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Softball Visits In-State Rivals During Mid-Week Non-Conference Action
Kirsten Verdun is coming off a weekend which saw her pitch her first career no-hitter, while going 3-0 in games against Notre Dame and Seton Hall.


Kirsten Verdun is coming off a weekend which saw her pitch her first career no-hitter, while going 3-0 in games against Notre Dame and Seton Hall.

April 8, 2014

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CHICAGO - Coming off a superb 4-0 week, which featured a win over No. 23/25 Notre Dame and a three-game sweep of BIG EAST rival Seton Hall, the DePaul softball team will play a couple non-conference games before hosting Georgetown at home April 12-13.

DePaul travels to Normal, Ill. to face Illinois State tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. CT before returning to play local rival Loyola in a 4:00 p.m. game on Thursday at Cacciatore Stadium. The game will technically be an away game for the Blue Demons, as Loyola's field has been deemed unplayable for the contest -- the game was originally schedule to be played in Rogers Park.

Both named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday, Kirsten Verdun and Mary Connolly were the standouts last weekend for DePaul. Verdun, the team's senior ace, fired her first career no-hitter on Saturday after logging seven innings of two-run ball to help DePaul to its first ranked win of the season against No. 23/25 Notre Dame.

Overall, the Blue Demons improved to 24-8 and remained undefeated in conference play at 7-0 with the perfect weekend. 

DePaul returns to BIG EAST play this weekend, welcoming Georgetown for a three-game series April 12-13.

Scouting The Redbirds
Illinois State enters the week winners of 4-of-6 and coming off a weekend series win at Southern Illinois in which the team scored 36 runs in three games. The Redbirds are 6-3 in the MVC (14-21 overall) and hit .243 as a team, but have tremendous power with 32 homers and 157 runs scored as a squad. In the circle, Illinois State has a 4.39 ERA.

Regan Romshek (9-11, 3.36 ERA) handles most of the pitching for the Redbirds and is also a .295 hitter with four homers. Catcher Jordan de los Reyes is a big-time power threat with a .289 batting average, eight homers and 30 RBI.

The Blue Demons will be looking to avenge a 5-4 loss to ISU last April 9 at Cacciatore Stadium. The two teams have split their last four meetings and DePaul trails 14-19-2 in the all-time series.

Scouting The Ramblers
Loyola enters this week's game 4-4 since late March and running 5-6 during its first season in the MVC (14-19 overall). The Ramblers hit .257 as a team and have recorded a team ERA of 4.68. Early in the season, Loyola posted a 3-2 win in eight innings against perenially Pac-12 powerhouse, California, and have played in 15 games decided by two runs or less.

Lauren Moore leads the offense with a .291 batting average to go with five homers and 23 RBI. Alyssa Mannucci bats .280 and has added four homers and 21 RBI. Senior pitcher Brittany Gardner (3.42 ERA, 10-8) set the Loyola career record for innings pitched in her last start.

DePaul won last year's meeting 4-0 on April 25 behind a three-hitter by Kirsten Verdun and is 59-8 in the all-time series against the Ramblers.

Award-Winning
DePaul claimed five of the first eight BIG EAST Conference weekly awards. This Monday, Kirsten Verdun and Mary Connolly made appearances on the Honor Roll.

Three weeks ago, Ali Lenti made her first career appearance on the league's honor roll after hitting .444 (4-for-9) at the Cal State Fullerton Titan Classic. The week prior, junior Mary Connolly took home Player of the Week honors on March 3 as Verdun joined her on the honor roll.

Nicole Pihl has also been honored as Player of the Week (2/24) with senior Hannah Penna joining her on the weekly honor roll.

Verdun began her season by earning a BIG EAST weekly honor in each of the first two weeks. On Feb. 10, the senior lefty was honored as Pitcher of the Week and followed it up with a Player of the Week recognition on Feb. 17. Junior Mary Connolly was also named Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 17, while classmate Staci Bonezek was an honor roll nominee on Feb. 10.

Still Going Strong
Head coach Eugene Lenti begins his 33rd season heading up the Blue Demon program in 2014, and the Hall of Famer has amassed an extraordinary career record of 1,194-578-6. He is the fifth winningest active coach in the nation and has led DePaul to the NCAA tournament in 15 of the last 17 years.

That run includes four trips to the Women's College World Series. In three of the last six seasons, the Blue Demons have won either a BIG EAST regular-season title or BIG EAST Conference Championship tournament title. Lenti and his assistant coaches have also been honored as the BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year three times.

Verdun Making History in Senior Season
One of the most decorated pitchers (and hitters) in school history, senior Kirsten Verdun has moved into first-place all-time in school history in strikeouts looking (200) and is in the top-five of 12 different career categories. As a batter, she is second all-time in homers (35) and walks (135).

Notable
DePaul has out-scored its opposition 45-16 in the first inning of games this season... the Blue Demons are 17-0 when holding their opponent to two runs or less... the team is currently riding a six-game winning streak with wins in 10 of their past 12... Mary Connolly ranks first in the BIG EAST and 38th nationally with a .753 slugging percentage... freshman Dylan Christensen has a team and BIG EAST-best 10 doubles... Kirsten Verdun ranks 19th nationally in strikeouts (168), 35th in K's per seven innings (8.4) and 19th in wins (16)...  

Blue Demons Leading the Conference Pack
Offensively, DePaul leads the BIG EAST in batting average (.310), runs scored (176), slugging percentage (.481), on-base percentage (.380), hits (267), RBI (158), doubles (44), triples (8), home runs (29) and total bases (414)... DePaul pitchers lead the league in wins and saves, while ranking second in team ERA (2.40) and first in opponent batting average (.223), hits allowed (179), runs allowed (98) and earned runs allowed (71)...