April 7, 2011
Complete Release in PDF Format
The University of Louisville softball team will travel to Pittsburgh for a three-game BIG EAST series April 9-10.
The Cards (27-10) are currently on a season-high eight-game win streak as they resume league play this weekend. They are fourth in league standings with a 5-1 conference record while the Panthers are second with a 3-0 league mark.
The Cardinals (27-10, 5-1) are currently on a season-high eight-game win streak and have won nine of their past 10 games. Louisville is led offensively by sophomore left fielder Jennifer Esteban leads the Cards with a .380 batting average, 34 runs, four triples and 15 stolen bases. First baseman Alicja Wolny follows closely at .374 with a team-best 35 RBI. Senior third baseman Chelsea Bemis rounds out the top three hitters with a .361 average, 15 doubles and and five home runs on the season.
Freshman Caralisa Connell (14-4) carries a 2.26 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 124.0 innings of work. She has won the past eight games for the Cardinals. Junior LHP Tori Collins (12-5) carries a 2.30 ERA with 117 strikeouts in 112.2 innings and is holding opponents to a .204 batting average.
Cards Against the Field
Series Record: Louisville leads 6-1
Last Meeting: The Cardinals downed the Panthers 6-1 in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST championship on May 13, 2010.
Scouting the Panthers: Pittsburgh (24-8, 3-0 BIG EAST) split a doubleheader at Ohio State Wednesday. The Buckeyes took the first game 4-3, while the Panthers won the second 5-2.
The Panthers are led by junior third baseman Kelly Hmiel who is batting .369 on the season. She also leads the team in homeruns (9), RBIs (34) and slugging percentage (.798). Pitt currently has five players with a batting average above .300; Hmiel, senior Ashley Amistade (.341), sophomore Holly Stevens (.340), junior Yvette Bravo (.321) and senior Reba Tutt (.304).
In the circle, the Panthers are led by senior Alyssa O'Connell with an ERA of 0.74. Collectively, the Pitt pitching staff has a 1.15 ERA - placing them second in NCAA standings. Joining O'Connell in the pitching rotation are freshman Karlyn Jones (1.22 ERA) and senior Cory Berliner (1.64).
Six of Louisville's 10 losses have come to teams ranked in the top 15: twice to (then) No. 5/6 Michigan, twice to No. 15 Texas and twice to No. 3/7 Alabama. Each of those teams has since risen in the rankings, with Alabama sitting at No. 1 in this week's ESPN.com USA Softball poll.
Sophomore Jennifer Esteban is a perfect 15-for-15 in stolen bases this season and is currently on a streak of 28 perfect attempts dating back to the Feb. 28, 2010 win over Northern Illinois.
Senior Chelsea Bemis is second on the career RBI list with 169. She needs five more to tie Courtney Moore's mark of 174.
Keller and Connell Named to BIG EAST honor roll
Freshman second baseman Katie Keller led Cards at the plate, batting .500 (7-for-14) on the week with two home runs and a double and a stolen base. She scored nine runs and drove in 10 - including a five RBI performance in the 9-3 win over Seton Hall. Keller posted a 1.000 slugging percentage and a .563 on-base percentage.
Freshman pitcher Caralisa Connell pitched every inning and posted all five wins as the Cards went 5-0 on the week. She posted a 1.35 ERA with 26 strikeouts - including a career-high 10 Ks in the 9-3 win over Seton Hall. Connell scattered 20 hits in 31 innings, holding opponents to a .190 batting average. She has now won seven consecutive games dating back to March 26.
Up Last for Louisville
The Cards are coming off of a 1-0 win over Indiana on Wednesday. Sophomore Jennifer Esteban had a pair of hits and scored the game-winning run on freshman Katie Keller's one-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to give the Cards the 1-0 victory. Freshman Caralisa Connell struck out eight en route to her second complete game shutout of the season.
U of L will return to Ulmer Stadium for a midweek BIG EAST Conference doubleheader against Connecticut on April 13.
