DePaul softball continued their strong season beginning by taking all three games in a rain-shortened weekend at the UNLV Eller Media Stadium Classic over Feb. 28-March 2.
Mary Connolly hit .875 over the three games with a home run and seven earned runs, earning her Big East Player of the Week. The Blue Demons started off the weekend by routing Weber State 14-3 in a rain delayed game.
DePaul was up 8-3 when the umpires called the game for the evening, forcing the teams to start up again the next morning. Staci Bonezek hit a grand slam when the two teams picked up the game on Saturday after being delayed Friday evening, which contributed to her career high seven RBI day. DePaul was then led by a complete game from Kristin Verdun, as well as 10 strikeouts in an 8-4 win over Binghamton later that afternoon. It was Verdun’s 80th career win at DePaul.
The Demons went up 8-0 in the third and were cruising towards a win before surrendering four runs in the fifth. Verdun was able to work out of the jam, however, and the Demons held on with an 8-4 victory. The Demons finished the weekend by throttling New Mexico State 8-1 with another Verdun win and complete game, bringing her record to 9-2. Connolly went 3-4 with a home run and three RBI with seven other Demons contributing hits on the afternoon. The Blue Demons improved their overall record to 14-4 with only one more tournament before Big East play starts.
No. 41 ranked women’s tennis extended their win streak to 15 this past week with wins over Wisconsin and Butler, followed by a triumph over Indiana Saturday.
DePaul (16-1, 3-0) took care of Wisconsin March 1, albeit in closer fashion than they were used to. Heading into the match up, the Blue Demons were riding a six-match streak of shutting out an opponent. The Badgers were able to push the Blue Demons, but DePaul prevailed in a narrow 4-3 victory. The match was DePaul’s closest since Feb. 15.
The deciding factor was when sophomore Ana Vladutu prevailed against Lauren Burich in a 6-2, 6-4 game. The Blue Demons were ahead 3-2 at that point, although Wisconsin was forced to pull out of the sixth match due to an injury, giving the Blue Demons the victory.
Vladutu was voted Big East women’s tennis player of the week on Tuesday. Vladutu is the fifth Blue Demon to be named player of the week this season. During that week, Vladutu went 4-0 in singles and doubles competition.
On Friday, the Blue Demons resumed their dominance by beating Butler in a shutout in Indiana. DePaul swept both doubles matches with an 8-0 victory in both. It was the eighth shoutout of the year.
Then, on Saturday, the Blue Demons extended the streak to 15 wins in a row with a 5-2 demolition of Indiana in Bloomington. It was DePaul’s fifth win in six tries against ranked opponents- Indiana came in at No. 34 in the country.