Softball continues winning with doubleheader sweep against UConn

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The 40 days and nights from Ash Wednesday to Easter might be over, but the DePaul softball team has seemingly given up losing for Lenti.

That much is evident after the Blue Demons won their 12th and 13th consecutive games on Saturday, sweeping a doubleheader against Big East foe UConn by 4-2 and 9-1 scores at Cacciatore Stadium.

The first game saw DePaul take advantage of three UConn errors to help score their four runs. Freshman Kirsten Verdun did her part, going the distance on the mound and only giving up two earned runs and five hits while striking out 10 and not walking one Huskies batter.

“Verdun did a great job pitching minus two pitches,” head coach Eugene Lenti commented, in reference to the two solo home runs Verdun gave up. “But she is the type of pitcher who can drive in runs for you too. She helps her own cause.”

Hits were scarce for the Blue Demons in the first game, as they were outhit by UConn 5-4. They also left 10 runners on base. Alex Morocco, Lindsey Dean, and Allie Braden were the other batters with a hit, with Dean picking up the other RBI.

“I think the first game might have been a carryover from the Seton Hall game,” Lenti acknowledged, talking of the 1-0 victory over the Pirates that DePaul looked sluggish in.

Any wear and tear they had in that first game was wiped away immediately at the start of the second game. The Blue Demons responded to the run that UConn scored to open the game with a six-run first, highlighted by Samantha Dodd’s fifth home run of the season, a line drive shot that hit the horizontal yellow paint on McCabe Hall.

“I honestly did not think it was a home run,” Dodd admitted. “I was just as surprised as everyone else. But it felt great because I’ve been struggling these last couple games.”

There weren’t many struggles this game, as nine Blue Demons got a hit and six had multiple hits. Dodd and Megan Coronado each drove in two runs and Allie Braden drove in three.

“As long as we score runs and they ([the pitchers] shut them down then we both did our jobs successfully,” Dodd said. “And that’s how we’re going to win.”

Dean and her baffling changeup were effective once again to the tune of one earned run and three strikeouts.

Bree Brown came in for the final half inning of the game and turned the mound into her own personal mad house, dominating the Huskies batters by going three up and three down with three strikeouts.

The Blue Demons sit in first place at 16-1 in the conference, and Verdun said the team is taking everything “one game at a time,” going into the home stretch of the regular season. Lenti isn’t quite as nice about it.

“Our focus every game against a Big East team is to dominate them,” he said.

Note: The Blue Demons turned pink for the day with their jerseys to help raise funds for breast cancer awareness and were able to raise $450.