Softball Welcomes UIC and Southern Miss to Wish Field
DePaul opens the week facing cross-town rival UIC. The Flames enter the series after erasing a three-run deficit to beat
Astiazaran leads the Flames with a .482 batting average and 10 home runs this season. In the circle, UIC is led by the pitching duo of Mercedes Lovato and Brittany McIntyre, who combine for a 3.57 ERA. Lovato has recorded 14 victories while McIntyre has 78 strikeouts.
The Blue Demons lead the all-time series with the Flames, 38-25 and have won four of the last six meetings.
DePaul finishes their home stand by welcoming Southern Miss on Saturday and Sunday. The two teams will play their final conference series as the Blue Demons are slated to move to the BIG EAST on July 1, 2005 and the Golden Eagles will stay in C-USA.
Both teams have had a storied history in C-USA; they are the only teams to make trips to the NCAA Women’s College World Series; both making the journey in 1999 and 2000. Southern Miss and DePaul are also the only two teams to win the C-USA Tournament Title. The Golden Eagles won the first two tournaments in 2000 and 2001, while the Blue Demons have won the last three, dating back to 2002.
This season the Golden Eagles have struggled, falling to 5-7 in the C-USA standings after suffering a three-game shutout sweep at the hands of Louisville last weekend. Southern Miss is led by junior shortstop Jessica Huerta, who leads the team with 43 hits, 66 RBI and a .361 batting average.
The pitching duties for Southern Miss are handled by five different players. Freshman Krystal Crooks (10-6) leads the five-some with a 3.08 ERA and has struck out 40 batters. The pitching staff holds a 4.03 ERA through 259 innings.
Last season, Southern Miss took two games from DePaul and the third game was rained out. Previous to last season the Blue Demons had won the last six meetings and are 12-8 all-time against the Golden Eagles.
After closing out the home stand, the Blue Demons will spend the next week on the road playing seven games in seven days. DePaul returns to Wish Field on April 19th to take on future BIG EAST opponent Notre Dame at 3:00 p.m.
Facts on File
2005 Record: 26-16, 3-0 Horizon League
This week: W, 4-3 vs. Wisconsin (4/6)
Series with DePaul: 25-38
Last time vs. DePaul: W, 6-1 (2005)
Head Coaches: Tom Gray & Sarah O’Malley-Fisher
2005 Record: 19-21, 5-7 Conference USA
This Week: Thursday, April 7 vs. Mississippi St.
Series with DePaul: 8-12, W, 12-4 (205)
Head Coaches: Gay McNutt
The Blue Demons opened their season at home last weekend, outscoring Charlotte 19-2 during a three-game sweep. With the three wins, DePaul kept pace with Louisville atop the C-USA standings. Saskia Roberson went 5-for-9 in the series and belted her fifth and sixth home runs of the season. The senior has connected on 42 long balls for her career giving her the top spot on the all-time C-USA charts. Sophomore pitcher Tracie Adix tossed a one-hit shutout in game two of the Charlotte series. Adix struck out seven in her third shutout of the season. DePaul is in the middle of an eight-game home stand with five more games this week at Wish Field.
No Hit Huitink
Sophomore pitcher Megan Huitink threw her first career no-hitter against Florida Atlantic on February 26, while the Blue Demons were competing at the NFCA Classic. Huitink became only the sixth pitcher in the NFCA Classic’s ten year history to throw a no hitter. The sophomore struck out 12 of the 24 batters she faced.
Roberson Putting Out the Records
Senior All-American Saskia Roberson has her eyes on three DePaul career records, the record for putouts, RBI and doubles. The senior began the season with 878 putouts, 134 RBI and 31 doubles; needing 458 putouts and 44 RBI to take over the records and 13 doubles to enter the top-five. With 29 games left in the season, Roberson has registered 249 putouts, 14 RBI and seven doubles, pulling her within games of records. The senior already holds the school record for most career home runs, a record she broke as a junior. Roberson has 42 career home runs.
Senior’s Seeing Double
Jenny Doezie and Saskia Roberson became members of the double-double club this season. The two seniors have recorded two doubles in one game. Doezie registered her first double-double game against Houston on March 22nd. Roberson recorded two double-doubles this season, her first coming came against Gardner Webb (2/5) and her second against North Carolina (2/25). In 2004, Roberson recorded a team high four double-doubles.
Preseason Conference USA Honors
Roberson is the league’s top returning home run (13) and RBI (55) threat from a year ago and brings a lofty .340 career average into her final campaign with the Blue Demons. Roberson, who finished the 2004 season with the 46th best batting average in the country (.393) and the 40th highest slugging percentage, is the league’s only returning All-American.
2004 All C-USA recipient sophomore Linda Secka joined Roberson on the preseason honor list in the outfield. Secka played centerfield and finished the 2004 season with the 18th highest conference batting average (.349) and led the Blue Demons with four triples.
DePaul enters its final season in Conference USA and was tabbed to finish the regular season in fourth behind the favorite Louisville, Houston and USF. The Blue Demons have won three regular season titles (2001, 2002, 2003) and three consecutive Tournament Titles (2002, 2003, 2004).
The Blue Demons participated in some of the nation’s best tournaments, the Clearwater Invitational, the Stanford Invitational, the NFCA Lead-Off Classic and the KIA KLASSIC. The Blue Demons faced eight ranked team in their first 18 games. They picked up a pair of wins over ranked teams, they defeated No. 4 Oklahoma, 4-1 at the Clearwater Invitational and they shutout No. 18 Nebraska, 2-0 at the KIA Klassic.
Two Blue Demons have birthdays in the month of April. Sophomore Megan Huitink will celebrate on the 14th while freshman Allie Mulligan is on the 30th.
The Blue Demons have five new faces in the dugout, freshmen Katie Hanson (Oregon, Ill.), Allie Mulligan (Chicago, Ill.), Marcy Wilus (Lyons, Ill.) and Sandy Vojik (Riverside, Ill.). Megan Huitink a sophomore transfer from the University of Illinois also joins DePaul this season. The five new faces add power, speed and versatility to Blue Demon line-up.
Becoming Cacciatore Stadium
DePaul will play their final season on Wish Field before the field is closed for improvements and will be renamed Cacciatore Stadium. The stadium will feature covered dugouts, enhanced batting cages and bullpen areas, permanent seating and a working press box.