The No. 23/21 DePaul softball team begins a five-game road trip this on Thursday. The Blue Demons start their with a nonconference game at Illinois on Thursday then travel to Connecticut and Providence for a pair of weekend BIG EAST Conference double
CHICAGO The No. 23/21 DePaul softball team begins a five-game road trip this on Thursday. The Blue Demons start their with a nonconference game at Illinois on Thursday then travel to Connecticut and Providence for a pair of weekend BIG EAST Conference doubleheaders over the weekend.
DePaul (13-7, 2-0) has won its last three games and enter the week with a .298 team batting average. Amber Patton leads DePaul and the BIG EAST Conference with a .471 season average, while she hit a blistering .833 in her first two league games over the weekend. Patton enters this week on a four-game hitting streak which started against New Mexico on Mar. 14. During her streak she has hit for the cycle and averaged .583 with five RBI.
Big time hits have come from a trio not named Patton, Annie Demas, Becca Heteniak and Jackie Tarulli-Fisher all have averages over .340. Tarulli-Fisher leads the squad with a 23 RBI and five home runs. Heteniak has a team-best seven doubles, while Demas boasts a .684 slugging percentage.
The Blue Demons first road test comes in Urbana on Thursday when they take on Illinois (16-7) at 6 p.m. DePaul and the Fighting Illini have 15 times, with the Blue Demons holding an 8-6-1 series advantage and have won the last three contests. Entering Thursday’s contest, Illinois has won its last four games, including an 18-15 game with Penn State on Mar. 22. Hope Howell leads the Illini with 20 RBI and is third on the team with a .325 average.
The weekend sends the Blue Demons east to BIG EAST foes Connecticut and Providence. DePaul is a combined 11-4 against the Huskies and Friars, while it has won the last 11 league meetings with the two teams.
Connecticut (11-8, 2-2) is lead by Julianne Towers’ .397 average and five home runs. Reigning BIG EAST Player of the Year Micah Traux is fourth on the team with a .242 average, 11 RBI and three home runs. The Blue Demons and Huskies’ league doubleheader is slated to begin at 11 a.m. (CST) at the UConn Softball Stadium on Saturday.
Prior to DePaul coming to town, Providence (5-16, 0-0) opens BIG EAST play with Notre Dame on Saturday. The Friars are led by Mary Rose Sheehy’s .422 average and 12 RBI. Sunday’s doubleheader is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Raymond Field.
Following the Blue Demons five-game road swing; DePaul welcomes Seton Hall and Pittsburgh for a pair of BIG EAST doubleheaders at Cacciatore Stadium on April 4 and 5, respectively.
Count Down to 1,000
DePaul head Coach Eugene Lenti enters this week with 996 career wins. He needs just four wins to become the ninth NCAA DI coach to reach the 1,000 win mark.
Patton BIG EAST POW x2
Senior All-American Amber Patton leads the BIG EAST Conference with a .471 average and has earned the league’s Player of the Week accolades twice this season. Her first honor came following DePaul’s performance at the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament on Feb. 23. At the tournament, boasted a team-best .909 slugging percentage. She Among her 15 hits were a double and two triples, as she scored 10 of DePaul’s 60 runs. While only receiving one free pass from opposing pitchers, the senior went without a strikeout over the weekend. Patton propelled the Blue Demons with six RBI while netting a team-high .696 on base percentage for the week. On the season, Patton is batting .548 (23-for-42) and is on a 14-game hitting streak dating back to the 2008 season.
For an encore, Patton was named Player of the Week on Mar. 23. The senior helped the Blue Demons get off to 2-0 start in BIG EAST play with a pair of wins against St. John’s (4-1, 9-4) on March 21. The senior crushed the first home run of her career, slapped a triple and singled in the first game of the doubleheader. Patton followed up that performance with a double and single in game two to complete the cycle for the doubleheader. Patton had a team-high four RBI through the weekend and finished with a 1.833 slugging percentage.
Heteniak Player of the Week
Having won five BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week honors in her career, Becca Heteniak secured her first BIG EAST Player of the Week recognition on Feb. 16. At the Louisville Slugger/UNLV Desert Classic, Heteniak helped the Blue Demons to wins over No. 6/5 Michigan, Southern Miss, Oregon State and Kentucky. Heteniak tallied eight hits and eight RBI for an impressive 1.000 slugging percentage. Of Heteniak’s eight hits, four were doubles and another was a home run. In the circle, Heteniak (2-1) recorded the win against Oregon State and Kentucky while she was credited with the save against No. 6/5 Michigan and Southern Miss. She struck out 16.
