Clearwater, Fla. - DePaul scored twice in the first and tacked on a sixth-inning insurance run to defeat Hofstra, 3-0, in the Pride's final game at the NFCA Leadoff Classic at the Moore Complex on Sunday morning.
Designated player Olivia Galati went 2-for-2 with a walk, accounting for half of Hofstra's four base hits as the Pride fell to 0-8. DePaul's Kristen Verdun's two-run double in the opening innings lifted the Blue Demons to 11-4.
Hofstra lost five games in the tournament by a combined eight runs, including three one-run defeats to nationally ranked opponents in No. 17 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 10 Tennessee and No. 12 Michigan.
Hannah Penna struck out four Hofstra batters in her complete-game effort without giving up an extra-base hit to earn the win. Hofstra senior pitcher Erin Wade struck out three in seven innings yet still fell to 0-4 despite registering her fourth complete game of the campaign.
DePaul raced to the early lead as the Blue Demons sandwiched two singles around a groundout to put runners on the corners with one out in the top of the first. After a stolen base put two runners in scoring position, Verdun lined a two-run double to left-center.
Wade induced a ground out and a fly out to limit further damage and the two pitchers exchanged zeros until the sixth. Verdun hit a leadoff double to left-center before giving way to pinch runner Katelyn Braget. The Blue Demons moved Braget to third via a sacrifice bunt and scored their third run on Ali Warren's RBI single.
Hofstra used patience at the plate to generate a few scoring chances. A hit-batter and a walk put two runners on in the second, though Penna escaped the jam on a groundout.
Michelle Lavagnino singled in the third and junior Becca Bigler worked a two-out walk to again put two runners on base. An inning-ending fly out to center cut the rally short.
The Pride continued a season-long trend of battling to the final out, bringing the tying run to the plate in the seventh. Galati drilled a leadoff single to right center and stole second with one out. Hofstra went down to its last out when freshman Erin Trippi lined out, though Rachael Senatore extended the inning by reaching on a fielding error. The Pride had runners on the corners before Penna recorded the game-ending strikeout to secure DePaul's win. Hofstra left eight on base for the game.
Another trip to the Sunshine State awaits the Pride in the next series when Hofstra is scheduled to play five games in the Citrus Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando starting on Friday at 4:45 p.m. against Virginia Tech.