No. 20 DePaul Knocks Off No. 1 Alabama
CHICAGO No. 20 DePaul utilized the international tie breaker to knock off No. 1 Alabama, 1-0, Tuesday at Cacciatore Stadium. The Blue Demons have won their last 10 and improve to 41-14, while the loss halts Alabama's 26-game winning streak as the Crimson Tide fall to 47-4.
DePaul's number nine hitter Alex Morocco was placed at second base to begin the bottom of the eighth for the Blue Demons. With the top of the order to follow, the tension was high as the Blue Demon's best hitter and lead-off Amber Patton battled to a 1-2 count before she slapped a ball at Alabama second baseman Katie Larson, who let the ball get away from her. Morocco, a speedster on basepath, beat the throw home to win the game for the Blue Demons.
DePaul ace Becca Heteniak (25-6) got the start. The sophomore All-American, who was named the National Player of the Week earlier in the day, threw a masterful game for the Blue Demons.
After facing five batters in the first frame, Heteniak settled down and retired Alabama's next eight, sending five back with Ks. Ashley Holcombe knocked a single back up the middle to start the fifth, but DePaul catcher Jackie Tarulli-Fisher would catch Holcombe stealing to empty to basepath once again.
Alabama would not have another baserunner until the seventh, when Heteniak walked Kelly Montalvo. Heteniak recovered quickly and retired the next three batters to send the game to the bottom of the seventh scoreless.
Alabama hurler Kelsi Dunne retired the Blue Demon batters in order to send the game to extra innings.
Alabama had a chance to score in the seventh as the Crimson Tide had the bases loaded with two outs, but again Heteniak came through and struck out Alabama's final batter.
Charlotte Morgan (13-1) entered the game for Alabama in the bottom of eighth. She faced only Patton and picked up her first loss of the season. Dunne threw seven innings, she struck out seven and walked two.
The Blue Demons registered six hits in the win, with designated player Lauren Frankiewicz and Heteniak accounting for two hits apiece. Tarulli-Fisher and Morocco each recorded a hit in the win.
Heteniak struck out 12 and allowed just two hits in her 24th complete game of the season for DePaul.
The Blue Demons knocked off a No. 1 team for the third time since 2003. DePaul defeated UCLA in 2003 and Oklahoma at the NCAA Super Regional in 2007.
DePaul returns to action this afternoon against No. 11 Northwestern.