NOTRE DAME, Ind. - One inning of offense was all it took for No. 5 DePaul to down No. 4 USF 6-0 in the first game of the 2012 BIG EAST Softball Championship at Melissa Cook Stadium on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. The Blue Demons will advance to the semifinals on Friday at 4 p.m. and play the winner of No. 1 Louisville and No. 8 Connecticut.
The game began as a pitching duel, with neither team collecting a hit until the fourth inning. Two of the league's best pitchers, USF sophomore Sara Nevins and DePaul sophomore Kirsten Verdun, were both sharp. Through four innings, the game had seen only two hits with two walks and one hit batter.
In the top of the fifth, the Blue Demons opened a scoring barrage, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring all six runs. Freshman Paige Peterson led off the inning with a double and came around to score on a single from senior Lynsey Ciezki for the game's first run. DePaul followed with hits from sophomore Mary Connolly and senior Katelyn Braget, along with two USF errors, to give the Blue Demons a 6-0 lead.
DePaul improved to 35-19 on the season while USF fell to 45-11. Verdun earned the win, pitching the complete game and giving up two hits. Nevins took the loss, allowing five hits and one earned run.
The 2012 BIG EAST Softball Championship is an eight-team, single-elimination tournament. Results from all BIG EAST Softball Championship action can be found at the BIG EAST Championship Central page. All first and second round games will be streamed on BIGEAST.tv while the championship game will be televised live on ESPN2 on May 12 at 6 p.m.