Softball Plays Host to Evansville Tuesday

 
Maggie Ruckenbrod

Maggie Ruckenbrod

April 7, 2014

The University of Louisville softball team will play host to Evansville in a single game Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Ulmer Stadium. Admission is free.

Louisville Softball Quick Hits
• The Cardinals enter Tuesday's game with a 23-15 overall record. UofL is coming off of a three-game sweep of No. 25 USF last weekend.
• The Cards are led offensively by senior second baseman Katie Keller who is batting .395 with 34 runs and 22 RBI. Junior Kelsi Jones has belted out a team-best seven home runs and has 25 RBIs on the season. Fellow junior Brittany Duncan has five home runs and is tied with Jones with a team-high 25 RBIs.
• Louisville is hitting .298 as a team with six players boasting batting averages above .300.
• Freshman Maryssa Becker (10-3) has a 1.85 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 98.1 innings while holding opponents to a .208 batting average.
• Becker is the current American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week for the second straight week, while Keller is the league Player of the Week for the second time this season.
• Head coach Sandy Pearsall is in her 15th season at UofL. She started the program in 2000 and is the only head coach in UofL Softball history, guiding the program to a 576-289 record.

Last Up
The Cardinals snapped a season-high four-game losing streak to sweep No. 25 South Florida in a three-game American Athletic Conference series.
Louisville 5 - USF 1
Katie Keller was 2 for 4 with a three-run homer and Maryssa Becker struck out eight in a complete-game effort as the Cards defeated No. 25 USF 5-1.
Louisville 3 - USF 0
The Cardinals took an early 1-0 lead in the first and added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth en route to a 3-0 win in the nightcap of the doubleheader. Rachel LeCoq got the win, holding the Bulls scoreless on four hits and striking out two in 4.2 innings of relief. Starting pitcher Caralisa Connell combined on the shutout giving up three hits and striking out three in 2.1 innings. Jones was 2 for 4 with two runs while Keller was 2 for 3 with an RBI to pace the Cards offensively.
Louisville 3 - USF 1
The University of Louisville softball team scored three-runs in the top of seventh to overcome a 1-0 deficit and defeat No. 25 USF 3-1 to complete a three-game sweep of the host Bulls Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals improve to 23-15 and 5-4 in American Athletic Conference play. • Becker got the win, allowing one unearned run on four hits and striking out seven in a complete-game effort. Arion was 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI while Keller was 2 for 3 to lead the Cards at the plate.

 

 

Cards Against Evansville
Series Record: Evansville leads 9-7
Last Meeting: April 29, 2008 - Louisville won 5-4 at Ulmer Stadium.
Scouting the Purple Aces: Evansville enters the game with a 15-18 overall record. The Purple Aces are coming off of a three-game series against Wichita State in which they won the first game 4-3, but fell 12-4 and 8-3 to close out the series.
• Megan Gurski leads the team with a .374 batting average and 23 RBIs. Kayla Fortner has a team best eight home runs and 29 runs scored. Gurski also carries a 7-9 record in the circle with a 3.16 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 95.1 innings pitched.

Up Next
• The Cardinals will return to American Athletic Conference play this weekend when Connecticut visits Ulmer Stadium for a three-game series April 12-13. Admission is free.

Becker and Keller Sweep American Weekly Honors
The University of Louisville swept American Athletic Conference softball honors with freshman pitcher Maryssa Becker picking up her second-straight Pitcher of the Week honor and senior Katie Keller being named Player of the Week for the second time this season on April 7.
• The Cardinals posted a 3-1 week against two top-25 opponents, sweeping No. 25 USF in conference play to rise to 23-15 overall and 5-4 in league play.
• Becker earned two of her teams' wins over USF in the circle, with both serving as complete games. Between those two games, she scattered only two hits versus The American's hottest offense, with only one earned run as a result. During Sunday's 3-1 win over the Bulls, Becker retired 13 straight batters in a stretch between the third and sixth innings. Despite the Cards falling to No. 12/12 Kentucky on April 2, she allowed only five hits and one earned run. On the week, Becker posted 18 innings of work, allowing only four runs while fanning 17 for an impressive 0.78 ERA. • Keller went 6-for-12 on the week, recording two hits in all three games against the Bulls. Her resume at the plate included a double in both Saturday's second game and Sunday's contest, and a three-run homer in the top of the seventh in Saturday's first game to seal the win for the Cardinals. She totaled four RBIs on the weekend while scoring two runs. On the season, Keller paces Louisville with a .395 average, 34 runs scored, a .517 on-base percentage and 13 doubles.

Keller selected as a Top Ten Finalist for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award® for Softball
Katie Keller was selected as one of ten finalists for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award for softball.

Fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award Website through May 12. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2014 NCAA Women's College World Series® in Oklahoma City May 29 through June 4.

Keller, a senior second baseman from Livermore, Calif., is the first player in program history to be selected as a finalist for the award. The four-year starter is a 2013 All-America second team, two-time All-Great Lakes Region and three-time all-conference selection. She was named to the 2014 Top 50 Watch List for USA Softball's Player of the Year and was a Top 25 Finalist last season. • The communications major has been named to the Athletic Director's honor roll (3.0 or higher for the semester) three times and was a member of the Dean's List. Following her junior season, when she earned All-America honors on the field, she was also selected to the BIG EAST All-Academic Team.
• Finalists were chosen by national media from the list of 30 candidates announced in February. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner.

New neighborhood, familiar faces
Louisville will be competing in the American Athletic Conference for the 2014 season. This will mark the league's inaugural season, but the Cards will face some familiar opponents.

The Cardinals played in the BIG EAST from 2006-2013, during that time, they won two regular season titles and two conference tournaments. League opponents included current American members: USF, Connecticut, and Rutgers.

Prior to moving to the BIG EAST, the Cardinals spent six seasons in Conference USA where they won 2005 regular season title. UofL was one of seven teams to play in the league's first season of softball. USF was another founding member of C-USA softball and Houston joined the league the following season (2001).

Becker Tosses First Career No-Hitter
On March 19, freshman Maryssa Becker struck out five en route to her first career no-hitter as the Cards defeated host Western Kentucky 3-0. The no-no was Louisville's first since April 15, 2012 when Tori Collins posted her second consecutive one against Longwood.

Ruckenbrod on Patrol
Senior catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod has thrown out 15 of 29 would-be base stealers. She currently has thrown out 55 in her career, placing her second on the school's all-time list behind current softball director of operations Lisa (McMillan) Pinkston who owns the record with 60. • Additionally, Ruckenbrod has picked off two runners this season. She owns the school record for pickoffs in a game (three), season (11 in 2011) and career (28).

Cards Set School Record for Runs in a Game
Louisville 22- Ohio University 4 (5 innings)
On March 9, the Cardinals defeated Ohio University 22-4 at Ulmer Stadium, setting a program record for runs in a game.The previous record was 18 set against Saint Louis on April 24, 2005. Highlights from the game included:
• Every starter in the lineup had at least one hit as the Cards pounded out a season-high 18 hits
• Senior Taner Fowler and junior Brittany Duncan each tied a school record for runs in a game with four.
• Senior Hannah Kiyohara had a career-high five RBIs to combine with a season-best 3 for 4 performance at the plate.

Power Surge
Junior transfers Kelsi Jones (Missouri) and Brittany Duncan (Valparaiso) have been welcome additions to a team which set a program record for home runs with 63 in 2013. Jones leads the team with seven and Duncan follows closely with five to account for 12 of the Cardinals' 27 round-trippers on the season.

    Atlantic Coast Conference NCAA University of Louisville
    Rotating Dimage