April 20, 2012
Seton Hall Series Notes
No. 9 Louisville will travel to Orange, N.J. to face Seton Hall in a three-game BIG EAST Conference series.
The Cardinals (40-2, 11-2 BIG EAST) are coming off of a doubleheader sweep of No. 17 USF. The wins moved the Cards into first place in league standings.
U of L is led offensively by senior Kristin Austin who is batting .417 with 38 runs and seven triples on the season. Sophomore Taner Fowler has driven in a team-best 35 runs and has a team-best six home runs.
Current Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week senior Tori Collins (19-1) carries a 1.04 ERA with 144 strikeouts in 127.1 innings.
As a team, the Cardinals are hitting .320 and have outscored opponents 213-55. Louisville boasts seven players batting over .300 in its starting lineup. Kristin Austin leads the way at .417. Alicja Wolny (.404), Taner Fowler (.373), Katie Keller (.333), Jennifer Esteban (.329), Jordan Trimble (.323), and Whitney Arion (.301) round out the top seven.
The Cardinal pitching staff of Tori Collins, Chelsea Leonard and Caralisa Connell have combined for a 1.18 ERA and are holding opponents to a .173 batting average with 19 shutouts and 293 strikeouts in 267.1 innings of work.
Cards vs. Seton Hall
Series Record: U of L leads 10-1
Last Meeting: April 2-3, 2011 - Louisville swept a three-game series at Ulmer Stadium. The Cards swept the opening doubleheader 7-2 and 10-3. The closed the series with a 9-3 victory.
Scouting the Pirates: Seton Hall enters the weekend with a 20-22 overall record and a 2-9 mark in BIG EAST Conference play. The Pirates are coming off of a three-game series at BIG EAST Conference opponent Providence. Seton Hall took the first game 8-1 with the Friars winning the second 2-1. The Pirates took the rubber game with a 2-0 victory.
Kristen Kaelin leads the team with a .344 batting average, 1 doubles, five home runs and 32 RBI. Brittany Hammer follows at .324 with 33 runs, four home runs and 18 RBIs. Danielle DeStaso (5-8) carries a 2.94 ERA with a team-high 86 strikeouts in 85.2 innings of work.
Last up for the Cardinals
The No. 9/11 University of Louisville softball team swept No. 17/17 USF USF 4-1 and 9-0 Wednesday evening at Ulmer Stadium to take over first place in BIG EAST Conference standings.
Louisville 4 - USF 1
In game one, sophomore Maggie Ruckenbrod was 1 for 3 with two RBI and senior Tori Collins allowed one unearned run and struck out eight as Louisville defeated USF 4-1.
Collins got the complete game win to improve to 19-1 on the season. Wolny was 1 for 1 with a double, a run and an RBI. Fowler was 1 for 3 with an RBI.
Sarah Nevins (23-3) took the loss, giving up three earned runs on three hits and striking out three in 3.0 innings. Salvarola was 2 for 3 to lead the Bulls at the plate/
Louisville 9 - USF 0
In the nightcap, sophomore Jordan Trimble hit her first career grand slam and sophomore Taner Fowler had a three-run homer to lift the Cards to a 9-0 win over the Bulls.
Sophomore Chelsea Leonard (8-0) got the win, holding the Bulls scoreless and striking out four in 30 innings of relief. Sophomore Caralisa Connell combined on the shutout, giving up one hit and striking out two in 2.0 innings of work. Trimble was 1 for 2 with a home run and four RBIs, Fowler was 1 for 1 with a home run and three RBIs, Wolny was 1 for 2 with a double, a run and an RBI.
Nevins (23-4) took the loss, allowing five earned runs on three hits and striking out four in 3.1 innings. Salvarola was 2 for 2 to pace USF offensively.
Cards Move up to 9 and 11 in Coaches' Polls
U of L jumped three spots to No. 9 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll - reaching the top 10 for the first time in program history. The Cards reached their previous highest ranking three weeks ago when they appeared at No. 11 in the poll. This is Louisville's tenth week in the USA Softball top 25 after debuting at No 23 on Feb. 14 and moving up each week. Louisville was ranked as high as 14th in the ESPN.com/USA on March 1, 2010. They were also ranked in the top 25 in the 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 seasons.
The Cardinals moved up to No. 11 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association, tying their highest national ranking in that poll. Two weeks ago Louisville reached the highest ranking in program history at No. 11, but suffered two losses at DePaul (RV) on the weekend which slid them to No. 12 the next two weeks. The Cards have appeared in the top 25 in all 11 ranking periods this year. Their preseason ranking of 24th marked the Cards' first appearance in the top 25 since April 13, 2010 when they were ranked 25th. Prior to this year, Louisville reached its highest ranking at No. 14 in the NFCA poll on March 24, 2010 and spent several weeks in the top 25 in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 and was receiving votes in 2011.
