April 18, 2012
STORRS, Conn.- UConn (20-18, 8-6) and DePaul (26-14, 8-3) split the doubleheader Wednesday afternoon. DePaul took the first game 6-0 behind an impressive pitching performance by sophomore Kirsten Verdun. UConn got their offense going in game two and pulled out the 5-3 victory.
After recording two quick outs to start game one, UConn junior Kiki Saveriano (Lexington, Mass.) put the next two runners on courtesy of a walk and a hit batter. A single scored the Blue Demons’ first run, and the runners advanced to second and third base on a throw to the plate. DePaul junior Samantha Dodd followed with a two-run single to center field to give her team the 3-0 lead.
Verdun, the DePaul southpaw, was comfortable on the mound from the start, smothering any chances the Huskies’ offense created. She allowed no runs on two hits through six innings and recorded 11 punch-outs (17 K’s on the day).
The Blue Demons played some small ball in the fourth to add a run off of Saveriano. The speedy Dodd bunted to reach, then stole second and third base, crossing the plate on a throwing error for DePaul’s fourth run. Their final two runs came around in the sixth inning when freshman Paige Peterson pulled a single down the left field.
The 6-0 defeat is only the third time UConn has been shutout this season and the first time they have been blanked at home.
UConn sent out freshman Lauren Duggan (Norwood, Mass.) to start the second game while DePaul stuck with Verdun following her remarkable performance in game one.
DePaul got on the board first on a somewhat bizarre play. With a runner on second, Peterson singled on a hard liner right back off of Duggan. Duggan recovered, but made an errant toss to first, which allowed the run to score.
While Verdun dominated in the first game, UConn was able to create some offense in game two. With two runners on in the third, senior Amy Vaughan (Somerset, Mass.) raked a two-run go-ahead double to center field. Vaughan eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Brittany Duclos (Mystic, Conn.), giving the Huskies a 3-1 lead.
Verdun got some redemption in the top of the fourth as she muscled her ninth home run of the year to center field. The solo shot cut the UConn lead to 3-2.
UConn scored two vital insurance runs off of Verdun (who was working her twelfth inning of the day) in the sixth. With runners on second and third, senior Amy DeLuca (Bordentown, N.J.) laid down a successful squeeze bunt to score a run. The next batter up was sophomore Audrey Grinnell (Saco, Maine), and she was able to knock in UConn’s fifth run of the day with a single to center.
Down three runs heading into the final inning, DePaul quickly loaded the bases against UConn senior Ali Adelman (San Diego, Calif.). A run scored on a groundout to third base, but two quick fly outs got Adelman out of the jam and gave UConn a 5-3 victory.
The Huskies are back in action for a doubleheader at Pittsburgh on Saturday at 12 p.m. They return home to Burrill Family Field on Thursday, April 26th for a game vs. in-state rival Hartford.