March 14, 2013
Louisville Softball Classic Game Notes
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The No. 11/11 Louisville (21-3) will host the Louisville Softball Classic March 15-18 at Ulmer Stadium. The Cardinals will face No. 24/24 North Carolina Friday at 3 p.m. and Eastern Michigan at 5 p.m.
Louisville is idle on Saturday, but is back in action Sunday at 10 a.m. to face Wisconsin. The Cards will close out the tournament against Iowa Monday at 1:30 p.m.
2013 Louisville Classic
10 a.m. - Wisconsin vs. North Carolina
12:30 p.m. - Wisconsin vs. Eastern Michigan
3 p.m. - Louisville vs. North Carolina
5 p.m. - Louisville vs. Eastern Michigan
Saturday, March 16
10 a.m. - Ball St. vs. Wisconsin
12:30 p.m. - Eastern Michigan vs. Wisconsin
3 p.m. - North Carolina vs. Ball St.
5:30 p.m. - North Carolina vs. Eastern Michigan
Sunday, March 17
10 a.m. - Louisville vs. Wisconsin
12:30 p.m. - Iowa vs. North Carolina
3 p.m. - Iowa vs. Ball St.
Monday, March 18
11 a.m. - Ball St. vs. Iowa
1:30 p.m. Louisville vs. Iowa
U of L (21-3) is No. 11 in the USA Today/NFCA coaches' poll and No. 11 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate poll. Louisville is led offensively by junior second baseman Katie Keller who is hitting .500 on the season with seven home runs, 30 runs and 27 RBIs. Junior catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod follows at .420 with 22 RBIs. Senior first baseman Alicja Wolny is hitting .415 with six homers and 19 RBIs.
Caralisa Connell (13-2) carries a 2.03 ERA with 90 strikeouts and is holding opponents to a .204 batting average in 86.0 innings pitched. Rachel LeCoq (8-1) holds a 1.17 ERA with 39 Ks in 72.0 innings of work. Each pitcher has three shutouts.
Cards Against the Field
University of North Carolina
Series Record: The Cards lead the series 2-1
Last Meeting: February 6, 2009 - The Cards defeated the Tar Heels 1-0 in the FIU Combat Classic.
Scouting the Tar Heels: UNC (18-7) is ranked No. 24 in both the USA Today/NFCA coaches' poll and the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate poll. The Heels opened ACC conference play this past weekend, defeating Boston College three times in two days to take the series, 5-0, 10-4, 10-4.
The Tar Heels are led offensively by Constance Orr who is hitting .377 with a team-best seven home runs and 26 RBIs. Tisha Mahon is batting .385 and has scored six runs. Lori Spingola (11-4) carries a 1.98 ERA with 116 strikeouts and is holding opponents to a .199 batting average in 99.0 innings.
Series Record: Eastern Michigan leads the series 3-2
Last Meeting: March 13, 2009 - The Cards defeated Eastern Michigan 3-2 at Ulmer Stadium.
Scouting the Eagles: Eastern Michigan enters the weekend with an 8-8 record after participating in the FAU Tournament in Boca Raton, Florida March 7th through 9th. The Eagles defeated Michigan State 6-4 on Thursday and Stony Brook 5-4 on Friday before losing to Kansas 10-0 on Friday. EMU bounced back to defeat Florida A & M, 6-2 on the final day of the tournament.
The Eagles are led by Kati Blaharski who is batting .360 with 18 hits and 10 runs. Amanda Stanton is hitting .302 and has 13 hits, two home runs and a team-best 12 RBIs. Jenna Ignowski (4-1) leads the Eagles carrying a 3.38 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 39.1 innings.
Series Record: The series is tied 1-1
Last Meeting: March 19, 2011 - The Cards defeated the Badgers 7-0 in the San Diego Classic II.
Scouting the Badgers: The Badgers enter the weekend 18-3 and receiving votes in the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate poll. Wisconsin went 4-0 in the Saluki Invitational March 9-10 defeating Belmont 7-0 and Southern Illinois 7-3 on Saturday. The Badgers picked up another win against UIC (2-1) on Sunday before closing out the invitational in a no-hitter against EKU, defeating the Colonels 5-1.
Wisconsin s led by Mary Massei with a .453 batting average, racking up 34 hits this season with 22 RBIs and 23 runs scored. Pitcher Cassandra Darrah (11-1) has a 1.26 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 83.1 innings. Badger pitcher Meghan McIntosh (4-2) is also making noise after her first career no hitter against EKU. McIntosh has a 1.25 ERA, holding opponents to .167 in 33.2 innings.
Series Record: Iowa leads the series 4-2
Last Meeting: February 25, 2007 - Iowa defeated the Cards 3-2 in eight innings at Ulmer Stadium.
Scouting the Hawkeyes: The Hawkeyes enter the Louisville Classic 17-6 and receiving votes in the latest USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate polls. Iowa participated in the Miken Invitational in College Park, Md., March 9th and 10th. The Hawkeyes opened the weekend with a 3-1 loss to St. John's before picking up three wins, defeating Maryland 9-4 on Friday, Radford 10-0 and Ohio State 8-0 on Saturday.
Kayla Massey leads the Hawkeye offense batting .391 with 25 hits, five homeruns and 19 RBIs. Megan Blank is hitting .386 with five homeruns and a team-best 31 RBIs. Chelsea Lyon (8-2) has a 2.10 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 63.1 innings.
NOTE: Iowa is the alma mater of U of L associate head coach Carol Bruggeman who played there from 1984-87 and earned All-Big Ten, All-Mideast Region honors during her career. She went on to become a graduate assistant and was inducted into the Iowa Softball Hall of Fame in 1997.
