DePaul Devours No. 23/24 Louisville With All-You-Can-Hit Outburst
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - All you can say is---wow.
DePaul went wild on a sunny Saturday in Muhammad Ali's hometown, tearing up Ulmer Stadium with a veritable offensive smorgasbord in a 15-4 triumph over No. 23/24 Louisville in the second game of a BIG EAST-opening double-header.
First in line at this all-you-can-hit buffet was Tara Voss, who led off the game with a solo home run.
The slugging junior also filled up her plate with a pair of doubles, four runs scored and had three RBI on the side.
"This was a blast," Voss said. "Up and down the lineup, everybody just kept hitting. My bat was slower in the first game (2-0 DePaul victory), and in the second game, I decided to come out hacking.
"That pitch I hit was a low changeup, and I got on the barrel of the bat."
DePaul (16-11, 2-0 in the BIG EAST) had Louisville (20-12, 0-2) over a barrel early, scoring one run in the first inning, two in the second and three in the third.
Anyone for four in the fourth?
Actually, the Blue Demons put up a nine-spot---scoring all nine runs with two outs. If you've got a few minutes, here's how it happened.
Simone Ashkar led off with a single and Sarah Shizas ran for her. Brittney Yniguez singled and gave way to pinch-runner Bridget Pasapane.
Annie Demas coaxed a one-out walk and Lynsey Ciezki fouled out to the Cardinals' first baseman.
Sean Plese walked to bring in the first run of the inning. Voss was hit by a pitch for run No. 2. Next came Alex Morocco's RBI single.
Becca Heteniak followed with an RBI double and Simone Ashkar blasted a two-run home run. Yniguez got her second hit of the inning with a double and Marie Thompson drove her home with a single.
When the smoke had cleared, the Blue Demons had nine runs on seven hits and sent 13 batters to the plate.
"That fourth inning was a lot of fun," Voss said. "There was lot of yelling and high-fives all the way around.
"We were aware that Louisville was picked by the BIG EAST coaches to win the league this season. We wanted to show them that we deserve to be No. 1."
With a 15-0 cushion, winning pitcher Bree Brown cruised to her sixth victory of the season with two losses. Lindsey Dean came on to pitch the fifth and final inning of this mercy-rule shortened game.
"They were great, fantastic," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti about his players. "It was a great game all the way around. Tara led off the game with that home run, and that put a lot of pressure on them after losing the first game.
"This is why we played one of the toughest nonconference schedules in the country. It gets us ready for the BIG EAST season."
The top of the order was explosive for DePaul. Second batter Alex Morocco was 3-for-3 with four RBI and a run scored. The first two Blue Demons combined to go 6-for-7 with seven RBI, three doubles and five runs.
Louisville starter Tori Collins lasted 2.1 innings, surrendering 10 runs and eight hits. Cardinals ace Kristen Wadwell, losing pitcher in the first game, returned for the final 2.2 innings and gave up five runs on seven hits.
"If Wadwell pitches the final game of the series on Sunday, our hitters saw a lot of her today," Lenti said. "We're going to enjoy this win tonight and then get ready for Louisville on Sunday."
NOTES: This was DePaul's highest-scoring game since Feb. 22, 2009 when the Blue Demons crushed Fairfield 19-2 at the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament... DePaul scored twice in the second on Morocco's two-run double... in the third, Plese and Voss hit back-to-back RBI doubles and Morocco had an RBI single... Voss and Ashkar homered and Voss had two doubles while Morocco, Heteniak, Yniguez and Plese each had one double... the 15 runs and 15 hits were both season highs... every Blue Demon starter except Brown had a hit and Voss, Morocco, Ashkar, Yniguez and Ciezki all had a multiple-hit game... Pasapane scored her first collegiate run... for the week, Heteniak is batting .500 while Voss is hitting .455 with a home run, two doubles, three RBI and four runs... Ashkar is batting .444 for the week with two home runs, six RBI and two runs... on the season, Voss leads the Blue Demons with a .333 batting average and is tops in runs (18), hits (24) and tied for the home run lead (five) with Ashkar... Morocco is hitting .318 with 21 hits and Heteniak is at .309 with 21 hits and a team-high 24 walks... Shea Warren is hitting .294 and Ashkar .286 with 20 hits, five homers and a team-high 20 RBI... Plese is batting .277 with 14 runs, Marla Mathews is at .263 and Yniguez is hitting .250 with 13 runs... as a team, DePaul is hitting .254 to its opponents' .211 and has outscored its opposition 106-74... Brown is 6-2 with a 3.36 earned-run average, 74 strikeouts in 60 innings and an opponents' batting average of .241... Dean is 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA, and opponents are batting .213 against her.