Softball drops weekday game to Illinois, 6-1


Darcy Waskiewicz

DePaul catcher Riley Pool watches the ball in the air as an Illinois player scores in the Blue Demons’ 6-1 loss on Wednesday.

The DePaul softball team faced Illinois in a weekday game at home, and it was the Fighting Illini who came away with the win in a 6-1 DePaul loss on a cold Wednesday afternoon. 

Senior pitcher Erin Hocker on the mound for the Blue Demons, who were coming off a weekend sweep over Georgetown. However, unlike the offensive outburst the Blue Demons had over the weekend, the offense was silent for DePaul today. 

“The past weekend when we played Georgetown, our bats were really hot and our defense was solid, but some days aren’t just going to be the best,” freshman designated player Carly Alvers said. “So, you just have to keep pushing through and see where the next game takes us. Take it one game at a time.”

After a scoreless first inning for both teams, it was the Figthing Illini who landed on the board first with a sacrifice fly and a single that scored two runs. 

The Blue Demons had a chance to counter in the fourth inning when junior first baseman Brooke Johnson hit a double that brought home graduate student shortstop Maranda Gutierrez. However, the umpires gathered after the hit and announced that the hit would be called back because the wrong number for Johnson was on the lineup card. 

“My frustration was more the fact that we let that affect a lot of our game,” head coach Tracie Adix-Zins said. “It 100 percent was my mistake and my error, but I was bummed of how we reacted to it, of taking a longer time to get over it and move forward and continue to compete like we had been doing in the first three innings.”  

The Fighting Illini had an offensive outburst in the fifth inning, starting with a single that brought home a run. Another single up the middle scored two more runs, prompting Adix-Zins to replace Hocker with graduate student pitcher Sarah Lehman. Lehman then struggled to get the remaining outs and Illinois added on one more run before the fifth inning ended. 

The Blue Demons entered the bottom of the seventh inning without a hit until sophomore thirdbaseman Nicole Sullivan broke the no-hitter with a solo home run. 

The stolen base count for Illinois was high with six, but sophomore catcher Riley Pool was able to catch a player stealing third base to help limit Illinois’ scoring. On the flipside, the Blue Demons, who are usually strong in stealing bases, were held off the scoreboard in that aspect, partly due to Illinois’ dominant pitching that kept DePaul off the bases. 

“I thought that we brought up a lot of balls well, they just weren’t going through the way we wanted them to,” freshman second baseman Baylee Cosgrove said. “Could have been better but not every day is going to be a great day.” 

The Blue Demons go on the road this weekend to face Creighton for a weekend series before returning home on Tuesday to take on Northwestern.