DePaul softball’s Kristen Verdun blanks Seton Hall in career first no-hitter

Kirsten Verdun threw a no-hitter and DePaul’s offense combined for 15 runs as DePaul softball beat Seton Hall 8-0 in game one and 7-2 in game two.

The Blue Demons(23-8) moved to 6-0 in Big East play with the doubleheader sweep.

“We had a great deal of momentum after yesterday and yesterday’s win (over Notre Dame) was a big win for us,” Junior pitcher Mary Connolly said. “It’s really easy for you to falter the day after a game that strong.”

The Demons started the scoring early in the second inning. Hannah Penna and Staci Bonezek led the inning off with back-to-back singles, followed by a Kirsten Verdun single with two outs to score Penna. Bonezek would score on the next play, a hit to left field by Allie Braden, but Verdun was caught trying to advance.

The bottom of the third inning was also full of offense for DePaul. With one out in the inning, Dylan Christensen laced an opposite field home run over the left-centerfield wall to give the Blue Demons a 3-0 lead. The next batter was Morgan Maize who crushed a ball way over the left field wall for another home run. The Blue Demons lead 4-0.

DePaul would grab another run inning after a bases loaded walk to Christensen, which gave starting pitcher Kirsten Verdun a comfortable lead to work with. At this point she had only allowed one base runner when she hit Danielle DeStaso in the second inning. She would not allow another one for the rest of the game and was carrying her nohitter into the sixth inning when DePaul came up to bat.

After two quick outs in the inning, DePaul loaded up the bases after two walks and a single. Seton Hall pitcher Lauren Fischer would proceed to walk the next three batters, giving a DePaul the eight run lead and the win in six innings.

It was Verdun’s first career no-hitter and the first one for DePaul since 2010.

“I wasn’t really thinking about it,” Verdun said. “I was way more concerned with them not scoring runs and us winning than the hits.”

Verdun finished the game with four strikeouts and only one walk on the afternoon.

In game two Mary Connolly was on the mound for DePaul and she continued the strong pitching from the game before, sending the Pirates down in order in the first and only allowing two hits through the first three innings.

The Demons started their scoring in the bottom of the third inning with a lead off double from Ali Lenti. A single from Megan Coronado in the next atbat put two runners in scoring position for Kirsten Verdun, who sent a sacrifice fly to left field. Lenti scored but Coronado was out trying to advance to third. Allie Braden then hit a double and scored on the ensuing single from Connolly.

The Demons lead 2-0 at the end of the third.

The Pirates got one back in the top of the fifth inning. Sara Haefeli led off the inning with a walk, then advanced on a wild pitch. She would score on a third basemen error, making the score 2-1 in favor of the Demons after five.

The bottom of the fifth, however, is where DePaul put the game away. After a walk and a single by Verdun and Braden respectively, Connolly knocked a double that scored Verdun. Christensen walked to load up the bases and Kali Gardner hit a single to score two, making the score 5-1 Blue Demons. Christensen would end up scoring on a shortstop error and Lenti finished up the rally with a single to score Gardner.

Seton Hall would get one more run in the top of the sixth after a solo home run by DeStaso but that would be it for the Pirates as Hannah Penna shut them down for the last two innings, securing the win for the Blue Demons.

The Blue Demons improved their win-streak to six games Sunday with a 4-3 win to complete the series.