Collins Named Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I National Player of the Week
Senior pitcher Tori Collins of Louisville has been named as the Louisville Slugger Division I National Player of the Week for games played April 9-15. This marks the first time a Cardinal pitcher has earned the honor and the second time a player from Louisville has been named national player of the week. Chelsea Bemis earned the honor on April 27, 2010.
Collins went 3-0 with a save last week and did not allow a run, earned or otherwise, over 21.0 innings of work. Over four appearances, she allowed just four hits and five walks, while striking out 17. She ended the week with a perfect 0.00 ERA and a .087 opponent's batting average.
In a mid-week doubleheader with Villanova, the Lafayette, Ind., native pitched a complete game four-hitter in the opener, before returning in the second game to close out the final two innings and earn her third save of the season. In a weekend three-game set with Longwood, the senior the first notched the first two no-hitters of her career during the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday and the series finale on Sunday.
Collins and Wolny Sweep BIG EAST Weekly Honors
The University of Louisville softball team swept the BIG EAST Conference weekly awards with junior Alicja Wolny earning Player of the Week honors and senior Tori Collins being named Pitcher of the Week on April 16.
Wolny led the Cardinals to a 5-0 week, batting .692 with nine hits, eight RBI and four runs scored. She posted a 1.077 slugging percentage with two doubles and a home run. The junior also walked four times to give her a .778 on-base percentage. She produced three multi-hit games, including a 3-for-3 performance with two RBI in a 7-0 win over Villanova. Wolny is second on the team with a .395 average and is tied for the team lead with five home runs this season.
Collins did not allow a run in 21.0 innings and tossed two no-hitters and three complete-game shutouts to earn three wins and a save for the Cardinals. The senior registered her first career no-hitter and struck out eight batters in an 8-0, five-inning win over Longwood on April 14 and followed it up with a seven-inning no-hitter in a 1-0 win over the Lancers on April 15. She also picked up a complete game shutout and a save in two appearances against Villanova. Collins is 18-1 on the season with a 1.11 ERA. She has 136 strikeouts in 120.1 innings and is holding opponents to a .160 batting average.
Collins Named College Sports Madness National Pitcher of the Week
Senior Tori Collins was named College Sports Madness National Pitcher of the Week for the period ending April 15. Collins did not allow a run and posted a 0.00 ERA while hurling back-to-back no hitters and going 3-0 with three complete game shutouts and registering a save in four appearances on the week.
Cards in the national standings
The most recent national statistical ranking were released on April 16 and the Cardinals were among the nation's leaders in several categories including triples and doubles per game, win/loss percentage, earned run average, batting average, fielding percentage and slugging percentage.
Louisville has belted out 14 triples and is sixth in the nation with 0.35 triples per game. With 64 doubles (1.6 per game, the Cards are eighth. Their .950 winning percentage stands at third. The collective 1.23 team ERA is fifth while the Cards .974 fielding percentage is 19th. Louisville boasts a .324 batting average and a .487 slugging percentage - placing the Cards at Nos. 14 and 18 respectively.
Sophomore Chelsea Leonard leads the nation with eight saves. Senior Kristin Austin is third in the nation with seven triples and is fourth with 0.18 triples per game.
Collins and Fowler honored at 2012 All-Sports banquet
Tori Collins earned the 2012 Ed Kallay Co-Female Senior Athlete of the Year at the 2012 U of L All-Sports banquet on April 16. She has helped lead the Cardinals to their best record and ranking in program history including a record-setting 28-0 start and became the first player to record back-to-back no-hitters.
Sophomore Taner Fowler received the Inspiration Award for her performance on the field and in the classroom in the wake of the sudden loss of her father in the fall of 2011.
Following this weekend, the Cardinals will take a break from BIG EAST play when they travel to Bloomington to face Indiana Wednesday, April 25. They will return to Ulmer Stadium to wrap up play at home and celebrate senior weekend with a three-game series against Georgetown April 28-29.
Collins Tosses Back-to-Back No-Hitters
On April 14, senior Tori Collins registered her first career no-hitter and struck out eight in the Cards' 8-0, five inning win over Longwood on Saturday. On April 15, she followed that with a seven inning no-hitter in the 1-0 win over the Lancers. She became the first player in program history to toss back-to-back no-hitters.
Cards register seventh 40-win season; hit 30-win mark for ninth straight season
On April 18 Louisville swept USF 4-1 and 9-0 to improve to 40-2 on the year, marking the seventh time the Cards have reached the 40-win mark. The record for wins was set in 2009 when Louisville went 48-11.
The April 4, 2-1 win over Kentucky gave the Cardinals 30 wins on the season, marking the ninth straight season the Cardinals have won 30 or more games (dating back to 2004). Coincidentally, the Cards have also reached the NCAA tournament eight straight years. As the program is in the midst of its 13th season, the Cards have posted at least 30 wins 11 times and 40 or more wins seven times.
