Blue Demons welcome UIC, Villanova and Rutgers to Lincoln Park
CHICAGO -- The No. 22/25 DePaul softball team welcomes Chicago rival, UIC and BIG EAST Conference foes Villanova and Rutgers to Cacciatore Stadium for games in Lincoln Park this week. The Blue Demons and Flames tangle on Thursday at 4 p.m. while a doubleheader with Villanova is slated to begin at Noon on Saturday. DePaul closes out the week with an 11 a.m. twinbill with the Scarlet Knights.
The Blue Demons (24-12, 3-3 BIG EAST) enter the week on a two-game winning streak and have not lost a non conference game at Cacciatore Stadium since May 2, 2006 -- a 3-1 loss, to then-No. 14 Northwestern.
This season DePaul is led by junior infielder Amber Patton and sophomore All-American pitcher Becca Heteniak. Patton leads the Blue Demons with a .385 average and has 42 hits. Heteniak (12-5) leads DePaul's pitching staff with a 1.43 ERA which is the 48th best in the nation. The sophomore boasts a perfect 12-0 all-time BIG EAST regular season record and has given up just 10 earned runs in 14 league games. In 2008, Heteniak has proved to be a threat at the plate as she is batting .225 and is tied for third on the team with 11 RBI.
Hailed as the "Blue Line" series, Thursday's meeting with UIC marks the 70 meeting between the two teams. The Blue Demons have won the last three games and hold a 43-26 series advantage.
The Flames (16-21) come into the contest on a six-game winning streak and are led by pitcher Sarah Clynes. Clynes is second on the team with a .328 batting average and has started 17 games in the circle for UIC. Clynes enters the contest with a 10-11 record and a 4.35 ERA.
The Wildcats (14-14-1, 3-5 BIG EAST) sit in eighth place in the BIG EAST standings heading into the weekend. Last week Villanova split doubleheaders with Louisville and USF, who are currently fourth and first, respectively in the league standings. Meghan Morese leads her team with a .357 average, 30 hits, 10 doubles and 21 RBI.
DePaul has won all four series meetings with Villanova.
The Blue Demons close out the week with a doubleheader on Sunday with Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights (14-21, 2-6 BIG EAST) visit Lincoln Park after playing a doubleheader with Notre Dame on Saturday. Mallory Miller leads Rutgers offensive assault with a .333 average and is third on the squad with 16 RBI.
DePaul is 4-2 all-time against Rutgers and won both games in 2007.