#28 DePaul Softball Preview

DePaul Blue Demons

Overall Rank: #28
Conference Rank: #4 Big East
DePaul College Softball Top 44 Team Preview
DePaul Team Page


DePaul compiled a 36-22 record in 2012 and earned its 17th NCAA Division I softball berth before going 1-2 in the Columbia, Missouri Regional.  DePaul opens 2013 season by playing 27 games on the road before playing their first home game on March 24. Head coach Eugene Lenti, a 1979 graduate of DePaul, is the fifth-winningest coach in Division I with 1,138 wins and 549 losses.  Year in and year out Lenti has a team that is exciting, aggressive, fundamentally sound and fun to watch. He has taken four teams to the Women’s College World Series during his impressive career.

2012: 36-22, 14-8
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Eugene Lenti

Field Players:
DePaul lost three seniors from the 2012 team including second baseman Lynsey Cieski  (.282), who was one of the most versatile players on the team. She was named to the Big East All-Tourney team her junior and senior years and was one of the six DePaul seniors to earn a Senior Leadership Award.  Also graduating were Katelyn Braget (.241) and catcher Marla Mathews, who was sidelined by a back injury and played only played two games in 2012. Incoming freshmen include shortstop Gena Lenti, outfielders Cherelle Chambers and Marsha Pendilton, pitcher Morgan Maize and utility player Kali Gardner. How fast they develop, along with the returning players, will determine what kind of year the Blue Demons will have.  Also returning is outfielder Samantha Dodd who batted .329, second best on the team behind Verdun.

DePaul has one of the nation’s top double threats in second-team All-American Kirsten Verdun, who was the school’s 25th All-American selection and first since 2009. Verdun set school records for most games started and most innings pitched in 2012 en route to a 27-15 record with a 1.62 ERA and 262 strikeouts in 272 innings pitched. In addition to her pitching, she led DePaul in batting (.363), RBI (41), hits (61), walks (29), doubles (12), slugging percentage (.631) and on-base percentage (.462). DePaul’s three other pitchers, Bree Brown, Mary Connelly and Hannah Penna, are also back but they combined only for a 9-7 record. Connelly had a 0-1 record on the mound but batted .288, hitting five homers and driving in 31 runs playing first base. Also available to pitch will be freshman Morgan Maize, who is one of five frosh recruits for 2013.

Who to Watch:
Verdun will be one of the nation’s most talented double threat players and will be the key to how DePaul does in the 2013 season and whether or not the Blue Demons earn another berth in the NCAA Tournament. Verdun has improved each year at DePaul and figures to be one of the school’s all-time best players before she graduates. She compiled a mound record of 22-4 and batted .304 with 11 homers and 43 RBI her freshman year and improved those numbers in her sophomore year.  

Final Projection:
The Blue Demons have one of the nation’s top double threats in junior pitcher Kirsten Verdun, but she obviously can’t do it all. Other players will have to develop and mature, especially the incoming five freshmen, if the Blue Demons are to again qualify for the NCAA tournament.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Samantha Dodd, OF, 173
Hits: Kirsten Verdun, P/1B, 61
Home Runs: Kirsten Verdun, P/1B, 11
RBIs: Kirsten Verdun, P/1B, 41
Runs: Samantha Dodd, OF, 31
Stolen Bases: Allie Braden, IF, 8

Wins: Kirsten Verdun, P/1B, 27
Innings Pitched: Kirsten Verdun, P/1B, 272
Strikeouts: Kirsten Verdun, P/1B, 266
Saves: Bree Brown, P/1B, 10


See All Softball Top 44 Team Previews