2012 - 40-2
2010 - 41-19
2009 - 48-11* (program-best)
2008 - 31-23
2006 - 45-11
2005 - 43-20
2004 - 41-19
2003 - 24-26
2002 - 27-28
2001 - 40-36
2000 - 36-26
Collins Reaches 500 Strikeouts
Tori Collins struck out three batters in the March 24, 3-1 win over Pittsburgh to became the fourth player in program history to record over 500 career strikeouts. She is currently in fourth place on the all-time list with 548, needing six more to tie Jessica Rak (2000-03) for third. Kristen Wadwell (2008-10) owns the record with 696.
Tennessee Matchup Rescheduled for May 2
The Cardinals were slated to play No. 11 Tennessee in the Tennessee Classic on March 3, but inclement weather in the area forced the tournament schedule to be altered. A make-up game has been scheduled for May 2 at 6 p.m. in Knoxville.
The `S' word
The Cardinals opened the 2012 season on a 28 game win streak and were the only remaining undefeated team in Division I softball until March 31 when BIG EAST Conference rival DePaul handed them a 7-1 loss. Not only was it the best start in program history, it also set a new school record, surpassing the 17 game streak the 2006 team put together from April 22-May 13.
The Cardinals have hit 30 home runs with 10 players connecting on roundtrippers. Taner Fowler leads the team with six home runs. Junior Alicja Wolny, sophomore Katie Keller and freshman Whitney Arion are in a three-way tie for second with five homers apiece. Senior Kristin Austin, sophomores Jordan Trimble and Hannah Kiyohara and freshman Kayla Soles have one apiece. Sophomore Maggie Ruckenbrod belted out three home runs in her first four games before being sidelined by injury.
Senior outfielder Kristin Austin is having a career-best season with a .417 batting average, 38 runs, seven triples and eight stolen bases. The speedy slap hitter was also responsible for Louisville's only run in the 1-0 win over Kentucky - by slapping a home run over the left field fence.
The Cardinal pitching staff of senior Tori Collins and sophomores Chelsea Leonard and Caralisa Connell have combined for 19 shutouts through the Cards' 42 games. They carry a 1.18 team ERA - which stands at No. 5 in the nation and have 293 strikeouts in 279.1 innings. The trio of pitchers have also held opponents to a .173 batting average.
After missing the majority of the last two seasons with injuries, redshirt Sophomore Chelsea Leonard has had an impact on the Cards' success in 2012. She carries a 1.18 ERA and is limiting opponents to a .171 batting average while striking out 80 in 68.0 innings. She has notched a league-leading eight saves and also leads the nation in that category.
On Feb. 25, Leonard tied a school record (and her own career high) with a 16 strikeout performance in the 7-0 win over Creighton. In her first complete game since Feb. 21, 2010, the redshirt sophomore took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before surrendering her only hit of the game.
After suffering a season-ending injury early last year, redshirt sophomore Jordan Trimble has returned to form, starting every game in centerfield or shortstop and carries a .323 batting average and 24 RBI. She registered her first career grand slam in the 9-0 win over No. 17 USF on April 18.
Sophomore second baseman Katie Keller recently snapped a season-high 11 game hitting streak and is second on the team with 30 RBI. As a freshman in 2011, Keller tied the school record with a 16-game hitting streak.
Maggie's on the mend
In the March 12, 8-2 win over Illinois State, sophomore Maggie Ruckenbrod took her first at-bat (resulting in a groundout) since Feb. 11 when she was sidelined by a hand injury in the win over FIU. Prior to that, the sophomore opened the season on an offensive tear, registering a .417 batting average, three home runs, seven RBI and five hits through the first four games of the season.
Defensively, Ruckenbrod had already thrown out four base stealers and picked off one runner. Last season, she led the league and set a new school record with 10 pickoffs on the season.
Ruckenbrod registered a hit in the 6-1 win over Akron (3/17) and saw her first (official) start at catcher in the 7-0 win over Ohio State on March 20.
Taner's taking over
Taner Fowler took over at catcher in Ruckenbrod's absence and has turned in a solid performance. After serving as a catcher and designated player last season, Fowler opened 2012 as the Cards' designated player and also saw some time at first base while Alicja Wolny was injured before becoming the regular starter behind the plate for 12 games.
Fowler is having a career- best season, batting .373 with a team-best six home runs - surpassing last year's total of four - and leads the team with 35 RBIs.
Connell Deals a No-Hitter
On March 3, Caralisa Connell posted a no-hitter in the 11-0 win over Memphis at the Tennessee Classic. The sophomore struck out three and issued three walks, but did not allow a hit in the complete game shutout, registering her first career no-hitter and Louisville's first since April 22, 2006 when Catherine Bishop notched one against Syracuse.
Head Coach Sandy Pearsall is in her 13th season as the head coach of the University of Louisville softball program. After building the program from scratch in 2000, Pearsall has guided the Cardinals to three conference championships, eight consecutive NCAA regional appearances including serving as a host site in 2009 and 2011.