Feb. 25, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - - The No. 18/20 University of Louisville softball team defeated Creighton 7-0 and 4-0 Saturday to complete the three-game series sweep. The Cardinals are off to a program-best 12-0 start on the season.
Louisville 7 - Creighton 0
In game one, sophomore Chelsea Leonard (3-0) tied a career and school record with 16 strikeouts in a complete-game one-hitter and the Cardinal offense backed her with seven runs on 10 hits to give the Cards their eleventh straight win. Louisville got on the scoreboard early with an unearned run in the first. Jennifer Esteban led off with a single and came around to score when Katie Keller reached on an error.
The Cards used four hits a walk and an error to put up a four-spot in the second. Hannah Kiyohara drew a leadoff walk and Whitney Arion followed with a single. Kristin Austin's RBI double and Katie Keller's two-run single increased the lead to 3-0. Keller crossed the plate when Jordan Trimble reached on a fielder's choice for the 5-0 advantage.
Katelyn Mann led off the third with a single, took second on Kiyohara's sacrifice bunt and scored ona hit by Arion to give the Cards a 6-0 lead. Taner Fowler took the first pitch of the fourth over the left field fence for her third home run of the season to make the score 7-0.
Leonard (3-0) had a no-hitter through five innings and retired 14 consecutive batters - 11 with strikeouts - before Christa Ruf broke through with a single in the top of the sixth. A walk to Allie Mathewson followed, but the Bluejays would strand the two runners as Leonard and the Cardinal defense retired the final five batters in the game.
"I thought Chelsea Leonard did a tremendous job in her first complete game getting out there and keeping them off balance and Taner Fowler was great behind the plate," said head coach Sandy Pearsall. "I think we're doing some really good things, but we're not great yet. We have to keep working on defense, get more aggressive on offense and continue to get good innings from pitchers. This weekend, we were able to try out players at different positions."
Louisville 4 - Creighton 0
In the nightcap, sophomore Caralisa Connell (3-0) struck out eight and scattered four hits and senior Tori Collins fanned three on one hit to combine for the Cards' third straight shutout in the 4-0 victory over Creighton. Katie Keller was 2 for 3 with two RBIs and Taner Fowler was 2 for 3 with an RBI to help the Cards improve to 12-0 on the season.
The Cards put up three unearned runs in the fourth when Whitney Arion singled and Jennifer Esteban was safe on a fielder's choice. An error allowed Austin to reach and Arion to score and Keller's two-run single increased the lead to 4-0. With the three-game sweep, Louisville continues its best start in program history at 12-0.
"This has been a very exciting start for us," said Pearsall. "I'm so proud of this team, they worked very hard in the offseason and we're seeing some of the results of that effort. There is a lot softball left to play and we continue to work hard and continue to improve as a team. This has been a total team effort, I cannot stress that enough."