April 8, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Freshman Tiarra Sanabria's RBI single in the bottom of the eighth scored freshman Paige Alford to lift the University of Louisville softball team to a 4-3 win over Evansville Tuesday evening at Ulmer Stadium. Louisville improves to 24-15 on the season.
After a 26-minute rain delay that started with one out in the bottom of the second, the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the third when Katie Keller connected on a one-out double, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Brittany Duncan's groundout.
Evansville (15-19) had a chance to score in the top of the fourth when Kayla Fortner drew a leadoff walk, Chandra Parr registered an infield single and Niki Rahming's walk loaded the bases with one out. Louisville starting pitcher Rachel LeCoq and the Cardinal defense retired the next two batters to get out of the jam.
Louisville tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth when Brittany Duncan was hit by a pitch and lifted for pinch-runner Jordan McNary who stole second. One out later, Kayla Soles singled and Morgan Meyer entered to run for her and proceeded to steal second, putting two runners in scoring position for Taner Fowler whose two-run single gave the Cards a 3-0 lead.
The Purple Aces answered with three runs in the top of the seventh. Kirsten O'Conner connected on a one-out hit. With two outs in the inning, Megan Gurski was safe on an infield single to set up Kayla Fortner's two-run double which cut the lead to one run. A double by Susan Norris brought Fortner home to tie the score at 3-3.
The teams entered the eighth with the international tiebreaker rule in effect. Courtney Land was placed as a runner at second to start the inning and took third on Michal Luckett's sacrifice bunt. The Louisville defense held strong with a groundout and LeCoq dealt a strikeout to end the threat.
In the home half of the inning, Alford was the runner at second and Sanabria led off for the Cardinals. A wild pitch send Alford to third and Sanabria sent the next pitch into left field to bring home the game-winning run for the 4-3 final.
LeCoq (7-7) got the win, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits and striking out six in 7.2 innings. Hannah Kiyohara was 2 for 3 while Fowler was 1 for 3 with two RBIs to lead the Cardinals at the plate.
Brianna Combs (3-3) took the loss, allowing one unearned run on one hit in the eighth. Gurski started in the circle for the Purple Aces and gave up three earned runs on seven hits while striking out three in 5.1 innings. Fortner was 3 for 3 with two RBIs and a run to lead Evansville offensively.