Louisville Takes Down No. 23/24 Kentucky 6-0

Tori Collins

Tori Collins

March 23, 2011

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. - - Junior Tori Collins struck out nine batters en route to a complete game shutout while sophomore Alicja Wolny and freshman Maggie Ruckenbrod finished 2-for-2 to lead the University of Louisville softball team to a 6-0 victory over the University of Kentucky Wednesday evening at Ulmer Stadium. The Cardinals improve to 19-9 while the Wildcats fall to 19-7 on the season.

The Cardinal defense was tested early in the game when Megan Aull sent a two-out shot into deep centerfield and Kristin Austin made a running catch on the warning track to end the inning.

"This was a good win for us, Kentucky has a very good team," said U of L head coach Sandy Pearsall. "I was pleased with how Tori Collins pitched. She has been working hard and it's good to see her getting back to where she was last year. We had a lot of performances. Kristin Austin made some tremendous plays, Maggie Ruckenbrod picking off two runners. We were also able to swing the bats today."

The Cardinals got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning when Wolny blasted a shot over the right field fence. Wolny's third home run of the season put the Cards up 1-0.

Kentucky had an early scoring opportunity in the second when Rachel Riley walked and Samantha DeMartine was hit by a pitch to place runners on with two outs. Catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod and second baseman Katie Keller combined to pick Riley off at second to end the inning.

The Wildcats' best chance to score came in the top of the third inning as back-to-back singles from Annie Rowlands and Megan Yocke put two runners on base. A groundout to third moved both runners into scoring position, but a groundout to first ended the scoring threat.

Louisville was able to build on its lead in the bottom of the third when a leadoff walk to Ruckenbrod and a single by Hannah Kiyohara put two on for the Cards. Pinch-runner Chelsea Jordan and Kiyohara advanced on a wild pitch. Jennifer Esteban's sacrifice fly to centerfield plated Jordan giving Louisville a 2-0 lead.

The Cards extended the lead in the fifth. Ruckenbrod led off the inning with a double off the leftfield fence. Esteban's infield single placed runners on first and third. Esteban proceeded to steal her 11th base of the season and Ruckenbrod came home to make it a 3-0 game. Esteban came home when Chelsea Bemis reached on a Kentucky throwing error increasing the lead to 4-0.

Kentucky had another opportunity to score in the top of the sixth when Megan Aull and Brittany Cervantes delivered back-to back singles to place two runners on with one out. Riley sent a ball into centerfield to Louisville's Kristin Austin. For the second time in the game, Austin sprinted to the warning track and came up with the catch for the second out of the inning. Austin caught Aull off of second base and threw to Keller for the third out of the inning.

Louisville tacked on two more runs in the sixth when hits from Wolny, Fowler and Austin loaded the bases with no outs. Ruckenbrod singled up the middle to plate Wolny. Kiyohara followed with a sacrifice fly to score Fowler to give the Cards the 6-0 lead.

Collins (12-5) got the win, scattering five hits and striking out nine in 7.0 innings in her seventh shutout of the season. Wolny was 2-for-2 with a home run and Ruckenbrod was 2-for-2 with a double, a run and an RBI.

Chanda Bell (7-4) took the loss, allowing four runs, three earned, on four hits and striking out three in 5.0 innings of work.

The teams will meet again on April 20 at Kentucky.

U of L (19-9) will open BIG EAST Conference play with a doubleheader against Villanova Saturday at noon. The teams will meet in a single game Sunday at 11 a.m.



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