April 11, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The No. 12/12 University of Louisville softball team swept Villanova in a BIG EAST Conference doubleheader Wednesday afternoon. Senior Tori Collins pitched a complete game shutout in the opening 7-0 win, and the Cards (35-2, 9-2 BIG EAST) rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the fourth to pick up an 8-4 victory to complete the sweep.
Louisville 7 - Villanova 0
In game one, junior Alicja Wolny went 3-for-3 with a home run, sophomore Katie Keller went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs, and senior Tori Collins registered the Cardinals' 16th shutout of the season as Louisville picked up a 7-0 win over Villanova (25-14, 0-8).
The Cards struck early, when junior Jennifer Esteban and senior Kristin Austin led off the game with back-to-back infield singles. Sophomore Katie Keller took a 1-2 pitch over right center field to for her fifth home run of the season to give Louisville a 3-0 lead. One out later, Wolny powered a solo shot over the right field fence to make the score 4-0.
Louisville tacked on a pair of runs in the third. Austin opened the frame with a walk and Keller followed with a single. Wolny's one-out double plated Austin and sophomore Jordan Trimble's RBI single scored Keller to increase the lead to 6-0.
The Cards added another run in the fifth. Keller drew a leadoff walk and, after being lifted for pinch runner freshman Kirsten Straley, sophomore Taner Fowler gave the Cardinals two runners on-base after being hit by a pitch. Wolny worked the count 3-0 and was intentionally walked to load the bases. Trimble sent a pitch into centerfield, but Wolny was out at second base for an RBI fielder's choice.
Collins (16-1) scattered four hits and struck out two in the complete game shutout. Kaity Sitzman (2-1) took the loss, allowing five earned runs on four hits in 1.1 innings. Valerie Ortega was 2-for-3 to lead the Wildcats at the plate.
Louisville 8 - Villanova 4
In game two, sophomore Taner Fowler was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, and freshman Whitney Arion hit a two-run homer as the Cards rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the fourth to defeat the Wildcats 8-4 and complete the doubleheader sweep.
The Cards took an early lead in the second. Trimble drew a two-out walk and freshman Kayla Soles beat the throw for an infield single. Both runners advanced on a double steal. Sophomore Maggie Ruckenbrod's infield hit plated Trimble to put Louisville on the scoreboard.
Villanova threatened in the home half of the inning. Beth Smetana and Amanda Marquez drew back-to-back two-out walks and Briana Fujii was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Leonard delivered a strikeout to get out of the jam.
The Wildcats put up a four-spot to take a 4-1 lead in the third. Jamie O'Hara registered a leadoff hit and Valerie Ortega's one-out single placed runners on first and second for Kristi Burlin's two-run double. Pinch-runner Kera Pezzuti took third when Molly Manning reached on an error, and she crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Then, Manning came around to score on Marquez's RBI single.
The Cardinals answered with a four-spot of their own in the fifth. Soles reached on an error to start the inning and moved to third on Ruckenbrod's double. Jennifer Esteban drew a one-out walk to load the bases for senior Kristin Austin, who reached on a fielder's choice, but an error allowed Soles to score. With the bases still loaded, Keller's RBI groundout plated pinch-runner Katelyn Mann. Fowler's two-run double put the Cards back on top 5-4.
Arion's two-run home run in the sixth increased Louisville's lead to 7-4. Trimble led off the inning with a double and two-outs later, Arion smacked a shot over the left field fence for her fifth homer of the season.
The Cards wrapped up the scoring with another run in the seventh. Keller connected on a one-out double, took third on Wolny's infield single and crossed the plate on Fowler's RBI hit to make the score 8-4.
Caralisa Connell (12-1) got the win, holding the Wildcats scoreless on three hits and striking out two in 2.2 innings of relief. Collins picked up her third save of the season, allowing two hits and striking out one in 2.0 innings. Ruckenbrod was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Arion was 1-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the Cards at the plate.
Caitlyn Delahaba (13-9) took the loss, allowing seven runs, three earned on nine hits and striking out three in 5.2 innings. O'Hara was 3-for-4 with a run. Manning was 3-for-4 and Kurlin was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.