Softball Minute: Six Teams Lift The Lid on 2014

Feb. 11, 2014

Butler (2-2)
The Bulldogs started off the season 2-2 last weekend, enjoying a pair of extra-inning wins at the Music City Classic in Nashville, Tenn. Butler opened the weekend against co-host Belmont, winning the game in the eighth inning, 3-2. Chelsea Norwood hit a ground ball to third base that drove in both Sarah Gronowski and Krosley Ogden with what would be the game-winning run. Following Friday's win, the Bulldogs continued with a double-header Saturday, picking up their first loss of the season to Detroit 7-2 before defeating East Tennessee St. 3-2 in extra innings. Brandyce Sallee batted .455 with a team-high four RBI, while Kristin Gutierrez and Leah Bry picked up wins.

Creighton (3-2)
The Bluejays went 3-2 at the Kajikawa Classic hosted by No. 7 Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz. After beginning the weekend 0-2, Creighton reeled off three consecutive wins, capped by a 6-4 upset victory over No. 24 Cal on Sunday afternoon. Six runs in the first two innings supplied all the offense that Creighton would need to knock off the Bears. Ellen Homan scored off a Liz Dike single before rookie Jen Daro belted the first home run of her career, a three-run clout to give the Jays a 4-0 lead. Becca Changstrom (2-1) earned the win with seven innings pitched and six strikeouts. On the weekend, Dike batted .333 with three home runs and eight RBI.

DePaul (3-2)
Senior lefty and reigning BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week Kirsten Verdun led the Blue Demons to a 3-2 opening-weekend mark at the Felsberg Memorial in Miami, Fla. Verdun was credited with all three of DePaul’s victories, tossing three complete games, including two three-hit shutouts. The Blue Demons earned wins over Maryland, Jacksonville and FIU, including a 1-0, eight-inning edging of the host Panthers for the championship crown.  Verdun pitched to a 0.64 ERA with 29 strikeouts, while Staci Bonezek led the offensive effort with a .556 batting average and three stolen bases.



Georgetown (2-3)
The Hoyas bookended their weekend at the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational with wins over Liberty (4-3 on Friday) and Ole Miss (9-2 on Sunday). GU avenged a narrow 2-1 setback to the Rebels on Saturday by tallying nine runs in a 9-2 victory in the weekend finale. Hannah Slovacek had a pair of RBI while scoring twice, and Megan Hyson went the distance, striking out four in seven innings of work. For the weekend, Slovacek registered a team-high five RBI while Taylor Henry batted .400, and Lauren O’Leary joined Hyston with a mark in the win column.

Providence (0-0)
The Friars open 2014 this weekend at the Florida Atlantic “Strike Out Cancer” Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla.

St. John’s (2-3)
The Red Storm went 2-3 at the FAU “Kick-Off” Classic in Boca Raton, Fla. St. John’s opened the season with a 6-3 win over Ohio State and added a 3-2 victory over the host Owls. Against FAU, Erin Burner came to the plate at the bottom of the seventh with two outs and blasted a walk-off, three-run homer on a 2-2 pitch to give the Red Storm the ‘W’. For the weekend, Jackie Reed batted .400 with a pair of solo shots, while Tori Free was credited with the complete game win over FAU, showing a 4.00 ERA over four appearances.

Seton Hall (1-3)
Reigning BIG EAST Player of the Week Meredith Henze batted .556 with a .636 on-base percentage and a league-high 1.667 slugging percentage as the Pirates competed at the Campbell University Hampton Inn Stampede Tournament in Buies Creek, N.C. Henze had four extra-base hits, including three homers on the weekend, as SHU earned a 13-1 win over UMass Lowell. Jen Metzger made two appearances in the circle, registering four strikeouts.

Villanova (0-0)
The Wildcats open the season on Feb. 21 at the FGCU Tournament in Fort Myers, Fla.