Feb. 27, 2013
Louisville Notes-Citrus Classic
The No. 15/16 University of Louisville softball team will travel to Orlando, Fla. for the 2013 Citrus Classic where they will face No. 5/8Texas, Temple, Longwood, Georgia Tech and No. 11/11 LSU March 1-3 at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex.
Saturday's game against Georgia Tech will be shown live on ESPN3 with Kevin Corke doing play-by-play and Amanda Scarborough providing analysis.
Click here to watch Saturday's Louisville-Georgia Tech game at 12:15 pm
The Cardinals (12-2) are No. 15 in the USA Today/NFCA coaches' poll and No. 16 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate poll as they enter the 2013 Citrus Classic. Louisville is batting .328 as a team with seven players hitting over .300 on the season. Sophomore Kayla Soles leads the team with a .440 average and has 12 RBIs. Junior Katie Keller has belted out a team-best five home runs and 18 RBIs and 15 runs.
The current BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week, junior Caralisa Connell (8-1) carries a 1.97 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 49.2 innings. Junior Rachel LeCoq (4-1) has a 1.08 ERA with 17 Ks. The Cards have recorded five shutouts on the season.
Cards against their 2013 Citrus Classic opponents
Series Record: Texas leads the series 2-1
Last Meeting: February 13th, 2011 - The Longhorns defeated the Cardinals 14-4 in the Texas Classic championship game.
Scouting the Longhorns: The No. 5/8 Longhorns (16-1) are coming off of a 4-1 weekend at the Texas Invitational. Texas picked up a win against Lamar (5-0) before losing to No. 24 Tulsa (7-4). The Longhorns bounced back and defeated Utah State (13-2), Lamar (9-1) and Tulsa (1-0).
Freshman Stephanie Ceo leads the team with a .486 batting average (17 for 14) with 13 runs. Junior Taylor Thom has a team-best 23 RBI. Senior Blaire Luna (7-0) carries a 0.50 ERA with 83 strikeouts in 42.0 innings played.
Series Record:First meeting
Scouting the Owls: Temple (1-3) opened their season last weekend at the Phoenix Clash Tournament in Elon, N.C. The Owls suffered losses against Elon (8-3) and Hampton (5-1) before defeating St. Peter's (12-2). Temple wrapped up the weekend on Sunday with a loss to Hampton (8-4).
Senior Gina Sciarrone (4-2) leads the Owls with a .600 batting average two RBIs. Freshman Jessica Tolmie (1-0) carries a 2.80 ERA with four strikeouts in five innings.
Series Record: Cards lead the series 3-0
Last Meeting: April 15th, 2012 - Cards won 1-0 at Ulmer Stadium
Scouting the Lancers: Longwood (7-1) participated in the Longwood Spring Classic in Farmville, Va. this past weekend. The Lancers picked up a win against Bucknell (7-0) before losing to Stony Brook (2-3) on Saturday. Longwood went on to defeat both Stony Brook (3-0) and Bucknell (9-1) on Sunday.
Sophomore Katie Shinrock leads the Lancers with a .478 average. Megan Baltzell follows closely at .474 with a team-best 12 RBIs. Senior Brooke Short carries a 0.00 ERA (5-0) with 18 strikeouts in 28.2 innings.
Georgia Tech (ESPN3)
Series Record: First meeting
Scouting the Yellow Jackets: Georgia Tech (9-7) went 1-4 at the Mary Nutter Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. last weekend. The Jackets were defeated by Northwestern (3-2), No. 7/8 California (8-0), No. 4/4 Florida (5-3) and No. 24 Oregon State (9-1). The Yellow Jackets picked up one win against Illinois (1-0) on Sunday.
Junior Haley Downs leads the Yellow Jackets with a .421 (14-14) batting average and two RBIs. Hope Rush carries a 2.87 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 63.1 innings played.
Series Record: LSU leads the Cards 1-0
Last Meeting: February 12th, 2005 - LSU defeated the Cardinals 7-0 on a neutral site.
Scouting the Tigers: The No. 11/11 Tigers (10-1) finished the Mary Nutter Classic in with a 4-1 record last weekend. LSU defeated BYU (10-6), Ohio State (7-0), UNLV (6-1) and No. 14 Arizona (3-0) before falling to No. 16 UCLA (2-0) on Sunday.
Freshman Bianka Bell leads the Tigers with a .372 (14-14) batting average and nine RBIs. Rachele Fico carries a 0.60 ERA with 75 strikeouts in 58.2 innings played
Louisville will return to Ulmer Stadium for the first weekend of a 10-game home stand. The Cards will play host to Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Austin Peay and Illinois State in the Louisville Classic March 8-10.
Recapping last weekend
The Cards went 4-0 in their home-opening Cardinal Classic. Louisville outscored opponents 22-5 and junior Caralisa Connell recorded two one-hit shutouts on the weekend. U of L beat Kent State 5-0 on Friday. Then followed with a 9-3 victory over Buffalo on Saturday and wrapped up the weekend with a 3-2 decision over Kent State and a 5-0 win over Eastern Illinois.
Connell Earns BIG EAST Player of the Week honors
Caralisa Connell was named BIG EAST Conference Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 25.
Connell (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) went 4-0 on the week with two complete-game, one-hit shutouts. The junior allowed one earned run and struck out 28 in 20.1 innings of work. She scattered six hits and held opponents to a .095 batting average.
Louisville Improve to No. 15/16 in Coaches' Polls
U of L moved up two spots to No. 16 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll which was released on Feb. 26. The Cards made their 2013 debut at No. 18. Louisville also jumped three spots to No. 15 in the most recent USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll. The Cards opened the 2013 season at No. 18.
Cards in ESPN.com/USA Softball rankings
The Cardinals reached a program-best No. 7 on May 15, 2012 after spending two weeks at No. 8 - they were ranked in the top 10 for the final five weeks of the season. Louisville spent 15 weeks in USA Softball top 25 after debuting at No 23 on Feb. 14.
Cards in USA Today/NFCA rankings
The Cards reached their highest ranking at No. 9 on April 24, 2012 and spent four weeks at that spot.
Home Sweet Home
The Cards went 4-0 in their home-opening Cardinal Classic Feb. 22-24. Louisville was tough at home during the 2012 regular season posting a perfect 25-0 record at Ulmer Stadium and a 27-2 record after the NCAA regional. In 2011, the Cards were an impressive 18-3 at Ulmer Stadium.
Louisville already has 11 home runs on the season with six players connected on at least one home in the first three weeks. Junior Katie Keller leads the team with five, while senior Alicja Wolny has two. Kayla Soles, Katelyn Mann, Hannah Kiyohara, Maggie Ruckenbrod and Taner Fowler have one apiece.
Maggie on Patrol
Junior catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod has thrown out five of six base stealers and has picked off three runners this season. She owns the school record for pickoffs in a game (three), season (11 in 2011) and career (18).
The Road Ahead
The 2013 schedule features five top 25 teams including No. 1/2 Oklahoma, No. 8/5 Texas, No. 11/11 LSU, No. 14/14 Michigan and No. 17/19 Kentucky as well as six teams which are receiving votes in the coaches polls (Illinois State, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Ohio State, Syracuse and Georgia Tech). Additionally 13 teams on the Cards' 2013 slate played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Louisville does not face BIG EAST foe and Women's College World Series participant USF during the regular season, but the teams could potentially meet in the conference tournament which will be held May 9-11 in Tampa, Fla.