ISU (22-17) opened a seven-game homestand last weekend by dropping
two of three games to Missouri Valley Conference foe Evansville. The
Purple Aces posted a 2-1 victory in Friday night's opener, before
Illinois State countered with a 4-0 win in game two Saturday
afternoon. UE claimed its first series victory over the Redbirds
since 2004 by winning the rubber match 4-3. Senior Megan Warner
tossed a five-hit shutout in the lone win for ISU, and junior Jhavon
Hamilton led the offense by going 5 for 10 with two home runs, three
RBIs and three runs scored.
Sophomore Laura Canopy leads Illinois
State offensively with a .340 average and a .452 on-base percentage.
Hamilton ranks second on the team with a .333 batting average and is
tied for the team lead with six home runs and 21 RBIs for a
team-best .553 slugging percentage. Senior Liz Andrews brings a .324
average in Wednesday's game with seven doubles, three homers and 12
runs driven in.
The Redbird pitching staff is led by senior Jordan Birch, who is
13-11 on the season with a 1.76 ERA. Birch has tossed 131 innings
and ranks second in the Valley with 134 strikeouts around just 27
walks. The Monroe, Wash., native is limiting opposing hitters to a
.207 average and has posted seven shutouts in 22 starts. Warner has
started the other 16 games for ISU and owns a 3.60 ERA with an 8-5
record. The Milan, Ill., native has recorded 36 strikeouts in 85 2-3
innings of work.
DePaul (21-12) was to play a nonconference game at Northern
Illinois on Tuesday night in DeKalb before making the trip to Normal
on Wednesday to wrap up a six-game road trip. The Blue Demons have
won three of their last four games and swept Georgetown in a Big
East series last weekend. DePaul returns 10 letter winners and five
starters from last year's squad that finished 41-15 overall and 19-2
in the Big East. The Blue Demons were tabbed as the preseason
favorites in the Big East and are under the direction of Eugene
Lenti, who is in his 31st season at the helm of the program.
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DePaul is hitting .284 as a team, with three players hitting over
.370: Megan Coronado, Samantha Dodd and Kirsten Verdun. Coronado hit
.395 in the first 14 games of the season for the Blue Demons but has
not appeared in a game since, and Dodd is hitting .388 with a
team-best 38 hits. Verdun has been the top power hitter and ace of
the pitching staff for DePaul. The sophomore boasts a .714 slugging
percentage and leads the team with nine doubles, eight home runs and
33 RBIs. In the circle, Verdun is 13-6 with a 1.80 ERA and has
retired 101 opposing hitters via strikeout, while issuing only 35
walks in 112 2-3 innings. Bree Brown has made nine starts for DePaul
and is 5-3 with a 2.69 ERA.
The all-time series between Illinois State and DePaul is tied
15-15-1, with the Blue Demons winning the latest meeting 10-6 last
season in Chicago. DePaul has won three of the last four matchups,
with Illinois State's last victory coming in 2010.
In addition to the StrikeOut Cancer event, Wednesday will also be
Dollar Day at Marian Kneer Stadium, as drinks and hot dogs will be
available for just $1. Former ISU standout Kara Nelson will serve as
the Redbird ambassador for Wednesday's game and will be throwing out
the first pitch.
news release from Illinois State University]