The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Blue Demons’ bats struggle in one-hit loss to Wildcats

Senior+outfielder+Ariana+Rodriguez+takes+the+plate+in+a+game+against+Villanova+Friday%2C+April+19%2C+at+Cacciatore+Stadium.
Jaydi Vasquez
Senior outfielder Ariana Rodriguez takes the plate in a game against Villanova Friday, April 19, at Cacciatore Stadium.

DePaul suffered a one-sided 7-0 loss in the opening game of a three-game series against Villanova, with the team’s offense only mustering one hit, while defensive lapses led to the Wildcats scoring seven runs on nine hits.

“It’s obviously disappointing losing a game seven to zero and getting only one hit,” Graduate senior Brenna Smith said of the team’s performance. “But we’re going to keep working. We’ve seen what seems to be their best (pitcher) so it kind of changes the game plan.”

The Blue Demons’ offense struggled early, unable to find an answer against senior pitcher Alyssa Seidler, who retired 13 consecutive hitters until redshirt freshman Ava Paganis broke the streak with a single in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Seidler pitched a complete game shutout, allowing only one hit, two walks, and striking out 12 Blue Demons batters at the plate.

“She throws a lot harder than what we’ve seen the past couple weeks and does a really good job spinning the ball,” head coach Tracie Adix-Zins said of why the offense struggled against Seidler. “She just attacked the zone and then made us chase her best pitches. She did a good job.”

However, the same can’t be said for DePaul as the team had to go through two pitchers on Friday afternoon with junior pitcher Katey Pierce struggling on the mound. She only tossed three and two third innings, allowing seven hits and four walks, while giving up seven earned runs. 

“They’re such a disciplined offense and you can’t really get those in-betweeners that are on the plate,” Pierce said. “They’re going to hit your mistake pitches and they’re good about laying off the river (outside pitch). The umpire wasn’t necessarily working with that, so it’s just about getting the spin and hopefully making them chase.

Junior pitcher Katey Pierce throws a pitch in DePaul’s match against Villanova Friday, April 19, at Cacciatore Stadium.
Photo by Jaydi Vasquez

Smith stepped in to relieve Pierce on the mound and finished the game strong, allowing just two hits and no runs for the remainder of the game.

The Wildcats struck first after scoring two runs in the top of the third inning, but did a majority of the damage just an inning later, scoring five runs in the top of the fourth. 

In that inning, junior outfielder Elaina Wagner singled to left field, driving in freshman outfielder Elizebeth Gray for the first run. Moments later, junior infielder Ava Franz delivered a crucial RBI double to left field, scoring both senior Tess Cities and Wagner. 

The offense kept it rolling as freshman first baseman Maranda Runco then delivered a two-run RBI single to right field, extending the lead to 7-0.

“I think they make good contact with the ball and one thing I noticed when I was pitching is they really hug the plate,” Smith said of what made the Wildcats offense tough. “I think they take away the outside corner and it’s hard to get called strikes when you know the hitters are on the line so close. A lot of pitchers just aren’t that comfortable throwing that closer to batters, especially if their nall breaks well.”

The Blue Demons, now at 8-30 for the season, are looking to rebound on Alumni Day as they look to even the series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch scheduled for 1:00 p.m. CT at Cacciatori Field.

“We really need to follow the game plan,” Adix-Zins said of what the team needs to improve on going forward. “That’s going to really be on them. Do they want to change? Do they want to put us in a good position to score runs? So that’s the challenge going forward is to be better and follow the game plan.”

More to Discover