Patton Pushes DePaul Past Bradley, Blue Demons Advance to Regional Title Round
COLUMBIA, Mo. The 15th seeded DePaul softball team advanced to the Regional Finals with a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Bradley on Saturday at Missouri’s University Field. The Blue Demons play Missouri at 1 p.m. on Sunday with an “if necessary” game at 3 p.m.
It was dj vu as Bradley (26-28) struck first in the rematch. Unlike yesterday’s game when the Braves used a pair of hits, this time Bradley capitalized on a walk and a Blue Demon throwing error to plate the game’s first run.
The Braves sustained their 1-0 lead until the Blue Demons strung together three hits, all with two outs in the fifth inning. Shea Warren started DePaul’s rally with a single to center and Jackie Tarulli-Fisher followed with a blooper that dropped into shallow left. With runners in scoring position, Amber Patton battled to a full count before she doubled off the left field wall to clear the basepath and give DePaul it final 2-1 advantage.
Following the Blue Demon run support, DePaul starter Becca Heteniak (26-8), who had given up just one hit in the first four innings, dug deep and retired nine of the Bradley’s final 10 batters. Heteniak finished the game with eight Ks, while she walked three and allowed just one hit.
Ashley Birdsong (20-12) threw the complete game for Bradley. She allowed four hits, while she struck out six and walked one.
Patton led DePaul with a 2-for-3 effort and ended her three-game hitting slump.
The Blue Demons (39-13) have reached the Regional Finals eight times in their 14 NCAA Championships.