March 26, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Freshman pitcher Maryssa Becker picked up two wins and struck out 11 on the day as the University of Louisville softball team swept DePaul 8-0 and 7-3 in a doubleheader Wednesday at Ulmer Stadium.
"I thought Maryssa Becker did a tremendous job on the mound for us today," said UofL head coach Sandy Pearsall. "We got great offense throughout our lineup all day and we took advantage of some mistakes that are not typical of DePaul. I was really happy with our effort."
Louisville 8 - DePaul 0 (six innings)
Junior Kelsi Jones went 2 for 4 with a three-run double to help lead the Cardinals to an 8-0 win over DePaul. Becker got the win, holding the Blue Demons scoreless on three hits and striking out six in 5.0 innings.
The teams played through three scoreless innings before the Cardinals broke through with seven runs in the fourth. Katie Keller delivered a leadoff single to break up Kristen Verdun's no-hitter and stole second. Maryssa Becker's base hit placed runners at first for Brittany Duncan who reached on an error to bring Keller home. Pinch-runner Jordan McNary stole third and came home on a hit by Maggie Ruckenbrod. Kayla Soles singled to load the bases for Hannah Kiyohara who drew a walk to plate Duncan. Jones connected on a three-run double to give the Cards a 6-0 lead. She came around to score on Whitney Arion's sacrifice bunt to make the score 7-0.
UofL tacked on a run in the sixth when Kiyohara and Jones led off the inning with back-to-back hits and Arion walked to load the bases for Keller's RBI single down the left field line for the 8-0 final.
Becker improved to 7-1 on the season and allowed only one DePaul runner in scoring position when Verdun registered a two-out double in the third. Rachel LeCoq combined on the shutout, giving up one hit in one inning of relief. Keller was 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run. Kiyohara was 1 for 2 with two runs.
Kirsten Verdun (12-4) took the loss, giving up seven runs on five hits and striking out four in 4.0 innings.
Louisville 7 - DePaul 3
In game two, the Cardinals overcame a 3-0 deficit to beat the Blue Demons 7-3. Brittany Duncan was 3 for 4 with four RBIs, Kelsi Jones was 3 for 3 with two runs and two stolen bases and Becker picked up her second win of the day to help UofL complete the doubleheader sweep and move to 20-11 on the season.
DePaul (18-8) jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first when Kirsten Verdun and Allie Braden opened the game with back-to-back walks to set up Mary Connelly's three-run home run.
The Cardinals answered with four runs in the home half of the first. Jones got things started when she beat the throw for an infield single. Whitney Arion followed with a walk to set up Katie Keller's two-run double which cut the lead to one run. Maryssa Becker doubled to bring Keller home and tie the score. Becker crossed the plate on Brittany Duncan's RBI single to give UofL a 4-3 lead.
DePaul threatened to even the score in the third inning when Dylan Christensen connected on a one-out double and moved to third on Kali Gardner's groundout. Morgan Maize walked to place runners on the corners with two outs. A double-steal attempt saw catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod and shortstop Whitney Arion combine to tag Chistensen out at the plate to end the inning. The Blue Demons would get no closer as Becker and the Cardinal defense went on to retire 12 straight to end the game.
Louisville tallied three more runs in the sixth. Jones drew a one-out walk and moved to second on Arion's bunt and Becker walked to load the bases. Duncan stepped up to the plate and ripped a three-run double down the right field line for the 7-3 final.
Becker (8-1) held the Blue Demons scoreless while scattering two hits and striking out five in 7.0 innings of relief. Caralisa Connell started the game and surrendered three earned runs in the first. Becker went 1 for 3 with two runs and an RBI.
Verdun (12-5) took the loss, allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits and striking out two in 6.0 innings. Connolly was 1 for 3 with a three-run homer. Nicole Pihl had the other hit for DePaul.
UofL (20-11, 2-1 AAC) will hit the road for a three-game American Athletic Conference series at Houston March 29-30.