March 19, 2013
The No. 11/11 Louisville softball team (24-4) will wrap up a 10-game home stand when it plays host to Indiana (15-13) Wednesday at 6 p.m. The game will be televised live on WHAS 11.2, Insight channel 432, Comcast 207. Brian U'Sellis will handle play-by-play duties while Patty Norton will provide analysis.
U of L (24-4) is No. 11 in the USA Today/NFCA coaches' poll and No. 11 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate poll for the second straight week. Louisville is led offensively by junior second baseman Katie Keller who is hitting .489 on the season with seven home runs, 37 runs and 27 RBIs. Senior first baseman Alicja Wolny follows at .429 with six homers and 21 RBIs.Junior catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod is hitting .407 with 11 doubles and 27 RBIs.
Caralisa Connell (14-2) carries a 2.06 ERA with 114 strikeouts and is holding opponents to a .201 batting average in 102.0 innings pitched. Rachel LeCoq (9-2) holds a 1.42 ERA with 44 Ks in 84.0 innings of work. Each pitcher has three shutouts.
Cards Against the Hoosiers
Series Record: Louisville leads 13-2
Last Meeting: April 25, 2012 - U of L won 6-4 in Bloomington.
Scouting the Hoosiers: Indiana enters the game with a 15-13 overall record. The Hoosiers are coming off of a 3-0 performance in the Hoosier Classic with wins over Toledo, Central Michigan and UIC. Current Big Ten Player of the Week Amanda Wagner is batting .444 with three home runs and 12 RBIs. Meaghan Murphy (8-8) carries a 2.79 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 92.2 innings.
On March 18, the Cards fell 6-2 to Iowa, snapping an 11 game win streak. It was also the first regular season home loss since April 13, 2011 when they fell 5-1 to Connecticut.
The Cardinals are batting .336 as a team with six players hitting over .300 on the season and four players with over 20 RBIs.
Louisville is ranked 10th in the NCAA national rankings with a .336 team batting average.
The Cards have been among in the top 25 in the coaches' polls for the past 23 ranking periods, dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season.
U of L has three wins over top 25 teams: then-No. 11/11 LSU, No. 14/14 Michigan and No. 24/24 North Carolina. 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 head to Norman, Okla., for a three-game series with the top-ranked Sooners March 23-24.
Following this weekend, the Cards will open BIG EAST Conference play with a three-game series against Syracuse March 29-30 at Ulmer Stadium.
Recapping the week
The Cardinals won a pair of games on the first day of the Louisville Softball Classic, defeating No. 24 North Carolina 4-2 and Eastern Michigan 6-1 Friday. The tournament schedule was altered due to inclement weather, washing out Sunday's game against Wisconsin. Back in action on Monday, the Cards stumbled with a 6-2 loss against Iowa - snapping an 11 game winning streak and a 26 regular season home win streak.
On Tuesday, Katie Keller went 3-for-4 and Taner Fowler added three RBIs to lead the University of Louisville softball team to a 6-4 win over visiting Iowa Monday evening at Ulmer Stadium. The Cardinals struck early with a four-run first, added two in the fifth and then managed to stave off a hard-charging Hawkeye team that scored four runs in the final two innings and left the bases loaded in the final inning.
Ruckenbrod Named BIG EAST Player of the Week.
Maggie Ruckenbrod of Louisville was selected BIG EAST Softball Player of the Week in the sixth weekly awards of the 2013 campaign.
Ruckenbrod helped lead the No. 11 Cardinals to a 3-0 performance on the week. The junior batted .500 (5 for 10) with two home runs, and a double, three runs and five RBI. She posted a 1.200 slugging percentage and a .583 on-base percentage.
Ruckenbrod had at least one hit and one RBI in each game and hit a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to break a 2-2 tie against No. 24 North Carolina. She also went 3 for 3 with a home run, two runs and two RBIs in the 7-2 win over in-state rival Western Kentucky.
This marks the fifth time the Cards have had a player earn the league's weekly honor: Katie Keller has been Player of the Week twice while Hannah Kiyohara and Alicja Wolny have also earned the honor. Additionally, Caralisa Connell and Rachel LeCoq have each been named Pitcher of the Week this season.
Ruckenbrod was also name the CollegeSportsMadness.com Big East Player of the Week
Louisville Stays at No. 11 in both coaches' polls
For the second straight week, U of L remained at No. 11 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll which was released on March 19. The Cards made their 2013 debut at No. 18.
Louisville also stayed at No. 11 in the most recent USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll on March 19. 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 17 National Rankings
The Cards are among the nation's leaders in several categories, including batting average (10th), Win/Loss percentage (7th),Doubles per game (7th), Slugging Percentage (14th) and Double Plays per game (18th) and ERA (23rd)
Katie Keller is ranked fifth in the nation in runs per game with 36 runs in 26 games, 14th with a .344 batting average, 13th with a .569 on-base percentage, and 17th with an .893 slugging percentage. Maggie Ruckenbrod is 12th in doubles per game with 11 doubles in 26 games while Keller is 17th with 10 doubles in 26 games. Alicja Wolny is 10th with a .576 on-base percentage. Caralisa Connell is seventh with 14 victories in the circle.
Home Sweet Home
The Cards are 12-1 at Ulmer Stadium in 2013 - the 6-2 loss to Iowa on March 18, 2013 snapped a 26 game regular season win streak dating back to April when they fell 5-1 to Connecticut.. 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.