Patton Pushes DePaul Past Rutgers in Game One
CHICAGO Amber Patton's RBI single plated the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh as No. 22/25 DePaul defeated Rutgers 4-3, Sunday in BIG EAST Conference softball action at Cacciatore Stadium. With the win, the Blue Demons improve to 27-12 and 6-3 in conference play, while Rutgers falls to 16-22 and 2-7 in the league.
The Blue Demons jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but Rutgers slowly chipped away at the lead and tied the ballgame at three in the top of the seventh.
DePaul used its short game to score the first runs of the ballgame in the third inning. Patton reached on a one-out single and Marie Thompson drew a walk to place runners at first and second for Sandy Vojik. Following a double steal by Patton and Thompson, Vojik laid down a perfect suicide bunt. Running for Thompson at third, pinch runner Katie Hanson stole home on a double steal with Vojik. Still with just one out, Jackie Tarulli-Fisher executed the suicide squeeze to give DePaul a 3-0 lead.
The Scarlet Knights got a run back in the top of the fourth when Mandy Craig sent a RBI double to left field.
Down to their final out, the Scarlet Knights continued to battle as they had runners on second and third for Kaitlyn Valiente. Valiente looped a 2-1 pitch into left field to knot the game at three.
Heading into the bottom half of the seventh DePaul head coach Eugene Lenti, called on his pinch hitting arsenal to get the job done. With one-out and one on, pinch hitter Simone Ashkar roped a single to right field to get the rally started. Lauren Frankiewicz followed and reached on a fielder's choice which set the stage for Patton's game-winning single.
DePaul starter Becca Heteniak recorded the win and improved to 14-5 on season. The sophomore allowed four hits and struck out seven in her 14th consecutive BIG EAST regular season victory. At the plate, Heteniak was 1-for-2.
Chrissy Yard (5-12) suffered the loss for Rutgers. Yard threw the complete game and allowed six hit and struck out one.
The Blue Demons and Scarlet Knight finish their doubleheader later this afternoon.