Blue Demons' Attack Takes Down Rutgers
CHICAGO - A veritable slugfest broke out at Cacciatore Stadium on Sunday, and DePaul came away with the biggest numbers.
The Blue Demons pounded out 14 hits in a 10-7 BIG EAST Conference victory over Rutgers that gave them their first series sweep of the season.
"The offense definitely carried the day," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti. "That's a good thing because our pitching wasn't sharp and our defense let us down a couple of times.
"It makes a difference when our hitters are taking a better approach at the plate. We've been doing a better job lately of tracking the ball, and the lineup is getting contributions from everyone."
Alex Morocco had three hits while Sean Plese, Tara Voss and Brittney Yniguez each had two hits. Voss had three RBI and scored twice. Marla Mathews and Plese each had a pair of RBI.
DePaul (24-14, 8-3 in the BIG EAST Conference) shot out to a 7-0 lead after scoring twice in the first inning (Mathews two-run single) and five times in the second inning.
Plese and Voss each had a two-run single in that inning Yniguez had an RBI single.
"The whole team contributed throughout the lineup, and that was good," Morocco said. "Their pitcher (Abbey Houston) kept throwing me the same pitches, and I was able to take them to right field.
Morocco went 7-for-15 (.467) in the week's five games with two RBI and three runs scored.
"I'm seeing the ball pretty well," she said. "I'm also feeling real comfortable and confident at the plate."
Lindsey Dean struggled in relief of starter and winning pitcher Bree Brown (10-4), giving up three runs in the fourth inning.
Rutgers (15-26, 2-8) scored once in the third and three times in the fourth and sixth to pull within 8-7 after DePaul had scored once in the fifth inning.
The Blue Demons added insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth on RBI doubles by Annie Demas and Morocco.
"This showed a lot about our team," Lenti said. "We did it without Becca (Heteniak), who is injured.
"Becca is our best hitter, and we were able to score 10 runs without her. We have the ability to score runs with our balanced attack."
The Blue Demons hope to be clicking on all phases of the game Thursday when they welcome BIG EAST leader Notre Dame to Cacciatore Stadium for a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.
NOTES: Yniguez had a big week for the Blue Demons, going 6-for-10 with six RBI and a run scored... On Sunday, DePaul was patient enough to draw five walks from Houston, but Brown and Dean combined to walk eight Scarlet Knight batters... among the Blue Demons' 14 hits was Allie Warren's pinch-hit single to left field---her first collegiate hit... this was Morocco's ninth multi-hit game, and the fifth time the junior center fielder has had three hits in a game... Plese, Voss and Yniguez have each have six multi-hit games... Yniguez and Marie Thompson are riding three-game hitting streaks... Morocco leads the Blue Demons in hitting at .333 followed by Shea Warren (.313), Plese (.312), Voss (.307) and Yniguez (.296)... Voss tops the team in runs with 28 and Plese has 22... Morocco is the doubles' leader with eight followed by Heteniak with seven... Voss leads in home runs with five and Mathews has four... Voss is No. 1 in RBI with 18 and Heteniak is next with 16... Morocco leads DePaul in hits with 33 followed by Voss (31), Heteniak (25) and Plese (24)... in BIG EAST Conference games, Yniguez is batting .458, Morocco .455, Thompson .400 and Plese .345.