April 23, 2013
The No. 7/8 University of Louisville softball team will play its final non-conference game of the season when it travels to No. 19/19 Kentucky's John Cropp Stadium for a 6 p.m. matchup on April 24. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports South.
U of L (42-6, 15-1 BIG EAST) is tied for seventh in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate poll and No. 8 in the USA Today/NFCA coaches' poll. The Cards carry a 15-1 record in BIG EAST play
Louisville is led offensively by junior second baseman Katie Keller who is hitting .432 on the season with 10 home runs, 54 runs and 47 RBIs. Senior first baseman Alicja Wolny follows at .411 with nine homers and 44 RBIs. Senior Jordan Trimble is hitting .367 with 14 doubles, 37 runs and 16 RBIs on the season.
Caralisa Connell (25-2) carries a 2.03 ERA with 189 strikeouts and is holding opponents to a .190 batting average in 179.0 innings. Rachel LeCoq (17-4) holds a 1.72 ERA with 80 Ks in 134.0 innings of work.
Cards vs. Kentucky
Series Record: U of L leads 18-13
Last Meeting: April 3, 2013 - Sophomore Kayla Soles' three-run homer in the second helped key the No. 11/11 University of Louisville softball team to a 5-1 win over No. 20/21 Kentucky Wednesday evening at Ulmer Stadium.
Louisville's Caralisa Connell surrendered one earned run and struck out four while walking seven in 7.0 innings of work. Soles was 1 for 3 with three RBIs. Hannah Kiyohara was 1 for 2 with a run and an RBI.
Kentucky starting pitcher Lauren Cumbess took the loss, allowing three earned runs on two hits and striking out one in 2.0 innings. Kelsey Nunley gave up two earned runs on three hits and struck out two while walking three in 4.0 innings of relief. Samuel and Smith recorded the Wildcats' only hits.
Last Season: May 19, 2012 - Louisville won 3-2 in an NCAA regional elimination game at Ulmer Stadium. Prior to that matchup, the Cards won both regular season meetings - 1-0 at Kentucky on March 28 and 2-1 on April 4 at Ulmer Stadium.
Scouting the Wildcats: Kentucky enters the game with a 34-14 overall record after dropping two of three against Arkansas in an SEC series over the weekend. Kentucky has wins over then-No. 3 California, No. 20 Stanford No. 16 Washington and No. 24 North Carolina. Most recently ,they upset No. 3 Florida in 4-2 to take one of a three-game series in conference play.
Lauren Cumbess leads the team with a .359 average, 11 home runs and 37 RBIs. Kara Dill follows at .354 with 27 runs and seven stolen bases. Griffin Joiner carries a .338 batting average with nine home runs and 37 RBIs on the season.
Kelsey Nunley (20-6) holds a 2.08 ERA with 143 strikeouts in 185.0 innings while Cumbess (10-5) follows with a 3.52 ERA and 77 Ks in 99.1 innings of work.
The Cardinals brings a season-high 15-game win streak into the weekend - their last loss was on March 29 when they fell 4-2 to Syracuse.
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 .340 as a team with nine players hitting over .300 on the season, and five players with 30 or more RBIs.
Every hitter in the current starting lineup has recorded at least two home runs.
Louisville has scored 329 runs on the season, surpassing the program record 320 set in the 2009 season.
The Cards have been among in the top 25 in the coaches' polls for the past 28 ranking periods, dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season.
U of L has five wins over top 25 teams: then-No. 11/11 LSU, No. 14/14 Michigan, No. 24/24 North Carolina, No. 1/1 Oklahoma and No. 20/21 Kentucky. The March 23 win over top-ranked Oklahoma marked the first win over a No. 1 team in program history.
The Cardinals will celebrate senior weekend with a three-game series against Georgetown April 27-28. On Sunday, the Louisville who honor seniors Jennifer Esteban, Katelyn Mann, Chrisanna Roberts, Jordan Trimble, Alicja Wolny and Chelsea Leonard.
As a class, they have won 176 games and helped the Cardinals to a BIG EAST regular season and tournament title and two runner-up finishes and three NCAA appearances - including an overall No. 15 seed in 2012. They have helped the team set records for wins in a season (55 in 2012), appeared as high as No. 7 in the nation rankings (2012 and 2013), and registered the program's first win over a top-ranked team when they beat No. 1 Oklahoma in Norman earlier this season .
