March 24, 2012
Box Score |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - -
The No. 13/14 University of Louisville softball team swept visiting Pittsburgh 3-1 and 4-3 in both teams' BIG EAST Conference opening doubleheader Saturday at Ulmer Stadium. With the wins, the Cards move to 26-0 and are the last remaining undefeated Division I team standing after Louisiana-Lafayette suffered its first loss to Troy on Saturday.
Louisville 3 - Pittsburgh 1
A three-run fourth, highlighted by sophomore Maggie Ruckenbrod's two-run double, proved to be all the scoring the Cards would need as they opened BIG EAST Conference play with a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh (15-11, 0-2).
The Panthers took an early 1-0 lead in the first. Holly Stevens delivered and two-out hit and moved to second on Carissa Throckmorton's walk. Savannah King's RBI single put the Panthers on the scoreboard first
The Cards capitalized on five hits to take a 3-1 lead in the home half of the fourth. Sophomore Taner Fowler got the inning started with a double to the centerfield wall. Freshman Kirsten Straley entered the game to pinch run and took second on junior Alicja Wolny's base hit. Sophomore Jordan Trimble's infield single plated Straley to even the score at 1-1. Sophomore Maggie Ruckenbrod's two-run double scored pinch-runner junior Chrisanna Robert and Trimble pull the Cards ahead.
In the top of the seventh. Ciera Damon singled and Kristen Cheesbrew walked to place the tying run on board. The runners moved on Maggie Sevilla's groundout. A two-out walk to Stevens loaded the bases, but sophomore Chelsea Leonard dealt a strikeout to end the game.
Junior Tori Collins (12-0) picked up the win, allowing one earned run on five hits and striking out five in 4.0 innings. Leonard earned her third save, holding the Panthers scoreless on one hit and striking out four in 3.0 innings. Ruckenbrod was 1 for 3 with a double and two RBIs, Trimble was 1 for 3 with a run and an RBI. Wolny was 1 for 2. Fowler and Esteban were each 1 for 3.
Savannah King (10-6) took the loss, giving up three earned runs on five hits and striking out six in 7.0 innings. Damon was 2 for 3 to lead the Panthers at the plate. This marked the first time an opposing team has outhit the Cardinals this season.
Louisville 4 - Pittsburgh 3
In game two, freshman Whitney Arion's three-run home run in the fourth keyed the Cards to a 4-3 victory over the Panthers.
The Cards took an early 1-0 lead in the first. Senior Kristin Austin reached on an error and stole second. Sophomore Katie Keller's single placed runners on the corners and Austin came home when Fowler reached on a fielder's choice.
The Panthers answered in the third when Maggie Sevilla drew a two-out walk and Kelly Hmiel's infield single placed two runners on for Holly Stevens who singled to score Sevilla and an error on the play sent Hmiel home to give Pitt a 2-1 lead.
Just like in the first game of the day, the fourth inning proved to be productive for the Cards as they used four hits, including Arion's three-run homer to put up a three-spot. Trimble led off with a single and Ruckenbrod reached on a fielder's choice to set up Arion's fourth home run of the season, a three-run shot over left field to make the score 4-2.
Sevilla led off the fifth with a solo shot over the centerfield fence to pull the Panthers within a run.
Each team would place a runner in scoring position, but the 4-3 score stood for the next two innings.
Sophomore Caralisa Connell (9-0) got the win, allowing three earned runs on five hits and striking out one in 4.1 innings. Leonard picked up her second save of the day and third of the season, holding the Panthers scoreless on one hit in the final 2.2. innings. Arion was 1 for 2 with a home run and three RBIs.. Soldes was 2 for 2. Trimble and Austin each finished 2 for 3 with a run.
Alexa Larkin (4-4) took the loss, allowing four runs, three earned, on nine hits and striking out two in 6.0 innings. Sevilla was 2 for 2 with a home run and two runs.
The teams will wrap up the three-game series Sunday at noon. The game will be televised live on WHAS 11.1.