Feb. 9, 2013
LAS VEGAS - The No. 18 University of Louisville softball team defeated UCF 5-3 Saturday afternoon in the UNLV Sportco Kick-Off Classic.
The Cards (3-1) took advantage of four hits to score three runs in the first inning. Jennifer Esteban led off the inning with an infield single and stole second. A wild pitch sent her to third and she came home on Alicja Wolny's RBI single. Taner Fowler's base hit placed runners and first and second and Jordan Trimble's sacrifice bunt advanced both into scoring position for Whitney Arion's two-out, two-run single.
UCF (0-3) got a run back in the fourth when Kahley Novak reached on a bunt single for the Golden Knights' first hit of the game. She took second on Mariah Garcia's sacrifice bunt and came around to score on an error on the play to make the score 3-1 with one out. A strike out, caught stealing double play ended the inning.
The Golden Knights knotted the score on Hailey Barraco's two-run shot over left center. Danielle Brewer connected on a two-out single to set up the game-tying home run.
The Cards quickly regained the lead when Katie Keller sent the first pitch of her at bat over the left field fence for her second home of the season to make the score 4-3.
UCF threatened in the top of the sixth when Novak led off with a double and took third on Garcia's groundout. Louisville starter Caralisa Connell dealt a strikeout and got a groundout to end the threat.
The Golden Knights attempted to get a runner in scoring position in the seventh when Maddy Schroeder connected on a one-out single and attempted to steal second, but catcher Ruckenbrod connected with shortstop Arion for the second out of the inning and Connell delivered her eighth strikeout to end the game.
Connell (1-1) got the win, allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits and striking out eight in a complete game effort. Arion was 1 for 3 with two RBIs. Wolny was 1 for 2 with a run and an RBI and Keller was 1 for 3 with a run and an RBI.
NOTE: Ruckenbrod threw out three base stealers in the game, setting a new school record.