May 11, 2012
Click Here for Video Highlights
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - -
Freshman Kayla Soles hit a two-out, two-run double in the fourth and senior Tori Collins tossed a complete-game two-hit shutout to give the No. 8/9 University of Louisville softball team a 2-0 win over DePaul (35-20) in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Conference Championship Friday evening. The Cards (52-3) will face Notre Dame in the title game Saturday at 6 p.m. The game will be carried live on ESPN2.
"I was so pleased to see Tori come out and throw well today," said U of L head coach Sandy Pearsall. "She did exactly what we needed her to do to get the win. I thought we played solid defense and our players - especially Kayla Soles - came through with some timely hitting."
The teams played through three scoreless innings before the Cards broke through with two runs in the fourth. Sophomore Jordan Trimble connected on a two-out single and moved to third when sophomore Maggie Ruckenbrod followed with a base hit. Soles' double brought both runners home to give Louisville a 2-0 lead.
The Blue Demons had a chance to score in the sixth when Samantha Dodd led off with an infield single and Kirsten Verdun was issued a walk to put two runners on to start the inning. Sophomore Maggie Ruckenbrod threw a strike to second baseman Katie Keller to pick Dodd off at second for the first out of the inning. Mary Connolly's groundout to first put Verdun in scoring position, but Keller chased down a hit behind second base and threw to Alicja Wolny to get Katelyn Braget out at first to end the inning.
Collins (24-1) got the win, scattering two hits and striking out six in a complete game shutout. Trimble was 2 for 3 with a double and a run to lead the Cards at the plate.
Verdun (26-13) took the loss, allowing two earned runs on seven hits and striking out five in 7.0 innings.
The Cardinals advance to their third straight BIG EAST Conference title game. They fell to Syracuse in 2010 and 2011. Their only tournament title came in 2007 when they defeated host Notre Dame 3-1.