May 12, 2012
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - -
Sophomore Jordan Trimble's leadoff home run in the bottom of the eighth broke a 3-3 tied and lifted the No. 8/9 University of Louisville softball team to a 4-3 win over host Notre Dame (38-14) in the finals of the 2012 BIG EAST Championship. The regular season champion Cardinals (53-3) rallied from a 3-0 deficit and sent the game to extra innings to claim their second league tournament title.
"I am absolutely ecstatic about this game and this season so far," said U of L head coach Sandy Pearsall. "I'm thrilled for Jordan Trimble and I'm so proud of this entire team. Today was a complete team effort against a great Notre Dame team."
Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead in the second. Kasey O'Connor registered a one-out single and moved to third on an error following Chloe Saganowich's infield single. Alexa Maldonado followed with an RBI single to put the Irish on the scoreboard.
The Irish put up two more runs behind Katey Haus's two-run homer in the third. Emilee Koerner delivered a two-out single to set up Haus' home run and make the score 3-0.
Louisville got two runs back in the fourth when Taner Fowler led off the inning with her twelfth home run of the season. The sophomore took a 0-1 pitch over the left field fence to make the score 3-1. Jordan followed with a triple off the top of the right field fence and came home on a bunt by Katelyn Mann to cut the lead to 3-2.
In the fifth, junior Jennifer Esteban reached on a one-out single. One out later, junior Alicja Wolny drew a walk to set up Fowler's two-out RBI single which brought Esteban home and tied the score at 3-3.
The teams battled through the next two innings. Notre Dame had a scoring opportunity in the top of the seventh when Kelsey Thornton drew a leadoff walk and took second on Amy Buntin's sacrifice bunt. Dani Miller's walk placed two runners on with one out. Cardinal reliever sophomore Caralisa Connell
got Emilee Koerner to hit into a fielder's choice which was Thornton out at third. Sophomore Chelsea Leonard
entered the game and got Haus to ground out to third to end the inning.
The Irish also had a runner in scoring position with two outs in the eighth, but Leonard got Maldonado to ground out to second to send the game to the bottom of the eighth.
Trimble, the BIG EAST Tournament's Most Outstanding Player took the first pitch over the right field wall for her fourth homer of the season to give the Cards the 4-3 win.
Leonard (10-1) got the win, giving up one hit and striking out one in 1.1 innings of relief. Connell held the Irish scoreless on one hit and struck out one in 2.2 innings of relief. Starter Tori Collins allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits and fanned two in 4.0 innings. Trimble was 2 for 4 with a triple and a home run and scored two runs. Mann was 3 for 3 with an RBI. Fowler was 2 for 4 with a home run, two RBIs and a run. Collins, Fowler, Trimble and Wolny were named to the All-Tournament team.
Laura Winter (27-9) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits and striking out two in 7.0 innings. Haus was 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs to lead the Irish offensively.
- The last time the Cardinals won the BIG EAST Tournament title was in 2007, when they defeated host Notre Dame 3-1.
- This was the third straight year Louisville reached the finals of the tournament. They finished runner-up to Syracuse in 2010 and 2011.
- Louisville (53-3) became the first team to win both the league's regular-season and tournament titles since Notre Dame did so in 2003.
- The Cards snapped Notre Dame's 17 game winning streak
BIG EAST Championship Awards
Most Outstanding Player
Jordan Trimble, Louisville, OF
Lynsey Ciezki, DePaul, 2B
Kirsten Verdun, DePaul, P
Ashley Beza, St. John's, P
Kristi Cady, St. John's, OF
Amy Buntin, Notre Dame, C
Katey Haus, Notre Dame, 3B
Kelsey Thornton, Notre Dame, OF
Laura Winter, Notre Dame, P
Tori Collins, Louisville, P
Taner Fowler, Louisville, DP
Jordan Trimble, Louisville, OF
Alicja Wolny, Louisville, 1B