Verdun Named National Player of the Week
April 3, 2012
CHICAGO – Several hours before her game at Loyola Chicago on Tuesday, Kirsten Verdun received some very good news.
Verdun was named USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week by the Amateur Softball Association after her dominant performances against No. 11/11 Louisville over the weekend.
“I’m very excited and kind of shocked,” said Verdun who was 2-0 against the Cardinals with a 0.50 ERA. “This was so unexpected. It is a really big honor, and it’s the first time I’ve gotten an award like this in college.
“It’s also a reassurance that when you do the right things, you are capable of helping your team succeed.”
After defeating Louisville 7-1 on Saturday, Verdun came right back less than 24 hours later and was the winning pitcher in a 3-0 triumph. In the Sunday game, Verdun hit a game-winning, three-run home run. Louisville had been the last undefeated team in Division I.
Louisville came into Cacciatore Stadium as the hottest team in the nation riding a 28-game winning streak. The Cardinals boasted a .337 team batting average, but only hit .104 against Verdun---who had 11 strikeouts and no walks.
“This award says we have great instruction from head coach Eugene Lenti and assistant coaches Nancy Evans and Samantha Findlay,” said Verdun who leads the Blue Demons with an 11-5 record. “They can identify our weaknesses, and they know how to make us better.
“I want to say there’s no way I could have won an award like this without the help of all my teammates. The defense behind me always has my back.”
DePaul coach Eugene Lenti was proud of his ace’s accomplishment.
“That’s one of the highest honors you can receive,” Lenti said. “It’s a credit to Kirsten and how hard she has worked. She executes the game plan, getting ahead in the count and keeping the ball in the park.
“On Sunday, she helped her own cause with a three-run homer to beat No. 11 Louisville. She was dominant on the mound and in the batter’s box.”
Verdun is glad this honor will enhance the national reputation of the Blue Demon softball program.
“The recognition is huge,” Verdun said. “We have a lot of great players on our team, and as a program we have built a pretty good resume. This can only help.
“People around the country mention DePaul when they’re talking about the top softball programs.”