On a hot streak
The Cardinals are in the midst of a season-high eight-game winning steak dating back to the March 26 5-3 win over Villanova - they have also won nine of their last 10 games. The team has hit .343 and outscored opponents 59-18 in the past eight games.
During that time, left fielder Jennifer Esteban has led the Cardinals offensively, batting .455 (14-for-30)with 12 runs, and four stolen bases. Second baseman Katie Keller is right behind her at .455 (10-for-22) with 15 RBIs and 11 runs. Right fielder Hannah Kiyohara has batted .435 (10-for-23) with seven runs and 10 RBIs.
Freshman Caralisa Connell has posted an 8-0 record with a 1.08 ERA, 41 strikeouts and a .202 opponent batting average while pitching every inning during that stretch.
Walk this way
Senior Chelsea Bemis now holds the record for career walks with 103. She drew a walk in the April 3, 9-3 win over Seton Hall to give her 103, surpassing Courtney Moore's previous mark of 102 which has stood since the 2007 season.
Esteban named to BIG EAST honor roll
Sophomore Jennifer Esteban led the Cardinals offensively in a 3-1 performance on the week. The left fielder batted .615 (8-for-13) with a triple, five runs, three RBI's, a sacrifice fly and a stolen base. She registered a .769 slugging percentage and a .600 on-base percentage. She had at least one hit in each of the four games and had two, three-hit performances against Villanova.
Hitting for average - underclassmen stepping up to the plate
Louisville is batting .320 as a team with seven active players batting at, or above .300. Jennifer Estebanleads the way at .380. Alicja Wolny follows at .374 and Chelsea Bemis is batting .361.Colby Wherry (.346), Hannah Kiyohara (.338), Maggie Ruckenbrod (.333) and Katie Keller (.330) complete the .300 lineup.
Five of the Cards' top seven hitters are underclassmen Ruckenbrod, Kiyohara and Keller are freshmen while Wolny and Esteban are sophomores. Sophomore Jordan Trimble was also batting .410 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury.
Senior captains Chelsea Bemis and Colby Wherry comprise the left side of the infield at third base and shortstop respectively. Both are four-year starters and have turned in solid performance both offensively and defensively this season. Bemis is currently batting .361with a team-best five home runs and 15 doubles. Wherry is right behind her at .346 with 18 RBIs, three homers and 15 runs.
Both Bemis and Wherry will leave their marks in the Cardinal record books. They are currently tied for 10th in career games started at 210 each. They are also in the top 10 in several offensive categories including hits, doubles, RBIs and walks.
Bemis a Member of the 200 Hits Club
On March 30, Chelsea Bemis blasted solo home run in the 13-2 win over DePaul to notch her 200th career hit, becoming the sixth player in program history to record 200 hits. She currently has 205 and is sixth on the all-time hits list. She needs 18 more to tie Lacy Wood for fifth (223). Audrey Rendon holds the school record with 283.
Katie Petrino Joins the Louisville Softball Team
Head coach Sandy Pearsall has announced that freshman pitcher Katie Petrino will be a mid-season addition to the Cardinals' roster. Petrino is also in her redshirt season on the Louisville golf team and will be eligible to play in the BIG EAST Conference series against Seton Hall.
The Fayetteville, Ark., native was a two-time all-state softball selection for Fayetteville High School, which was ranked among the top 20 teams in the nation.
Cards in NCAA Standings
The Louisville softball team is among the top performers in the nation in several categories including: doubles per game, batting average and fielding percentage. Senior Chelsea Bemis, junior Tori Collins and sophomore Jennifer Esteban are also ranked in the top 25 in the latest NCAA stats released on March 29.
As team the Cardinals are ninth with 1.72 doubles per game, 22nd in team batting average and 23rd in fielding percentage.
Collins is eighth in the nation with seven shutouts. Bemis stands in at No. 14 with 0.39 doubles per game (12/33). Esteban is 13th with four triples.