Drafted by the Chicago Bandits
DePaul All-American Amber Patton was selected in the fourth round of the National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft by the Chicago Bandits last week. The senior has yet to sign a contract with the Chicago based team and will not until the DePaul season has concluded therefore preserving her amateur status.
The Chicago Bandits have been home to former Blue Demon greats, Liz Bouck (Jagielski), Lindsay Chouinard and Tracie Adix, while head Coach Eugene Lenti coached the franchise in its inaugural season in 2005.
Preseason BIG EAST Favorites
After winning the 2008 BIG EAST Conference Softball Championship and the 2007 regular season title, the 2009 edition of the DePaul softball team has been picked first in the Coaches’ Preseason Poll. Nine of the BIG EAST’s 13 head coaches gave the Blue Demons first-place votes while USF picked up the final four votes. Louisville, Notre Dame and Connecticut rounded out the top-5.
Judi Garman Notes
The DePaul softball measured itself against the nation’s best last week at the Judi Garman Classic hosted by Cal St. Fullerton, Mar. 12-15. The Blue Demons defeated Fullerton and No. 24/20 Fresno State while they dropped games to No. 9/8 Oklahoma, No. 6/11 Arizona State and New Mexico. DePaul was led by Jackie Tarulli-Fisher’s bat. The senior registered four RBI and a .563 slugging percentage. Both Becca Heteniak and Lindsey Dean went 1-1 on the weekend. Dean struck out a career-high seven in DePaul’s win over Fresno State.
Rain in Georgia
The Blue Demons suffered weather cancellations and losses to Penn State and UMass. DePaul traveled to the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Georgia Feb. 27-Mar. 1. The Blue Demons were two-hit and dropped a 4-1 game to Penn State on Friday, while UMass topped DePaul 2-0 on Saturday. DePaul’s games with Georgia, Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU and Nebraska were canceled due to inclement weather.
DePaul went 5-1 at the Florida Gulf Coach Tournament and picked up two wins over Michigan State, Fairfield, Bethune-Cookman and split a pair of games with tournament host Florida Gulf Coast. The Blue Demons outscored their opponents 60-15 in the weekend tournament, while as a team they collected a .401 batting average. Amber Patton led DePaul with 15 hits for an unbelievable .682 batting average and a team-high .909 slugging percentage. Patton was responsible for 26% of the Blue Demons scoring. The senior third baseman scored 10 of DePaul’s 60 runs while she knocked in six runs. Jackie Tarulli-Fisher provided DePaul with 13 RBI. In the circle, Lindsey Dean improved to 5-0 on the season and picked up wins over Florida Gulf Coast, Michigan State and Fairfield. She struck out 11 and walked just two batters.
The Blue Demons started the season 4-1, defeating No. 6/5 Michigan 5-3, , Oregon State, 7-6, Southern Miss 8-5 and Kentucky 5-1 at the Louisville Slugger/UNLV Desert Classic. DePaul lone loss of the weekend came against Portland State 7-1 in the final game of the tournament. Pitchers Becca Heteniak and Lindsay Dean each picked up a pair of wins, while Heteniak added two saves. Heteniak did however suffer the loss against Portland State. At the plate Annie Demas and Heteniak made some noise. Demas knocked three double and a trio of RBI. Heteniak was a monster at the plate and recorded eight RBI on seven hits. Of those seven hits, four were doubles and one was a home run.
ASA Top 50 Watch List
DePaul’s senior third baseman Amber Patton and junior pitcher Becca Heteniak have been named to The Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), initial “Watch List” for the 8th Annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. The list will be cut to 50 the first week of April and a list of 10 finalist will be announced in May. Heteniak was an All-American as a freshman, while Patton earned the distinction as junior.
Amber Patton becomes the first DePaul player in as many years to be a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS award. Besides her numbers on the field, Patton represented DePaul at BIG EAST Student-Athlete Advisory Council as well as NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Conference. An active member of DePaul’s Captains Council, Patton has volunteered to make lunches for the homeless as well as raised money for breast cancer research.
Second year assistant coach and Olympic medalist Cat Osterman is keeping a weekly a blog on depaulbluedemons.com. Views Cat’s photos and read her stories throughout the year.
Amber’s World - my senior season
Amber Patton is chronicling here senior season in a weekly blog that is posted on depaulbluedemons.com. Patton’s blog will be a fans insight into the Blue Demon softball program.