DePaul Loses Heartbreaker to End Season

Coming into Sunday, the fifteenth-seeded DePaul Blue Demons knew that defeating a very good Missouri team twice on their home turf would be a challenge like no other. And with both teams sending out their aces, the crowd knew they were in for a treat.

A treat is what they got, as both teams were scoreless through five and Missouri used a home run by Rhea Taylor to eek out the 1-0 win and advance to the Super Regional.

Missouri was the designated home team for the first game and got their first crack against DePaul's Becca Heteniak. And as the junior hurler has done so many time this year, the top of the Missouri order went down in order, as Heteniak struck out the second and third batters she faced.

Next up was DePaul, who was getting their first look at Missouri freshman phenom Chelsea Thomas. With one out, Amber Patton singled to third base and moved onto second after Heteniak reached on an error by Missouri shortstop Abby Vock. However, the Demon threat was ruined after catcher Simone Ashkar grounded out into a double play ending the inning.

After setting down the Tigers in order again in the second, Lauren Frankiewicz singled through the right side, but pinch-runner Alex Morocco was erased off the bases after she was caught stealing on a play that wasn't that close. Marie Thompson next walked but she was also out as part of another inning-ending double play forced by Thomas.

Heteniak went through the entire Missouri lineup once, not allowing a single batter on base until the fourth inning, when Missouri speedster Rhea Taylor singled and advanced to second on an error by the pitcher. Missouri left Taylor stranded there, as the next three Tigers went down in order. Thomas had found her groove for Missouri, finally figuring out how to get the Demons out as she only allowed a single to Brittney Yniguez through the next two innings.

Heteniak was sailing smoothly until the sixth inning, when one bad pitch to Taylor resulted in the only run the Missouri team would need, as the Missouri sophomore hit her fourth home run of the season giving the Tigers the 1-0 victory.

The Demons, however, would not give up and mounted what seemed to be a rally in their half of the sixth. With one out, Tarulli-Fisher reached on Vock's second error of the game, and pinch runner Sarah Shizas moved over to second on Patton's second single of the day. A strikeout by Heteniak and a fielder's choice by Ashkar ruined the last true scoring threat the Demons would have.

The Demons put Yniguez on first in the seventh inning, but they could do nothing against Thomas, ending their season at the Columbia (Mo.) Regional.

The loss ends the Demons season with a 39-14 record, while the win gives Missouri a 48-9 record, as the Tigers await their fate for next weekend's Super Regional.

Stay tuned for a full wrap-up of the DePaul season soon to come.

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