April 21, 2012
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -
Sophomore Taner Fowler went 6 for 8 with three home runs and four RBIs to help the No. 9 University of Louisville softball team sweep host Seton Hall 6-3 and 6-1 in a BIG EAST Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon. The Cards (42-2, 13-2 BIG EAST) and the Pirates (20-24, 2-11) will meet in game three of the series Sunday at 11 a.m.
"Taner Fowler certainly set the pace for us at the plate today," said U of L head coach Sandy Pearsall. "I thought we played tremendous defense and Caralisa Connell pitched will for us. Our slappers also did a nice job offensively."
Louisville 6 - Seton Hall 3
In game one of the doubleheader, Fowler went 3 for 4 with two home runs and three RBIs to lift the Cardinals to a 6-3 win over the host Pirates.
Louisville jumped to an early lead behind Fowler's two-run homer in the second. Junior Alicja Wolny was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Fowler followed by taking a 2-2 pitch over the left field fence for her team-leading seventh home run of the season.
Danielle Destaso closed the gap with a one-out solo shot over left field to make the score 2-1 in the home half of the second.
The Pirates took a 3-2 lead in the third when Cashel Gaffey drew a leadoff walk, and two outs later, Kristen Kaelin connected on a two-run homer over the centerfield fence.
Louisville regained the lead with a four-spot in the sixth. Fowler's second home run of the game evened the score at 3-3. The sophomore led off the inning and took another 2-2 count over the centerfield fence for her eighth home run of the season. One out later, freshman Kayla Soles walked and was lifted for pinch-runner freshman Kirsten Straley. Sophomore Maggie Ruckenbrod reached on a fielder's choice, but an error on the play put runners at second and third. Freshman Whitney Arion followed with a fielder's choice that saw Straley out at the plate. Arion stole second to set up junior Jennifer Esteban's RBI infield single which plated pinch-runner Katelyn Mann, and an error on the play sent Arion home to give the Cards a 5-3 lead. Senior Kristin Austin's RBI hit extended the lead to 6-3.
Senior Tori Collins
(20-1) got the win, allowing three earned runs on four hits and striking out six in 5.0 innings. Sophomore Caralisa Connell
held the Pirates scoreless on two hits with a pair of strikeouts in 2.0 innings to earn her second save of the season.
DeStaso (5-8) took the loss, surrendering four runs, three earned, on three hits and striking out three in 5.1 innings. Meredith Henze led the Pirates offensively with a 2 for 3 performance at the plate. Kaelin was 1 for 2 with two RBIs.
Louisville 6 - Seton Hall 1
In the nightcap, Fowler went 3 for 4 with a double and a home run as the Cards completed the doubleheader sweep with a 6-1 victory.
Louisville got on the scoreboard with four unearned runs in the second. Fowler led off the frame with a double and Katelyn Mann's single placed runners on the corners. Sophomore Hannah Kiyohara reached on an error to load the bases for junior Jennifer Esteban reached on a fielder's choice, but an error on the play sent Fowler and Mann home. Austin's two-run single increased the lead to 4-0.
Fowler connected on her ninth home run of the season - and third of the day - when she drilled a one-out shot over left field to make the score 5-0 in the third inning.
The Pirates got a run back in the home half of the third when Whitney Jones singled, took second on a groundout, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Laura Canulli.
Louisville tacked on another unearned run in the top of the fifth. Wolny reached on a one-out error. Fowler's single sent her to second and freshman Kirsten Straley entered the game as a pinch-runner. A wild pitch sent Straley to third and she scored on junior Jordan Trimble's groundout for the 6-1 final.
Connell (14-1) got the win, allowing one earned run on three hits and striking out eight in a complete game effort. Austin was 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Esteban was 2 for 4 with a run. The victory extends the Cards' current win streak to 13 games.
Casey Moses (6-6) took the loss, allowing six runs, one earned, on six hits and striking out two in 4. 1 innings.