Softball’s season starts with a 3-2 record in the DePaul Dome Tournament

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DePaul athletics

DePaul junior Gabby O’Riley hits the ball during the Blue Demons’ opening weekend.

The 2021 softball season for DePaul could have gone better after the Blue Demons went 3-2 over the weekend in the DePaul Dome Tournament in Rosemont.

DePaul kicked off its campaign on a strong note on Friday with a dominant 8-0 win over Valparaiso. Gabby O’Riley hit her first home run of the season in the first inning to give the Blue Demons an early lead.

After tacking on a run in the second, DePaul broke the game wide open with a five-run stretch in the fourth inning. Pearl Barroso launched a three-run homer for her first home run of the season to cap off the inning. Maranda Gutierrez added another home run in the fifth for good measure.

Natalie Halvorson pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only two runs in five innings and striking out seven.

DePaul lost their second game on Friday, 9-3, against Western Michigan. The Blue Demons fell behind early as the Broncos scored four runs in two innings. Three of those runs came in the first off a three-run home run from Sydney Stefanik.

DePaul tried to get back in the game and responded with a run in the third and two more in the fourth. They had their chances but squandered a bases loaded opportunity in both the second and fourth inning. Angela Scalzitti doubled in the fourth to drive in Skylor Hilger and cut the lead to 4-2. 

The Blue Demons loaded the bases with nobody out but managed to score only one run that came off a wild pitch.

Western Michigan put the game out of reach with a five-run sixth inning. 

On Saturday, DePaul’s bats took center stage as the offense helped the Blue Demons beat Kansas City and Loyola, 9-6 and 14-6, respectively.

DePaul had to battle back against Kansas City after falling behind 2-0 after the first. In their half of the inning, Jessica Cothern singled and scored on a Kate Polucha single. It was a bit of a back-and-forth until DePaul scored three times in the fifth inning to take the lead once and for all. They added three insurance runs in the sixth to close out the game.

Senior Krista Dalgarn notched her first win of the season, pitching three innings and striking out five in the process.

The bats exploded against Loyola. The Ramblers three-run first was completely negated by DePaul as they put up a six hit, six run first, capped off with a three-run blast from Brooke Johnson.

The offense wasn’t done there and added three more runs in the second and put an exclamation point on their win with a four-run fourth inning. 

Angela Scalzitti recorded three hits and an RBI, Polucha led the team with four hits on the day and Johnson led the team with three RBIs. Pitcher Julyana Gomez picked up her first career win, tossing 4.1 innings.

DePaul’s final game of the weekend was on Sunday against Western Illinois. The Blue Demons looked well on their way to their fourth win of the season. 

Dalgarn kept Western Illinois scoreless through four innings. DePaul took the lead in their half of the fourth when Cothern doubled to right field. Gomez pinch ran for Cothern who came around to score on a double by Johnson.

The Leathernecks did tie it up in the fifth but that would be the only run Dalgarn would allow in her five innings of work.

The Blue Demons appeared to have the game in hand after scoring five times in the bottom of the fifth. They added another run to go into the seventh, and final, inning leading 7-1.

But the wheels fell apart in the final inning as DePaul allowed the Leathernecks to score six runs to tie the game. A couple of errors during that inning ended up proving costly. The game went into extras where Western Illinois scored on a sacrifice fly to take the lead. The Blue Demons were unable to answer back and lost 8-7.

A disappointing end to the weekend despite coming out with more wins than losses. Instead of ending the weekend 4-1, DePaul ended it 3-2. 

The Blue Demons are off for the next 12 days and don’t return to action until the Coach B Classic on February 26, where they will take on Ball State and Saint Louis in Carbondale.