May 1, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
Complete Game Notes vs Tennessee
The No. 8/9 University of Louisville softball team will travel to Knoxville, Tenn. to face No. 5/7 Tennessee in a single game on Wednesday, May 2. The teams were orginally slated to meet on March 3 in the Tennessee Softball Classic, but inclement weather in the area forced the tournament schedule to be altered. Wednesday's game will feature a matchup of the longest win streaks in the top 25. The Cards bring an 18 game streak while the Lady Vols have won their past 17 games.
U of L is led offensively by senior Kristin Austin who is batting .408 with 40 runs and eight triples on the season. Sophomore Taner Fowler follows at .378 and has a team-best nine home runs and 41 RBIs.
As a team, the Cardinals are hitting .315 and have outscored opponents 255-67. Louisville boasts six players batting over .300 in its starting lineup. Kristin Austin leads the way at .408. Taner Fowler (.378), Alicja Wolny (.364), Jennifer Esteban (.352) and Katie Keller (.317) and Whitney Arion (.301) round out the top six.
The Cardinal pitching staff of Tori Collins, Chelsea Leonard and Caralisa Connell have combined for a 1.20 ERA and are holding opponents to a .171 batting average with 22 shutouts and 340 strikeouts in 326.1 innings of work. Collins (23-1) carries a 1.15 ERA with 169 strikeouts in 151.2 innings. Leonard leads the nation with nine saves.
Cards vs. Tennessee
Series Record: UT leads 4-0
Last Meeting: May 23, 2010 - Tennessee won 3-1 in nine innings in the 2010 NCAA Regional final.
Scouting the Lady Vols:
Tennessee enters the week with a 44-9 overall record and ranked No. 5 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and No. 7 in the USA Today/NFCA coaches' poll. The Lady Vols are in the midst of a 17 game win streak and are coming off of a three-game sweep of Ole Miss last weekend.
Raven Chavanne leads the team with a .439 batting average and 28 stolen bases. Lauren Gibson has belted out a team-best 12 home runs with 41 RBIs and 47 runs scored.
After Wednesday's game, the Cardinals will head to Queens, N.Y. for a three-game series with St. John's as the teams wrap up the regular season. Louisville is currently in first place in the league standings, while St. John's is in sixth place and has already clinched a spot in the 2012 BIG EAST Conference Championship which will take place May 10-12 at Notre Dame.
Cards Ranked No. 8/9 Coaches' Polls
The Cardinals moved up one spot to No. 8 in the the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll marking the highest ranking in program history. Their previous best mark was No. 9, where they spent the last two weeks. On April 17, the Cards reached the top 10 for the first time in program history when they jumped three spots from No. 12. The Cards reached their previous highest ranking three weeks ago when they appeared at No. 11 in the poll. This is Louisville's eleventh 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.
For the second straight week, U of L remained at No. 9 in USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll. The Cards have appeared in the top 25 in all 13 ranking periods this year and have been in the top 10 for the past two weeks. 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.
Countdown to 500
The Cardinal softball team has posted 498 wins since its inaugural season in 2000. Head Coach Sandy Pearsall is in her 13th season after building the program from scratch. She has guided the Cardinals to three conference championships, eight consecutive NCAA regional appearances including serving as a host site in 2009 and 2011.
Cards in the national standings
The most recent national statistical ranking were released on April 30 and the Cardinals were among the nation's leaders in several categories including win/loss percentage, triples and doubles per game, earned run average, batting average, fielding percentage and slugging percentage.
Louisville leads the nation in win/loss percentage at .959, has belted out 17 triples and is fourth in the nation with 0.35 triples per game. With 78 doubles (1.59 per game), the Cards are eighth. The collective 1.20 team ERA is fifth while the Cards' .975 fielding percentage is 10th. Louisville boasts a .315 batting average and a .488 slugging percentage - placing the Cards at Nos. 19 and 16 respectively.
Sophomore Chelsea Leonard leads the nation with nine saves. Senior Kristin Austin is third in the nation with eight triples and 0.16 triples per game. Senior Tori Collins stands at 11th with a 1.15 ERA and sophomore Katie Keller is 12th with four sacrifice flies.
Seniors Kristin Austin, Tori Collins and Tesha Paysen, have won 174 games - the most of any class in program history. As freshmen, they helped set a school record with 48 wins and as seniors, they are on track to break that record. They have been to three straight NCAA regionals and hosted two, they have also posted two runner-up finishes in the BIG EAST Conference championship.
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.
Esteban named to BIG EAST honor roll
Junior Jennifer Esteban was named to the BIG EAST honor roll on April 30. The leadoff hitter paced the Cards offensively in a 4-0 performance on the week. She registered a .538 batting average (7 for 13) with a double, a triple, a stolen base, three runs and one RBI on the week. She posted a .769 batting average and a .538 on-base percentage. The left fielder had at least one hit in each game, and had two hits and scored the winning run in the 6-4 win over Indiana. She also went 2 for 3 with a double, a triple and a run in the 4-0 win over Georgetown and 2 for 3 in the 3-0 series finale against the Hoyas.