Iowa Assistant Coach Stacy May Johnson spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant at U of L. from 2008-2010.
Louisville has won its past nine games and is 9-0 at Ulmer Stadium in 2013.
The Cardinals are batting .345 as a team with seven players hitting over .300 on the season and seven players with double-digit RBIs.
Katie Keller is ranked fourth in the nation with a .500 batting average, seventh with a .589 on-base percentage, 10th in runs per game with 30 runs in 23 game and 16th with a .905 slugging percentage.
Louisville is ranked 10th in the NCAA national rankings with a .343 team batting average.
The Cards have been among in the top 25 in the coaches' polls for the past 22 ranking periods, dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season.
U of L has two wins over top 25 teams: then-No. 11/11 LSU and No. 14/14 Michigan. The win over No. 11/11 LSU marked the Cards' highest ranked win since defeating No. 7/8 Northwestern on March 23, 2007.
The Cards will wrap up a 10 game homestand against Indiana on March 20 at 6 p.m. The game will be televised live on WHAS11.2, Insight ch. 432, Comcast 207
Recapping Tuesday's game
Juniors Maggie Ruckenbrod and Hannah Kiyohara each had three hits and drove in two runs to help lead the No. 11 University of Louisville softball team to a 7-2 win over visiting Western Kentucky Tuesday evening at Ulmer Stadium.
Wolny Named BIG EAST Player of the Week.
Senior first baseman Alicja Wolny of Louisville was selected BIG EAST Softball Player of the Week in the fifth weekly awards of the 2013 campaign.
Wolny (El Dorado, Calif.) helped the Cardinals go 4-0 last week, including a 5-4 win against No. 14/14 Michigan as Louisville improved to 20-3 on the season. The senior went 5-for-7 (.714) from the plate and drew eight walks (two intentional). Four of her five hits went for extra bases (two doubles and two homeruns) to record a 1.857 slugging percentage and .867 on-base percentage. The senior also scored six times and drove in six runs.
This marks the fourth time the Cards have had a player earn the league's weekly honor: Katie Keller has been Player of the Week twice and Hannah Kiyohara has once. Additionally, Caralisa Connell and Rachel LeCoq have each been named Pitcher of the Week this season.
Ruckenbrod Named CollegeSportsMadness.com BIG EAST Player of the Week
Junior Maggie Ruckenbrod was named the CollegeSportsMadness.com BIG EAST Softball Player of the Week on March 11. Ruckenbrod (St. Louis, Mo.) batted .385 (5 for 13) with four doubles, a home run, six runs and a team-best nine RBI as the the Cards went 4-0 in the Red & Black Classic.
Ruckenbrod had at least one hit and one RBI in each game and went 2 for 4 with two doubles and four RBIs in the 9-3 win over Illinois State.
Louisville Moves up to No. 11 in both coaches' polls
U of L moved up two spots to No. 11 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll which was released on March 12. The Cards made their 2013 debut at No. 18.
Louisville is also up two spots to No. 11 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.
Cards in the March 11 National Rankings
The Cards are among the nation's leaders in several categories, including batting average (10th), Win/Loss percentage (11th),Doubles per game (seventh), Slugging Percentage (15) and Double Plays per game (18th).
Katie Keller is ranked fourth in the nation with a .500 batting average, seventh with a .589 on-base percentage, 10th in runs per game with 30 runs in 23 game and 16th with a .905 slugging percentage. Maggie Ruckenbrod is 11th in doubles per game with 10 doubles in 22 games while Keller is 17th with 10 doubles in 23 games. Alicja Wolny is 12th with a .575 on-base percentage. Caralisa Connell is 12th with 12 victories in the circle.
Home Sweet Home
The Cards are 9-0 at Ulmer Stadium in 2013. 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.
Hitting for Average
The Cards are batting .345 as a team - which ranks tenth in the national standings - with seven players hitting over .300 on the season. Junior Katie Keller leads the way at a .500 clip. Junior Maggie Ruckenbrod follows at .420 while senior Alicja Wolny follows rounds out the top three batters at .415. Junior Hannah Kiyohara (.365), sophomore Kayla Soles (.358), seniors Jordan Trimble (.333) and Katelyn Mann (.333) complete the .300 hitters.
Louisville has 20 home runs on the season with nine players connecting on at least one homer. Junior Katie Keller and senior Alicja Wolny have six apiece while sophomore Kayla Soles and junior Maggie Ruckenbrod have two. Senior Katelyn Mann, juniors Hannah Kiyohara and Taner Fowler and sophomore Whitney Arion each have one.
The Road Ahead
The remainder of the 2013 schedule features three top 25 teams including No. 1/1 Oklahoma, No. 17/17 Kentucky and No. 24/24 North Carolina as well as two teams which are receiving votes in the coaches polls (Iowa and Wisconsin). 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.
Ruckenbrod on Patrol
Junior catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod has thrown out seven of 10 base stealers and has picked off six runners this season. She owns the school record for pickoffs in a game (three), season (11 in 2011) and career (21).
Esteban and Wolny Join 200 Club
Senior Jennifer Esteban registered her 200th career hit on March 9, 2013 in the 12-0 win over Austin Peay. The following day fellow senior Alicja Wolny reached the milestone with a home run in her only official plate appearance (she was walked three times) in the 9-3 win over Illinois State. There are only 10 players in program history who accumulated 200 or more hits. Esteban is No. 9 on the career hits list with 202 while Wolny is 10th at 201. Audrey Rendon (2004-07) holds the all-time record with 283.
Wolny Doubling Up
Alicja Wolny is currently tied for second (with Chelsea Bemis) on the career doubles list with 59. Two-time All-America selection Melissa Roth (2007-10) holds the all-time record with 68.