Cardinal Softball Takes Part in MLB's Pitch, Hit & Run Competition
The University of Louisville baseball and softball teams will proudly serve as hosts for Major League Baseball's Pitch, Hit & Run competition. For area youth ages 7 to 13, Louisville will hold two separate events beginning with the baseball competition this Saturday (March 30) at 1 p.m., ET followed by a softball competition on Saturday, April 27 at noon.
MLB Pitch, Hit & Run at Louisville Softball
Date: Saturday, April 27
Time: Noon ET
Location: Ulmer Stadium (Brandeis Avenue and Floyd Street)
Game: Louisville Softball vs. Georgetown
Eligible: Girls ages 7 to 13
Competition will take place on the field following the doubleheader
Cards reach 40-win mark
On April 20, Louisville defeated Villanova 1-0 for its 40th win of the season marking the eighth time the Cards have reached the 40-win mark.
On April 6, the Cards defeated St. John's 6-4 to reach their 30th win of the season marking the tenth straight year they have registered at least 30 wins - dating back to 2004. Coincidentally, Louisville has played in the NCAA tournament in each of those seasons.
The Cardinals have posted 40 or more victories eight times since 2000, the program's inaugural season. In 2012, Louisville eclipsed the 50-win milestone with a 55-5 record.
The eighth-ranked Cardinals swept a three-game series at Villanova and took over first place in the league standings with a 15-1 mark. Notre Dame (13-1) follows at No. 2 and USF (15-2) rounds out the top three.
Louisville 1 - Villanova 0
Sophomore Whitney Arion's home run in the second proved to be the only scoring the Cardinals would need as junior Rachel LeCoq tossed her eighth shutout of the season in Louisville's 1-0 win over host Villanova.
Louisville 5 - Villanova 4
In game two, the Cards built an early 1-0 lead, but fell behind 4-1 before a four-run sixth inning highlighted by Katelyn Mann's two-run single and an error Alicja Wolny's sharp grounder lifted Louisville a 5-4 win.
Louisville 8 - Villanova 1
Senior Jordan Trimble was 3 for 3 with three RBIs to help lead the Cardinals to an 8-1 win over host Villanova.
Wolny and Keller Earn Honors at U of L's All-Sports Banquet
Alicja Wolny was named Co-Female Senior Athlete of the Year while Katie Keller was tabbed Co-Junior Athlete of the Year at the annual All-Sports Banquet held on April 22.
Wolny, a four-year starter has consistently been among Louisville's leaders offensively and is a three-time All-BIG EAST selection a 2012 All Great Lakes Region First Team pick. She currently stands at No. 2 on the school's career doubles list and is in the top five in career hits, home run, RBIs and walks.
Keller, a two-time All BIG EAST selection has led the Cards offensively throughout the season and was named Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I Player of the Week on March 5 and became the first player in program history to earn USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week honors. Twice this season she has tied a school record with 7 RBIs in a game.
Cards Run Past School Record
On April 20, Louisville defeated Villanova 5-4 and in doing so, set a new school record for runs in a season, surpassing previous mark of 320 set in 2009. The Cards now have 329 runs on the season.
Louisville No. 7 and 8 in coaches' polls
Cards in ESPN.com/USA Softball rankings
U of L moved up one spot to No. 7 (tied with Texas) in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Poll which was released on April 16. Two weeks ago, the Cards entered the top 10, for the first time since May 13, 2012 when they were a program-high seventh. The Cards made their 2013 debut at No. 18.
The move matches a program-best No. 7 which came 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
For the second week in a row, Louisville weighed in at No. 8 in the most recent USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll on April 23. Prior to that, they spent five straight weeks at No. 11.
The ranking marks a program-high for Louisville in the USA Today/NFCA poll. Prior to that, the Cards reached their highest ranking at No. 9 on April 24, 2012 and spent four weeks at that spot. Louisville opened the 2013 season at No. 18.
Cards in the April 22 National Rankings
The Cardinals enter the week among the nation's leaders in several categories, including batting average (9th), Win/Loss percentage (3rd), Doubles per game (2nd), Slugging Percentage (12th) and scoring (12th) and double plays per game (21st).
