Verdun Realizes Her All-American Dream
May 30, 2012
CHICAGO – For as long as Kirsten Verdun has played softball, the DePaul sophomore dreamed of one day becoming an All-American.
The good news was delivered to her on Wednesday when Verdun was named to the 2012 NFCA Division I All-American Second Team as an At-Large Utility-Pitcher.
“Wow, that’s amazing,” was Verdun’s reaction. “This is something I’ve worked for my entire career. It is very gratifying, and very humbling.
“This can’t happen to someone as an individual. It happens because you have success as a team. I’m fortunate to be playing in a softball program that enhances its national reputation every year.”
Few softball players in the country could match Verdun’s prowess on the mound and in the batter’s box.
As a pitcher, Verdun was 27-15 with a 1.62 ERA and 266 strikeouts in 272 innings. The southpaw ace started the final 21 games of the season in leading the Blue Demons to their 17th appearance in the NCAA Championship.
She set DePaul season records for most games started and most innings pitched and has the second-highest single season strikeout mark. Verdun had 27 strikeouts in a doubleheader split with NCAA tournament qualifier Syracuse and came within three outs of a perfect game against Providence.
Offensively, the standout from Coal City near Joliet led the team with a .363 batting average and was also tops in home runs (11), RBIs (41), hits (61), walks (29), doubles (12), slugging percentage (.631) and on-base percentage (.462).
“I was glad I could help my team in different ways,” Verdun said. “That’s big. (Oklahoma star) Keilani Ricketts was USA Softball’s Player of the Year beating out some of the best offensive players in the country because she could pitch and hit.
“This was about how much impact you have on your team. I tried to do as much as I could to help my team win.”
Verdun is DePaul’s 25th All-American and first since Amber Patton attained the honor in 2009.
“That’s fantastic,” said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti. “It’s very impressive, and I’m excited for her. It’s a well-deserved reward for all the hard work she has put in this season.”