March 30, 2013
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CHICAGO – The University of Pittsburgh softball team (14-15, 3-3) lost the rubber game of a three-game series to DePaul (18-13, 5-1) on Saturday afternoon at Cacciatore Stadium by the score of 4-1.
Alexa Larkin (7-6) threw six innings, allowing four hits and four runs. Tori Nirschl provided Pitt’s only run of the contest with an RBI triple.
In the top of the second inning, Carissa Throckmorton led off with a single. Kaila Balatgek then laid down a sacrifice bunt and advanced to second on a fielding error by the first baseman, which allowed Throckmorton to advance to third. However, DePaul starting pitcher and 2012 Second Team All-American Kristen Verdun (12-7) would strikeout the next three batters to end the threat.
DePaul broke the game open in the bottom of the third inning with a two out, three run homer by designated player Mary Connolly. It was Connolly’s second home run of the series and her team-high eighth of the season. The Blue Demons would tack on another run in the inning with an RBI double by Paige Peterson to gain a 4-0 lead.
The Panthers got one run back in the top of the fifth inning with an RBI triple by leadoff hitter Tori Nirschl, which plated Taylor Henry who reached on a base hit two batters earlier. It was Nirschl’s third triple of the season.
Pitt would not be able to generate any offense for the remainder of the game as Verdun tallied three of her 12 strikeouts during the final two innings.
The Panthers are back in action on Wednesday with a mid-week doubleheader at Robert Morris, and will then host USF for a three-game series next Weekend, April 6-7.