snuck by the Blue Demons 6-5 and #22 Florida State downed DePaul 11-5. The Blue Demons rebounded in the consolation bracket on the final day of the tournament downing Texas Tech 5-3.
The Blue Demons are hitting .298 as a team. Liz Bouck leads the team with 21 hits carrying a .382 batting average into the weekend. She is also tied for the team lead in runs scored with 11. Bouck is followed by Shavaughne Desecki who is batting .367 this season along with eight RBI. Gina Ramacci leads the Blue Demons with 13 RBI and Saskia Roberson leads the team with three home runs. Six Blue Demons hitters are batting .300 or higher. Ashley Parker leads the team with a .400 average (2-for-5) followed by Bouck, Desecki, Jenny Doezie (.353), Christina Douglas (.345) and Dana Kenney (.300).
On the mound, the Blue Demons enter the weekend with a miniscule 0.93 ERA. Lindsay Chouinard leads the staff with a 0.56 ERA. Chouinard is 6-2 allowing five earned runs in 62 2/3 innings. She has walked only seven batters striking out 57. April Valdez is 3-2 with a 1.25 ERA. Valdez has allowed five earned runs in 28 innings. Sarah Martz enters the series with a 3-1 record and a 1.57 ERA. She has struck out 20 batters in 20 1/3 innings.
ABOUT EAST CAROLINA
The Pirates are coming off a doubleheader sweep of UNC-Wilmington improving to 20-10 on the season. ECU won the first game 2-0 and the second game by a score of 8-3. The Pirates are 2-1 in Conference USA play. East Carolina took two out of three from Louisville a week ago.
The Pirates are led by Angela Manzo who is batting .370 this season. Manzo went 5-for-5 in the second game against UNC-Wilmington missing the cycle by a home run. She has 34 hits and has scored 19 runs this year. Stacey Smith leads the Pirates with two home runs and 15 RBI.
Nicole Bacon leads the Pirates pitching staff with a record 0f 10-5 and a 0.91 ERA. Bacon has struck out 106 batters in 92 1/3 innings. Laurie Davidson is second on the team with a 6-4 record and a 2.34 ERA.
Despite dropping three games last weekend, the Blue Demons only dropped two spots in the latest USA Today/NFCA Top 25. DePaul comes in 16th in this weeks poll after reaching a season-best 14th in last week’s poll. Click here to view the Top 25.
The Blue Demons are looking to repeat as Conference USA regular season champions. DePaul finished 17-3 in the conference last season capturing the program’s first Conference USA regular season championship. The Blue Demons went on to finish second in the conference tournament falling to Southern Miss 2-0 in the championship.
DEPAUL VS. RANKED TEAMS
DePaul is 2-3 against ranked opponents this season. The Blue Demons downed fourth-ranked LSU 8-4 in the season opening LSU Tiger Classic. Two weeks later the Demons split with #12 Pacific, winning the first game 2-0 and dropping the second game by the same 2-0 score at the UNLV Mini tournament. Last weekend, at the Kia Klassic, the Blue Demons fell to #8 Arizona State and #22 Florida State.
With conference play beginning the Blue Demons are finished playing tournaments until the conference championship in May. DePaul have competed in four tournaments this season building a 12-5 record. The Blue Demons finished 4-1 at the LSU Tiger Classic to open the season. Two weeks later DePaul finished 3-1 at the UNLV Mini tournament. Next up the Demons traveled to Atlanta to compete in the Georgia State tournament and finished 3-0 with games against Georgia and Georgia State canceled due to rain. DePaul then finished 2-3 at the Kia Klassic last weekend.