The third-ranked Seton Hall softball team upset the second-ranked DePaul Blue Demons, 9-5, in the first round of the Big East Championship on Friday.
The Pirates, who went down 2-0 early on, battled back to tie it as junior Yasmin Harrell singled in freshman Sara Foster, which was followed by a run-scoring single by senior Danielle DeStaso to even the odds at 2-2.
The Blue Demons answered with two more in the third inning to take a 4-2 lead. DePaul was not done, as they tacked on another run in the fourth inning to take a 5-2 lead.
The Pirates loaded the bases in the fifth on singles by Harrell and senior Whitney Jones and a walk to Big East Rookie of the Year Alexis Walkden. Senior Sara Haefeli knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice, setting up a first-and-third situation for DeStaso, who crushed a three-run homer over the center field wall to give the Pirates a 6-5 lead that they would not relinquish.
Senior pitcher Casey Moses had a smooth bottom of the sixth inning and the Blue and White went back on the attack.
In the sixth, Harrell singled again for her third hit of the afternoon and Jones followed with a single of her own to set up first-and-third with one out for Walkden, who singled through the left side to give the Pirates a 7-5 lead. Walkden also moved Jones, who would score two pitches later on a wild pitch, to third. Haefeli then singled in Walkden, who advanced to second on the wild pitch.
Moses took control of the sixth and seventh and ended the Blue Demons’ season. The Pirates erupted for 11 hits off of DePaul’s pitchers and advance to the title game Saturday afternoon against the winner of fourth-ranked Villanova and top-seeded St. John’s. A win would give the Pirates their third Big East title in school history.
In addition, if Seton Hall emerges victorious, the team will earn an NCAA tournament berth for the first time since 2005 and just the fourth time in school history. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.