Softball Minute: DePaul Clinches Fourth Regular-Season Crown

Liz Dike, Creighton

Liz Dike, Creighton

April 23, 2014

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Crunch Time
With only two BIG EAST weekend series remaining on the league schedule, the upcoming games become all that much more important. No team has been mathematically eliminated yet and only DePaul has clinched a spot. The top four teams in the standings based on winning percentage will qualify for this season’s BIG EAST Championship, with the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament up for grabs.

Regular-Season Crown
DePaul clinched the BIG EAST regular-season title and accompanying No. 1 seed in the league tournament. The Blue Demons are 13-0 against conference foes and at worst could finish 13-6 (.684). The next closest teams in the standings, Georgetown and Seton Hall, could finish no better than 14-7 (.667), and DePaul owns the tiebreaker with both teams by virtue of its series sweeps of the Hoyas and Pirates. The Blue Demons’ regular-season crown is their fourth overall and third outright since joining the BIG EAST prior to the 2005-06 academic year. DePaul won the title outright in 2007 and 2009, and shared it with Notre Dame in 2010.

Hottest Ticket In Town
Tickets for the BIG EAST Softball Championship, set for May 9-10 at The Ballpark at Rosemont, are available for purchase now. Ticket prices per day are $5 (Age 13 and Over) and free admission is available for those 12 and under. BIG EAST students can also receive complimentary game tickets by showing a valid school I.D. at the box office. To reserve tickets in advance, call the DePaul University Ticket Office at (773) 325-SLAM (7526). Tickets will also be available on game days at The Ballpark at Rosemont box office.

In The Rankings
Riding a 15-game winning streak, DePaul continued to receive votes in the latest USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll and added nods in the ESPN.com-USA Softball Poll as well. The Blue Demons have received votes the last three weeks of the coaches poll and in nine of the 12 total weekly ballots.

Nonconference Round-Up
Four non-league games remain on the schedule this week following a 3-0 day of play by BIG EAST teams on Tuesday. Butler earned a double-header sweep at Eastern Illinois, while Georgetown edged regional foe George Washington, 5-4. League teams are a combined 100-113 against nonconference competition, with .500 or better records against 13 Division I conferences. Creighton, Providence, St. John’s and the Hoyas will all play one more non-league game this week before beginning their weekend series against conference competition.

Weekend Series Schedule
Butler @ Seton Hall
Creighton @ St. John’s
Georgetown @ Providence
Villanova @ DePaul