March 31, 2012
CHICAGO - -
The No. 11 University of Louisville softball team split a BIG EAST Conference doubleheader with host DePaul. The Cards fell 7-1 in the first game, snapping a 28 game winning streak, but rebounded for a 4-3 victory in the nightcap. Louisville 29-1 (4-1) and DePaul 17-11 (1-1) will meet again Sunday at noon (Eastern).
"We really didn't show up to play the first game and you can't do that against a quality team like DePaul," said U of L head Sandy Pearsall. "I felt like we were lethargic and DePaul was aggressive and really came to play. They outplayed us. I was pleased to see us come back in the second game. We came out and attacked the ball and we need to be more consistent with that. "
DePaul 7 - Louisville 1
In game one of the doubleheader, DePaul handed the Cards their first loss of the season as the Blue Demons opened BIG EAST Conference play with a 7-1 win.
DePaul jumped to a 2-0 lead behind Katelyn Braget's two-run home run in the second. Mary Connolly connected on a one-out bloop single to set up Braget's shot over right center field.
Braget led off the bottom of the fifth with her second home run of the game. Paige Peterson followed with a base hit and came around to score on Ciezki's RBI single to give the Blue Demons a 4-0 lead.
The Cardinals got a run back in the top of the sixth when Kristin Austin led off with her seventh triple of the season and crossed the plate on Katie Keller's sacrifice fly to bring the score to 4-1.
The Blue Demons answered in the home half of the inning when Dodd led off with a double down the right field line and moved to third on Verdun's single and Connolly followed with an RBI single to make the score 5-1. A wild pitch sent Mener home and Brown's RBI double capped the scoring at 7-1.
Tori Collins (13-1) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on four hits and striking out two in 4.0 innings.
Kirsten Verdun (10-5) got the win, allowing one earned run and holding the Cardinals to a season-low three hits while striking out five. Braget was 2 for 2 with two RBI and two runs.
Louisville 4 - DePaul 3
In game two, the Cardinals took an early 2-0 lead when Jennifer Esteban led off the game with a hit, stole second and scored on Kristin Austin's single. An error moved Austin to third and she came home on Katie Keller's single.
DePaul answered in the home half of the inning. Lynsey Ciezki and Allie Braden delivered back-to-back singles and Verdun walked to load the bases for Connolly's two run single which evened the score at 2-2.
Louisville pulled back ahead in the fifth. Back-to-back doubles by Esteban and Austin gave the Cards a 3-2 lead. Austin took third on Taner Fowler's fly-out and came home on Hannah Kiyohara's RBI single to increase the lead to 4-2.
The Blue Demons got a run back in the bottom of the fifth. Braden singled and came around to score on Verdun's RBI hit to make it a 4-3 game.
DePaul had a final chance to push a run across in the bottom of the seventh. Braget delivered a one-out hit, moved to second on a wild pitch and stole third to represent the tying run. Chelsea Leonard delivered a strikeout and a groundout to end the game and notch her sixth save of the season.
Caralisa Connell (10-0) got the win, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and striking out six in 5.1 innings. Leonard gave up one hit and struck out one in 0.2 innings. Tori Collin did not allow a hit in 1.0 inning. Austin was 3 for 4 with two doubles, two runs and two RBIs. Esteban was also 3 for 4 with two doubles and two runs.
Bree Brown (4-3) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits and striking out six in the complete game effort. Braden was 3 for 4 with two runs.