DePaul Faces Pittsburgh in Opening Game of the BIG EAST Softball Championship
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In the three years the Blue Demons have been a member of the BIG EAST, DePaul has won each of its first round games. They defeated Syracuse 8-0 in 2006 and in 2007 beat Seton Hall 10-1. Entering the Championship, the Blue Demons are 17-5 all-time against their half of the bracket and this season only lost to Pittsburgh in the final game of the season.
DePaul will relay heavily on its ace and BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year, sophomore righthander Becca Heteniak. The sophomore enters the BIG EAST Championship 21-2 against conference schools and has won her last 11 decisions in the circle. Six of those wins have been against BIG EAST teams. Of Heteniak’s two conference losses, one came in the regular season a 2-0 decision to Louisville in 2008 and the other came in 2007 when the Blue Demons bowed out of the Championship with an 8-2 loss to tournament host Notre Dame.
Heteniak boasts a career 0.98 ERA during the BIG EAST regular season. She has struck out 177 in 142.2 innings an average of 8.79 Ks per seven innings.
This season the sophomore All-American continues to retire batters as she has struck out 254, which is three away from tying DePaul’s all-time single season record for strikeouts. The single season record of 257 was set by three-time All-American and Heteniank’s former pitching coach Lindsay Chouinard in 2002. Heteniak has already bested her mentor as she averages a school best 8.18 strikeouts per seven innings during her career.
With Heteniak getting it done in the circle, first team all-conference performers Amber Patton and Sandy Vojik have added some punch at the plate. Patton leads the league with a .403 average, while Vojik ranks fourth in the conference with 10 home runs. Heteniak also adds some power in the batters box as she has seven home runs and five doubles.