DePaul Steals 2-1 Victory from Louisville in C-USA Tournament
May 11, 2001
LOUISVILLE, Ky.-Round two of the Conference USA Tournament, presented by U of L Healthcare pitted DePaul against the host Louisville Cardinals in a game the Blue Demons were happy to survive and come away with a 2-1 victory.
"Louisville deserved to win this game," said head coach Eugene Lenti. "We got lucky. We won the game with one swing of the bat."
That one swing came from sophomore second baseman Katy Kukman. After a two out walk to Lindsay Chouinard extended the fifth inning, Kukman delivered the first Blue Demon hit of the day with a two run homerun over the left field wall.
The scenario was similar to the last meeting between the two clubs. A two out walk in the 11th inning was followed by a double in the gap and gave DePaul a 1-0 victory on April 28.
Apart from the homerun, DePaul could manage just a pair of weak infield base hits as Louisville's Mandy Rockwell consistently stifled the offense. Rockwell legitimately threw only one bad pitch the whole game and it turned out to be the one that decided the game. Rockwell held a no-hitter through 4 2/3 innings and was lifted after completing the fifth. She surrendered just two hits and struck out two while suffering the loss.
Defensively, the Blue Demons gave up eight hits and committed two errors in the victory. One of the errors was on a two out dribbler to the mound in the sixth inning. Chouinard sailed her throw up the right field line and Louisville's Candi Padilla raced around to score from second. With runners still on second and third, Chouinard escaped further damage by inducing a ground out to first base.
Louisville had chances in the third, fifth and seventh innings as well. Kukman made an outstanding stab on a liner up the middle in the third that ended the inning and saved a run.
In the fifth, Louisville tried the fundamental route. A lead off single by Lisa McMillan was followed by a sacrifice bunt and a groundout that advanced her to third. The Cardinals couldn't get the base hit they needed to push the run across though.
The seventh inning presented one of their best opportunities to tie and even win the game. Nicole Sparks led off with a slap single. Two consecutive strikeouts stalled things momentarily, but walks to the no. 2 and 3 hitters brought Melissa Jacobo, Louisville's best hitter to the plate. Jacobo, who had launched two homeruns foul in earlier at bats gave the ball a ride to center, but Dana Jakusz ran it down and secured the win for the Blue Demons.
Despite the victory, Lenti was still disgusted with the team's play. "If we keep playing like this, this is going to be a very short tournament. We'll be out in our next two games," said Lenti.
DePaul improves its record to 49-13-1 and will play Southern Miss in a winner's bracket game at 6:30 p.m. EST Friday.