Northwestern Tops DePaul
EVANSTON, Ill. The No. 19/21 DePaul softball team fell into the losers bracket of the NCAA Evanston Softball Regional with a 6-0 loss to Northwestern, Saturday at Sharon J. Drysdale. Northwestern (39-13) advances to the Regional final on Sunday at Noon, while the Blue Demons (49-17) await the winner of the Drake/Western Illinois game. The losers bracket final is scheduled for 4 p.m. later today.
After the Blue Demons got a pair of base knocks in the bottom of the second, Northwestern started the top of the third with two hits of their own. Kelly Quinn singled up the middle and Robin Thompson laid down a bunt for the second hit of the inning. Both runners would move into scoring position when Darcy Senewald dropped a sacrifice bunt in front of home plate for DePaul catcher Jackie Tarulli-Fisher.
With the Wildcats threatening in the third, DePaul starter Becca Heteniak settled in and got pinch hitter Emily Haug to strike out on five pitches. The Wildcats big bat in their number two hitter Tammy Williams battled to a full count; but would pop out to Tara Voss at shortstop to end the inning and threat.
The Wildcats ended the scoreless game in the top of the fourth. Michelle Batts sent a double to left center to begin the frame. Running for Batts, Aly Euler moved to third on a pass ball and scored on Nicole Pauly’s single to left. Kelly Dyer followed with a single, before Quinn moved both runners with on a groundout. With two outs and Thompson at the plate for the Wildcats, Tarulli-Fisher bobbled Heteniak’s pitch but recovered to catch pinch runner Ashley Lafever in a run down for the final out of the inning.
For the third straight inning, the Wildcats got their lead off batter aboard. Thompson singled and came around to score Jordan Wheeler’s base hit. Williams rocked a RBI tripled to center, but would be out at home as she tried to score on an overthrown ball from the outfield.
Following the big out at the plate, Heteniak walked Batts and hit Pauly before Erin Dyer sent a long ball over the left field wall to give NU a 6-0 lead entering the bottom half of the fifth.
Trying to chip away at the Wildcat lead, Heteniak reached on an error and two batters and outs later, Marcy Wilus laced a single to left to put runners on first and second for pinch hitter Annie Demas. Demas battled, but NU starter Lauren Delaney got her to strikeout to end the Blue Demon fifth.
Lindsey Dean entered the circle for DePaul in the top of the sixth and retired the Wildcats in order to bring the top of the Blue Demon line up to the plate. DePaul’s first three batters would not get the job done as they were retired in order to bring up the seventh.
Heteniak suffered her first loss in 15 games and falls to 32-7 on the season. Heteniak gave up nine hits and struck out four in five innings of work. Dean faced seven batters and allowed just one hit.
Lauren Frankiewicz, Tarulli-Fisher and Wilus all registered hits for the Blue Demons.