Heteniak Pushes DePaul Past USF, Advances to Championship Game
LOUISVILLE All-American pitcher Becca Heteniak did it all for No. 19/19 DePaul as she hit a two-run home run and struck out nine in the circle to push No. 19/19 DePaul past USF 4-0, Friday in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship at Louisville’s Ulmer Stadium. The Blue Demons (37-11) will face either Louisville or Notre Dame in the Championship game on Saturday at 5 p.m. (EST).
After Amber Patton led off the game with a single to shallow left, Heteniak launched her 12th home run which hit the top of the scoreboard in left center. If Heteniak’s long ball did not ricochet off the scoreboard, it would have sailed over 300 feet; nevertheless the homer gave the Blue Demons a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first.
Heteniak retired the Bulls in order in the bottom half of the first. The junior, who won her second straight BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year award, continued to dominate as she retired 10 of the next 12 batters she faced, seven of which with strike outs.
DePaul shortstop Tara Voss kept Hetneniak’s streak going in the fourth as she made a pair top-10 worthy plays, one of which she snow coned a line drive and took a hit away from USF’s Tara Toscano.
The Bulls halted Heteniak’no-hitter when Ashley Bullion knocked an infield single with one out and a runner on second in the fifth. With a runner in scoring position, Heteniak got the next batter to strike out and the final batter flew out to left field.
Jackie Tarulli-Fisher added a pair of runs to the scoreboard with a two-RBI single up the middle. Tarulli-Fisher’s base knock scored pinch hitter Katelyn Braget and Patton who singled earlier in the frame.
Heteniak (24-6) threw her sixth shutout of the season and the second of the BIG EAST Championship. She struck out nine, walked one and allowed just one hit.
USF (34-22) used four pitchers, while Candace Howell (7-6) suffered the loss. The quartet of hurlers scattered seven hits, struck out seven and walked three.
Patton and Tarulli-Fisher led DePaul with two hits apiece.
The Blue Demons, who have played in four BIG EAST Championships since joining the conference in 2006, are now 7-2 in championship play and are advancing to their second championship game in as many years. The championship will be carried live on CBSC while Ann Schatz and Jason Knapp will call the action.