March 28, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. -
Senior Kristin Austin's solo home run in the fourth lifted the No. 11 University of Louisville softball team to a 1-0 win over Kentucky (15-17). Tori Collins improved to 13-0 and Chelsea Leonard picked up her fifth save of the season as the Cards notched their 13th shutout of the season as the Cardinals improved to 28-0 and remain the only undefeated team in Division I softball.
"This was a great rivalry game and we were happy to come away with a win," said U of L head coach Sandy Pearsall. "Kentucky played us well. They're a very good team and were coming off of some great wins over the weekend. Both teams were in a great position to win the game. It came down to a timely hit and fortunately for us, we got that in Kristin Austin's home run. The pitching from both teams was great tonight."
The game featured a pitcher's duel through the first three innings with Collins giving up a double in the first and Kentucky's Chanda Bell retiring nine of the first 10 batters, allowing a walk in the first inning.
The Cards waited until the fourth inning to record their first hit of the game, but they made the most of it when Austin took a 3-2 count over the left field wall for her first home run of the season and second of her career - to give Louisville a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats threatened in the seventh when Ginny Carroll drew a one-out walk and moved to third when a two-out error allowed Lauren Cumbess to reach, placing the tying run at third and the winning run at first. Leonard delivered a strikeout to end the game.
Kayla Soles led the Cardinal offense, going 2 for 3 at the plate. Austin collected the lone RBI in the game. Collins (13-0) scattered two hits and struck out four and did not issue a walk in 5.1 innings. Leonard did not give up a hit, struck out three and walked one in 1.2 innings of relief.
Bell (8-5) took the loss, allowing one earned run on three hits and striking out seven in 5.0 innings. Rachel Riley gave up three hits with one strikeout in 2.0 innings.
The Cardinals will return to BIG EAST Conference play this weekend when they visit DePaul for a three-game series Saturday and Sunday. Following that, Kentucky will visit Ulmer Stadium on Wednesday for the teams' second matchup this season.