Demons face familiar in Columbia
DePaul softball coach Eugene Lenti is confident about his team's chances against Illinois in the upcoming NCAA tournament, and he is certainly not afraid to express it."We don't care what other people think. They're not experts," said Lenti when told of an ESPNU prediction describing the Fighting Illini as a potential bracket buster. "They did not even win the Big Ten, and we beat more ranked teams than they did."
For the fourth consecutive season, the Blue Demons are one of the top 64 softball programs in the country, and they will have an opportunity to achieve a goal the team has not done since 2007 - make it to the College World Series.
The road begins with the Fighting Illini, and despite beating them earlier in the year, most of the odds makers are betting against DePaul making it two in a row.
Still, being the underdog hasn't affected the team; in fact, it is a role they know all too well.
"It happens all the time," shortstop Shea Warren said. "We've played No. 1 Washington, No. 4 Michigan, and No. 10 Arizona State, so we are used to it."
They insist that Illinois cannot throw anything at them that they haven't seen already.
"There is no added pressure. We know how they play," senior Anne Demas said.
Being on the road should not be a problem either because most of the Blue Demons' games have been away from Cacciatore Stadium. Counting both the regular season and conference tournament, 72 percent of the team's games have been away from Lincoln Park.
The players believe this will give them an advantage.
"We thrive on the road," Heteniak said. "We've played so many that there is less pressure."
They have won 24 out of 40 contests.
Regardless of the outcome, the four seniors insist on making the most of their last opportunity.
"We want to make it memorable," Heteniak said. "We got so much talent on this team.
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