Softball Minute: Blue Demons Enter The Weekend Hot

Shea Palmer, Villanova

Shea Palmer, Villanova

April 11, 2014

Tall Task For Hoyas
Georgetown will travel to DePaul this weekend in one of four BIG EAST series on tap. The Hoyas have a difficult task ahead of them as the Blue Demons have a league-best eight-game winning streak, are 7-0 in conference play and are undefeated at home (6-0) this season. GU has found more success on the road this season than at home, totaling a 9-4 record in away contests compared to 2-3 in Washington, D.C. One notable series road sweep for the Hoyas was at Creighton at the end of March. Since the Bluejays dropped three straight decisions to Georgetown, CU has won five of six, with its lone setback coming at nationally ranked Nebraska. Creighton will travel to Seton Hall this weekend, which has dropped its last five contests.

Impressive Inner Circle
Three BIG EAST pitchers are among the national leaders this season as DePaul’s Kirsten Verdun, Creighton’s Becca Changstrom and Villanova’s Kate Poppe have put up some impressive numbers thus far. All three rank within the top 20 among all Division I hurlers in strikeouts, led by Changstrom (No. 9, 189) and followed by Poppe (No. 14, 177) and Verdun (No. 19, 168). The trio sports the top-three ERA in the BIG EAST this season, with Changstrom in the top spot at 1.60, followed by Verdun (1.85) and Poppe (2.09). Verdun is the league leader in wins with 18 (18-5), while 10 of Changstrom’s 13 victories have been in shutout fashion. The three aces have led their respective teams to all rank within the top 50 nationally in ERA, with Creighton ranked 35th (2.24), DePaul 44th (2.4) and Villanova 46th (2.45).  

Sign of Improvement
Softball is a game of numbers and one of the biggest numbers one is judged on is wins. St. John’s, backed by the second-best batting average in the BIG EAST, collected its 18th win of the season on Thursday care of a seven-run sixth inning against LIU Brooklyn. The 18th victory surpasses last season’s total of 17 (17-35-1) as the Red Storm pulls to .500 (18-18) entering a weekend series at Providence. The Friars (3-20) went 1-2 against Butler last season and dropped a mid-week contest to Connecticut this week.



Weekend Series Schedule
Butler (16-21, 4-4) @ Villanova (12-22, 0-6)
Creighton (24-14, 5-3) @ Seton Hall (9-25, 3-3)
Georgetown (19-15, 7-2) @ DePaul (26-8, 7-0)
St. John’s (18-18, 3-5) @ Providence (3-20, 1-7)