Katie Keller is ranked 28th in the nation with a .432 batting average and 11th in runs per game with 54 runs in 48 games. Caralisa Connell is fifth with 25 victories in the circle while Rachel LeCoq is ninth with eight shutouts and 25th with three saves.
Louisville No. 11 in RPI
The NCAA released its fifth RPI report of the 2013 season on April 22 and Louisville dropped moved up two spots to No. 11. The Cardinals spent the first three ranking periods at No. 10, before dropping to No. 13 last week. Six of Louisville's 2013 opponents are in the top 25 including No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 3 Texas, No. 7 LSU, No. 9 Michigan, No. 14 Kentucky, and No. 22 Iowa. Louisville ranks the highest of all BIG EAST teams with South Florida next in line at No. 41.
Keller Among Nation's Top 25 Players
Junior second baseman Katie Keller has been selected as one of the Top 25 Finalists for the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year as announced by the of Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball on April 10.
Keller (Livermore, Calif.) becomes the second Louisville player to be named a Top 25 Finalist, following Melissa Roth in 2010.
The Player of the Year will be announced at the opening of the 2013 NCAA Women's College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City. This award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women's collegiate softball, is designed to recognize the outstanding athletic achievement by female players across the country. The list will be narrowed to the Top 10 Finalists on May 8, prior to the start of post-season play. The Top 3 Finalists will be announced May 22, while the winner of the 2013 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award will be revealed on May 28 prior to the start of the NCAA WCWS in Oklahoma City.
This year's Top 25 is comprised of 11 seniors, eight juniors, four sophomores and two freshman. The student-athletes selected represent 17 NCAA Division I universities and five athletic conferences. Alabama leads the way among universities with four athlete representatives, followed by Oklahoma and Tennessee with three apiece, Texas with two and Arizona State, Arkansas, California, Florida, Louisville, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, South Florida and Washington each have one member among the Top 25 Finalists.
Home Sweet Home
The Cards are 21-2 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.
Louisville has 48 home runs on the season with 10 players - everyone in the current starting lineup - connecting on at least two homers. Junior Katie Keller leads the team with 10 and senior Alicja Wolny follows closely with nine. Junior Taner Fowler has seven and Maggie Ruckenbrod has six. Sophomore Whitney Arion has three. Sophomore Kayla Soles has three. Seniors Jordan Trimble, and Katelyn Mann, junior Hannah Kiyohara and freshman Jasmine Smithson-Willett each has two.
The team's current home run tally of 48 is tied for second on the school's single season list. The 2005 team produced a school-record 57 homers.
Senior Alicja Wolny and juniors Katie Keller and Taner Fowler are all in the top 10 on the school's list for career home runs. Wolny stands tied for fifth with 27. Keller and Fowler are eighth with 23 apiece. Courtney Moore (2004-07) holds the record with 42.
Trimble registers second career grand slam
Senior Jordan Trimble doesn't hit a lot of home runs, she only has two this season and 11 in her career, but she makes them count when bases are loaded. In 2012, she hit her first career grand slam in the 9-0 win over USF and she notched her second one in this year's 15-0 win over St. John's.
Trimble is the only player on the current roster with a grand slam and one of only three players in program history to have more than one - Chelsea Bemis (2008-11) has two while Lacy Wood (2003-06) owns the school record with four.
Ruckenbrod on Patrol
Junior catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod has thrown out 14 of 22 base stealers and has picked off 10 runners this season. She owns the school record for pickoffs in a game (three), season (11 in 2011) and career (25).
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. Wolny is fifth on the all-time list with 230 while Esteban is No. 10 with 205. Audrey Rendon (2004-07) holds the all-time record with 283.
Senior left fielder Jennifer Esteban suffered a leg injury in the first game of the Syracuse doubleheader on March 29 and has been sidelined since that time. Up until that point, the four-year starter and two-time All-BIG EAST Conference selection had scored 18 runs and was a perfect 7 for 7 in stolen bases. She currently stands at fifth on the school's all-time list for runs scored (138), 10th in career hits (205) and second in stolen bases (60).
Keller running for the record
Katie Keller has scored 54 runs so far this season and is currently third on the single season list. With seven games remaining in the regular season, she is within striking distance of breaking the record for single runs (64) set by Melissa Roth in 2009.