DePaul Bounces Back and Topples Louisville in Game Two
CHICAGO The No. 20/19 DePaul softball team split a BIG EAST Conference doubleheader with a 9-1, five inning, game two victory over No. 17/18 Louisville on Wednesday at Cacciatore Stadium.
After dropping the first game of the doubleheader, 10-1, the Blue Demons (32-10, 16-3 BIG EAST) rebounded with nine hits and scored in each inning for their 16th conference victory of the season. The win, places DePaul back in the top slot of the league standings with Notre Dame, who also has three conference losses.
DePaul jumped on the board in the first inning on Marie Thompson’s first collegiate home run. Thompson’s long ball just cleared the fence in left field and scored Jackie Tarulli-Fisher and Becca Heteniak. With two outs, Tarulli-Fisher reached on single to center and Heteniak took a full count walk to set the stage for Thompson’s homer.
The Blue Demons matched their run total in the second frame. Brittney Yniguez singled and scored on Amber Patton’s double down the left field line. Lynsey Ciezki followed with a single up the middle and Patton scored on a pass ball. Tarulli-Fisher walked and stole second base before Heteniak knocked a RBI double to the fence in right center to give DePaul a 6-0 lead.
The Blue Demons added two runs in the third frame. Louisville reliever Tori Collins, hit pinch hitter Katelyn Braget and Tarulli-Fisher with the bases loaded which credited both batters with RBI.
A fielding error in the fourth plated DePaul’s final run.
Louisville’s Kristi Cunningham ended the shutout with a solo home run to center in the fifth inning. Cunningham led Louisville (41-7, 16-4 BIG EAST) with two hits.
Heteniak (19-6) earned the complete game victory for DePaul, she struck out six, scattered five hits and walked one.
Kristen Wadwell (35-7) suffered the loss, while she was only in the circle for one and a third before being replaced by Collins. The duo walked six while the pair did not strike out a Blue Demon batter.
Patton’s hit in the second inning was her 38th during league play which ties the BIG EAST single-season record for hits. With four BIG EAST games left in the regular season, the senior third baseman has 106 career hits in league games which is the second most behind Stephanie Brown (2005-07) from Notre Dame, who had 112. Her .603 conference average is currently a BIG EAST single-season record.
The Blue Demons return to action on Saturday when they host Syracuse for a BIG EAST doubleheader. Between games one and two, DePaul will commemorate head coach Eugene Lenti’s 1,000th career. Coach Lenti recorded his 1,000 career coaching victory on March 30 when the Blue Demons topped Providence 8-0. Saturday is also Senior Day and the Blue Demons will recognize the careers of Stephanie Blagaich, Lauren Frankiewicz, Patton and Tarulli-Fisher at the conclusion of the twinbill.