Defending Champion DePaul Comes To Queens For BIG EAST Tournament Rematch

Tori Free held the Blue Demons to five hits in last year's BIG EAST Championship game.
March 20, 2015

· GAME NOTES
· LIVE STATS: Game One | Game Two | Game Three
· LIVE AUDIO (Subscription): Game One | Game Two | Game Three
· 2015 Overall Season Stats
· Follow St. John's Softball on Twitter

QUEENS, N.Y. - The St. John's softball team (6-13, 0-0 BIG EAST) will look to relive the 2014 BIG EAST Championship this weekend as it hosts defending conference champion DePaul (7-16, 0-0 BIG EAST) in a three-game series to kick off league action on March 21-22.

Leading Off

  • In the 2014 Championship game, DePaul was able to take home the conference crown with a 3-0 victory over St. John's, marking the end of a historic for the Red Storm.
  • Tori Free allowed only one earned run on five hits in the loss, striking out three batters in 6.0 innings of work in the game.
  • Then-freshman Lexi Robles picked up one of the team's three hits for the Red Storm with now-graduated senior Jackie Reed earned the other two.
  • The Red Storm is coming off of a tough 5-2 nine-inning loss to Dartmouth on Thursday, kicking off a six-game homestand for the Johnnies.
  • DePaul and St. John's were both picked atop the league in the 2015 Preseason Coaches Poll with the defending BIG EAST Champions leading the votes with 48 points and six first-place votes while the Red Storm had 42 points and one first-place vote.
  • In the early goings of the season, both teams are currently at the bottom three of the league standings.
  • All three games will have an audio-only broadcast (subscription required). A link to the broadcast can be found on RedStormSports.com.
  • Live stats for both games will be available on RedStormSports.com and fans can always join in the conversation on Twitter (@StJohnsSoftball) by using #SJUSB.

Storm Tracker
  • Sophomore Monique Landini has been hot at the plate lately, batting .583 (14-for-24) with two doubles, four RBI and seven walks with a .677 on-base percentage and a .667 slugging percentage over her last eight games, striking out only twice during that time.
  • Freshman Krystal Puga is leading the Red Storm offense after an impressive start to her rookie campaign. The first-baseman holds a .439 (18-for-41) batting average with a double, four home runs and 13 RBI for a team-leading .756 slugging percentage and has successfully reached base in her last 14 games while earning a hit in her last seven.
  • Senior Erin Burner, a NFCA first team All-Great Lakes Region selection and unanimous first team All-BIG EAST catcher last season, has successfully reached base in 17 of the team's 19 games and is currently on an eight-game hitting streak. The senior has also been nominated as a potential candidate for the 2015 National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) draft, held on April 1 in Nashville, Tenn.
  • Last weekend at the JMU Dukes Invitational, the Red Storm saw 11 different members either match or set career-high numbers.

Around The BIG EAST (as of 3/20/15)
  • As a team, the Red Storm offense is fourth in the league in both batting average (.277) and on-base percentage (.361) and is fifth in slugging percentage (.376).
  • The St. John's pitching staff is currently fifth in the league with a 4.39 ERA and ranks fourth with 104 combined strikeouts this season.
  • The Red Storm is one of only two teams in the league (Butler) who has picked off a runner this season.
  • Individually, Erin Burner ranks fourth in the league in both batting average (.390) and on-base percentage (.464) with Monique Landini just behind her in seventh with a .453 OBP.
  • Erin Burner and Brittany Garcia are tied with four other BIG EAST members with six doubles this season.
  • Freshman McKenzie Murray is seventh in the BIG EAST with a 2.68 ERA while Tori Free is seventh with a 2.76 ERA and a league-leading .165 opponent batting average.
  • Grace Kramer is fifth in the league with 14 appearances and leads the BIG EAST with 10 relief appearances for the Red Storm this season.

SCOUTING REPORT: DePaul
  • The defending BIG EAST Champions are off to a slow start in 2015, taking a 7-16 record into conference play after dropping eight of its last nine games heading into the weekend.
  • DePaul finished the 2014 season atop the BIG EAST after putting together a 44-11 overall record, including a 18-1 conference mark, that included a 3-2 performance at the NCAA Lexington Regional.
  • The Red Storm has only picked up two wins over DePaul in a series history dating back to 1986, one of which came at home in 2010 as the Red Storm shut out the Blue Demons, 2-0, in Queens.
  • Leading the DePaul offense is NFCA All-Region standout Mary Connolly who is hitting .415 with a pair of doubles, seven home runs and 18 RBI for an .849 slugging percentage, working 17 walks and a pair of hit-by-pitches for a .569 on-base percentage.
  • The DePaul pitching staff is made up of a trio of arms in Maxine Rodriguez (2-2, 6.12 ERA), Mary Connolly (3-9, 7.25 ERA) and Megan Leyva (2-5, 7.57 ERA) who combine for 53 strikeouts in 1401. innings of work.
  • Named last year's BIG EAST Coach of the Year, Eugene Lenti is in his 34th season at DePaul, leading the Blue Demons to a 1,221-597-6 overall record during that time, making him the fifth-winningest active coach in collegiate softball.

On Deck
  • The Red Storm will round out its seven-game homestand with a game against local-foe LIU Brooklyn on Wednesday, March 25 live on ESPN3 at 3 p.m.

For all the latest news on the St. John's softball team, log on to RedStormSports.com and follow the team (@StJohnsSoftball) on Twitter. You can join the conversation with the hashtag, #SJUSB. If you would like to be added to the St. John's softball mailing list, send an email to stjcommunications@stjohns.edu with the subject line "Softball Mailing List."
The Last Meeting
St. John's0
DePaul3
May 10, 2014
Rosemont, Ill.
Historic Run Comes To An End At BIG EAST Championship Finale
The incredible journey of the 2014 St. John's softball team (28-23) came to an end on Saturday as it fell 3-0 to top-seeded DePaul (41-9) in the BIG EAST Championship to wrap up one of the best seasons in program history.


 

 

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