Heteniak Dominates in BIG EAST Opener
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Maybe we should just call her "BIG EAST Becca."
The league's two-time Pitcher of the Year opened the conference season on Saturday with a vintage performance in leading DePaul to a 2-0 victory over No. 23/24 Louisville.
This was the second victory over a nationally ranked team in the last eight days. The Blue Demons upset No. 1/1 Washington on March 19.
Heteniak limited Louisville (20-11, 0-1 in the BIG EAST) to two hits while striking out eight and walking three in evening her record to 8-8.
The only time Heteniak was threatened was in the bottom of the fourth inning. Alicia Wolny led off with a double and gave way to pinch-runner Chelsea Jordan.
After Jordan Trimble struck out, Colby Wherry hit a single to left field.
That's Bree Brown territory, and the freshman fielded the ball cleanly and came up throwing. Her strike from left field to catcher Simone Ashkar nailed Jordan trying to score from second base.
Brown's play and the flawless support behind Heteniak is the kind of defense DePaul coach Eugene Lenti has been anticipating.
In contrast, the Cardinals---preseason choice by BIG EAST coaches to win the title---made a pair of costly mistakes that the Blue Demons jumped on.
In the top of the third, Sean Plese reached on a walk and was on the move when Tara Voss followed with a single. When Louisville left-fielder Jennifer Esteban committed an error, Plese came around to score the first run of the conference season.
A little more Cardinal generosity contributed to an insurance run in the fourth. Brittney Yniguez led off with a single, moved to second on Brown's bunt and took third on a passed ball.
When Louisville catcher Melissa Roth tried to throw out Yniguez at third, an off-target attempt allowed the junior infielder to score.
DePaul (15-11, 1-0) went for the sweep in game two with the freshman Brown (5-2) in the pitching circle against Louisville's Tori Collins.
NOTES: The Blue Demons collected five hits off Wadwell---one each by Voss, Heteniak, Simone Ashkar, Yniguez and Plese... Yniguez scored her 12th run of the season, second on the team to Voss with 14... Voss leads the team with a .309 batting average and is also tops in hits with 14 and home runs with four... Heteniak is hitting .303 with 20 hits and a team-high 23 walks... Shea Warren is at .294 followed by Morocco at .286... Ashkar is batting .273 with 18 hits and a team-high 18 RBI... Plese is hitting .273... Heteniak is 8-8 with a 1.95 earned-run average and 116 strikeouts in 97 innings... opponents are hitting just .191 against her.