Esteban is batting .352 with 36 runs and a team-best 14 stolen bases.
Last up for the Cardinals
Louisville posted three shutouts to sweep BIG EAST Conference foe Georgetown 4-0, 11-0 and 3-0 last weekend. The Cards wrapped up a perfect home season with a 25-0 record at Ulmer Stadium.
Louisville 4 - Georgetown 0
In game one, junior Katelyn Mann went 2 for 3 with a home run and two RBI and sophomore Jordan Trimble added a home run, while senior Tori Collins and sophomore Chelsea Leonard combined to shutout the Hoyas. Collins (22-1) got the win, giving up only one hit and striking out three in 5.0 innings. Leonard scattered two hits and struck out three in 2.0 innings of relief.
Lauren O'Leary (8-14) took the loss allowing four earned runs on nine hits and striking out two in 6.0 innings. Taylor Koenig, Sophia Almeida-Gargicevich and Samantha Findling each had a hit for the Hoyas.
Louisville 11 - Georgetown 0
In game two, freshman Whitney Arion went 3 for 3 with four RBIs and sophomore Caralisa Connell scattered two hits in five innings as the Cards tied a season-high for runs with an 11-0 victory over the Hoyas. Senior Kristin Austin extended her hitting streak to 16 games, which ties a school record set by Coleen Coughlin in 2001 and tied by Katie Keller in 2011.
Connell (16-1) got the win, scattering two hits and striking out three in 5.0 innings. Keller was 1 for 2 with two runs and Fowler was 1 for 3 with a pair of runs.
Mackensey Carter (4-10) took the loss, giving up seven runs, four earned, on eight hits in 2.1 innings of work. Hannah Slovacek allowed four runs, only one earned, on two hits and struck out one in1.2 innings.
Louisville 3 - Georgetown 0
The ninth-ranked University of Louisville softball team celebrated senior day with a 3-0 win over Georgetown to complete a three-game series sweep and wrap up the 2012 home season with a perfect 25-0 record. The Cards move to 47-2 on the season and 17-2 in BIG EAST play while the Hoyas drop to 19-32 (3-15).
Senior Tori Collins (23-1) struck out five and scattered two hits in 5.0 innings to get the win and sophomore Chelsea picked up her ninth save of the season allowing only one hit and striking out two in 2.0 innings of relief.
Esteban led the Cardinals with a 2 for 3 showing at the plate and one stolen base. Fowler was 1 for 1 with an RBI. Keller and Arion each went 1 for 3 with a run.
Carter (4-11) took the loss, allowing three runs, two earned, on seven hits and striking out three in 6.0 innings.
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 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 year
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. At 47-2, they are one win away from matching that total
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 - 47-2
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
Home Sweet Home
The Cards have been tough at home this season, posting a perfect 25-0 record at Ulmer Stadium. Among Louisville's victories at home are No. 20 Michigan and No. 17 USF. Last year, during the regular season, the Cards were an impressive 18-3 at Ulmer Stadium.
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 third on the all-time list with 573, needing 43 more to tie Catherine Bishop (2004-07) for second. Kristen Wadwell (2008-10) owns the record with 696.
Austin a member of the 200 Club
Senior Kristin Austin got her 200th career hit in the April 22, 6-2 victory over Seton Hall. She becomes the eighth player in program history to reach the 200 hit mark and moves to eighth on the school's career list. Audrey Rendon (2004-07) owns the school record with 283.
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.
They are currently on a 18 game win streak which is the second longest streak in program history.
The Cardinals have hit 38 home runs with 10 players connecting on roundtrippers. Taner Fowler leads the team with nine home runs. Sophomore Katie Keller follows with seven. Freshman Whitney Arion is right behind her with six homers. Junior Alicja Wolny has belted out five homers. SophomoreJordan Trimble has three home runs while sophomore Katelyn Mann has notched two. Senior Kristin Austin, 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 league-leading .408 batting average, 40 runs, eight triples and recently tied a program-best hitting streak at 16. 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 22 shutouts through the Cards' 49 games. They carry a 1.20 team ERA - which stands at No. 5 in the nation and have 340 strikeouts in 326.1 innings. The trio of pitchers has also held opponents to a .171 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 1.12 ERA and is limiting opponents to a .172 batting average while striking out 89 in 75.0 innings. She has notched a league-leading nine 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.
Jordan returns in grand fashion
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 .294 batting average and 27 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 37 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 .378 with a team-best nine home runs - surpassing last year's total of four - and leads the team with 41 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.