May 4, 2012
Complete Game Notes
The No. 8/9 University of Louisville softball team will wrap up the regular season with a three-game series at BIG EAST Conference opponent St. John's. 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 be held May 10-12 at Notre Dame.
U of L is led offensively by senior Kristin Austin who is batting .400 with 40 runs and eight triples on the season. Sophomore Taner Fowler follows at .371 and has a team-best nine home runs and 41 RBIs.
As a team, the Cardinals are hitting .311 and have outscored opponents 256-73. Louisville boasts five players batting over .300 in its starting lineup. Kristin Austin leads the way at .400 Taner Fowler (.371), Alicja Wolny (.357), Jennifer Esteban (.351) and Katie Keller (.310) round out the top five.
The Cardinal pitching staff of Tori Collins, Chelsea Leonard and Caralisa Connell have combined for a 1.28 ERA and are holding opponents to a .175 batting average with 22 shutouts and 345 strikeouts in 332.1 innings of work.
Senior Tori Collins (23-1) carries a 1.18 ERA with 170 strikeouts in 153.2 innings.
Cards vs. St. John's
Series Record: U of L leads 10-3
Last Meeting: April 24-25, 2010 - Louisville swept a three-game series at Ulmer Stadium. The Cards swept the opening doubleheader 8-0 and 10-7 and won the final game 11-2.
Scouting the Red Storm: The Red Storm is currently on a seven-game winning streak - all against BIG EAST Conference opponents. Most recently, St. John's completed a three-game sweep of Rutgers, defeating the Scarlet Knights 6-5, 4-3 and 3-2 last weekend.
Kristi Cady leads the team with a .363 average and 32 runs. Kacee Cox has a team-bes 15 home runs and 41 RBIs. Ashley Beza (13-18) carries a 2.73 ERA with 148 strikeouts in 197.2 innings of work.
Louisville will prepare for 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.
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.
Last up for the Cardinals
Tennessee 8 - Louisville 1
The No. 8/9 University of Louisville softball team fell 8-1 to No. 5/7 Tennessee Wednesday evening at Lee Softball Stadium. In a game that featured a matchup between two top-10 teams with the longest winning streaks in the top 25, the Lady Vols increased their streak to 18, while the Cards ended their's at 18 in only their third loss of the season
Chelsea Leonard took the loss, allowing four runs, three earned on four hits and striking out one in 1.0 innings of relief. Starter Tori Collins gave up one earned run on two hits and struck out one in 2.0 innings. Caralisa Connell gave up three runs, one earned on four hits in 3.0 innings of relief. Ruckenbrod was 1 for 2 with an RBI. The sophomore catcher picked off a runner and caught two stealing in a stellar defensive effort behind the plate.
Ivy Renfroe picked up the win, allowing one earned run on two hits and striking out five in a complete game effort. Ten Lady Vol batters had a hit with Burchell and Akaminec each driving in two runs.