Feb. 10, 2013
LAS VEGAS - Brittany Boesel's timing couldn't have been better on Sunday.
The sophomore shortstop hit the first home run of her collegiate career in sparking DePaul to a 5-1 comeback victory over Texas Tech in the Sportco Kick-Off Classic.
Staci Bonezek walked with one out and the Blue Demons trailing 1-0 in the top of the fifth. With a 1-2 count, Boesel drove the next pitch over the right field fence.
"Assistant coach Nancy Evans had tipped us on what to expect on certain pitches," Boesel said. "I knew the screwball was coming and took a good hack at it.
"I had a feeling the ball was going out. It was a great feeling to get the momentum back and help pick everyone up."
An inning later, Allie Braden singled to right, Mary Connolly singled to right and Megan Coronado drove in Braden with---what else, a single to right.
DePaul added two more runs in the seventh when Braden doubled home Samantha Dodd and then scored on Verdun's double---her second of the game.
"Brittany's home run was huge, a game-changer," said DePaul coach Eugene Lenti. "That took the pressure off everybody. We were more relaxed and started banging the ball all over the field.
"The walk to Staci and Brittany's bomb to right-center---those are the two things you can't defend and they came back-to-back. We kept pouring it on and finished strong with five runs in the last three innings."
Texas Tech's Mikey Kenney hit the first pitch from Verdun over the left field fence in the bottom of the first for a 1-0 lead. Verdun recovered and struck out two of the next three batters while stranding a Red Raider runner on third.
"Verdun only made one bad pitch," Lenti said. "She pitched well and gave us a lot of ground-ball outs. That was the only earned run she gave up all weekend."
The Blue Demons are flying home with a 4-1 record to open the 2013 season.
"We did well for our first outing," Boesel said. "We still have things to work on, but it was a good weekend overall."
DePaul returns to action next week with a three-day tournament in Houston beginning on Friday.
NOTES: In winning four of five, DePaul outscored its Sportco Classic opponents by a total of 28-9... in Sunday's game, Braden had two hits, two runs and one RBI while Verdun had two hits and one RBI and Connolly two hits... Boesel had the two-run homer and Coronado had one hit and one RBI... Verdun improved to 3-1 going seven innings and giving up one run on four hits with six strikeouts... the home run was the first earned run Verdun has given up in 22.1 innings this season... Verdun leads the Blue Demon regulars with a .533 batting average, one home run, three doubles and six RBIs... Coronado is hitting .500 and Connolly .375 with one home run and two doubles... Kali Gardner is hitting .333 and Samantha Dodd .313 with three doubles and five RBIs... Braden leads the team in runs scored with seven... in the pitching circle, Verdun is 3-1 with a 0.31 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 22.1 innings... opponents are batting .195 against her... Hannah Penna is 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA and opponents are hitting .179 against her.