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Bulls’ bats go silent

If USF softball coach Ken Eriksen starts muttering the name Lindsay Chouinard in his sleep, it wouldn’t be a surprise.Chouinard tossed a one-hit shutout in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader and then came back in the second game to pitch the final two innings as DePaul swept USF Saturday, winning 4-0 and 5-3.

“Battling Lindsay Chouinard, 25 mph winds and temperatures in the low 40s, we had to face three opponents Saturday,” Eriksen said. “It was a tough day to play, and she got the ball in on our hands.”

Chouinard, a junior, overmatched the Bulls (20-30-1, 5-10 in Conference USA) in the first game of the doubleheader, shutting them out en route to a 4-0 Blue Demon victory, pitching to just one batter over the minimum. Freshman first baseman Carmela Liwag singled in the fourth, the only Bull to reach base.

In addition to giving up no runs and one hit, Chouinard struck out eight and walked none, while upping her record to 16-3 on the season for the No. 17 Blue Demons (30-8, 14-1).

Katie Dugger matched Chouinard for five innings, allowing one hit. But DePaul managed to convert that one hit into a run in the second and Christina Douglas connected with a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the sixth off Rachel Rosenbaum to cement the win.

Defense proved to be the Bulls’ Achilles’ heel in the second game as they allowed unearned runs in the first and second innings off Bulls’ starter Corin Tassio.

“That was terrible,” Eriksen said of the Bulls’ defense. “It was not up to par Saturday, and we just booted the ball around.”

Tassio picked up the slack for the defensive misgivings by driving in two runs with a fourth-inning double to tie the score at two.

DePaul didn’t hesitate though as Lisa Bouck and Sarah Martz responded with back-to-back RBI singles in the bottom half of the inning to give the Blue Demons a three-run cushion.

Courtney Lewellen’s RBI double in the fifth brought in Shelly Riker to make it 5-3, but then the Blue Demons called on Chouinard, who slammed the door shut on USF for her fourth save of the year.

Chouinard combined to pitch nine innings in the doubleheader, allowing one hit and no walks while striking out nine.

The Bulls’ frustration mounted Sunday, as they didn’t even get a chance at redemption since the game was cancelled due to inclement weather. The rainout marked the third C-USA game the Bulls have had cancelled.

“Trying to catch games up, every time a game gets cancelled, it takes a possible win away from us,” Eriksen said. “We’re not even getting the opportunity to play.”

USF now stands at 5-10, a half game back of Houston for the sixth and final spot in the C-USA Tournament. DePaul holds a game and a half lead for first over Southern Miss.

Contact Anthony Gagliano at