May 9, 2012
The University of Louisville softball coaching staff was named BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year and a school-record nine players earned all-conference honors as announced at the 2012 BIG EAST Softball banquet. Seniors Tori Collins and Kristin Austin and sophomore Taner Fowler were named to the first team. Sophomore Katie Keller was selected to the second team, while juniors Jennifer Esteban and Alicja Wolny, sophomores Caralisa Connell and Jordan Trimble and freshman Whitney Arion earned third team honors.
Louisville head coach Sandy Pearsall, associate head coach Carol Bruggeman, assistant coach Courtney Scott, volunteer assistant coach Lacy Wood and director of operations Lisa Pinkston were unanimously selected the 2012 Coaching Staff of the Year. This is the second coaching honor for UofL and the first since 2006. The No. 8/9 Cardinals, who have been ranked in both the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA polls all year, produced a 50-3 record this season, setting a school mark for wins in a season. UofL also set a school record for the longest winning streak, when it opened the season 28-0. In a win against St. John's on May 5, the Cardinals earned the program's, and its coaching staff's, 500th victory since its inception in 2000. Louisville led the conference in batting average (.314), slugging percentage (.489), runs scored (282) and total bases (696) among other offensive statistics, while finishing second in ERA (1.33) and opponent batting average (.182). The Cards are competing as the No. 1 seed at the championship after earning their second BIG EAST regular-season title.
Austin, a senior outfielder from Hartsburg, Mo., finished the regular season with a .377 average in BIG EAST play with 14 runs and two stolen bases. This marks her third all-conference selection.
Collins a senior pitcher posted a 9-1 record and a 1.35 ERA against BIG EAST teams. The two-time All-Conference selection struck out 56 in 62.1 innings and registered two saves.
Fowler, a sophomore utility player from Morganfield, Ky., makes her first appearance on the all-conference team after posting a .303 batting average with six home runs, five doubles and 19 RBIs in league play.
Keller, a sophomore second baseman from Livermore, Calif. , belted out four doubles and two home runs, drove in 13 runs and scored 11 in BIG EAST play.
Arion, a freshman shortstop from Delphi, Ind., stepped into a starting role and went on to bat .291 with four home runs and 17 RBI in league play.
Connell, a sophomore from Murfreesboro, Tenn., notched a 7-1 mark against conference opponents with 41 strikeouts in 51.1 innings.
Esteban, a junior outfielder from Brea, Calif., is a two-time selection after batting .292 with 15 runs and six stolen bases against BIG EAST opponents.
Trimble, a sophomore outfielder from Louisville, Ky., registered a .286 batting average with two home runs, seven doubles, 15 RBIs and 12 runs in league play.
Wolny, a junior first baseman from El Dorado Hills, Calif., earns her third-straight league honor after batting .322 with five doubles and three home runs with five doubles against BIG EAST competition.
The Cardinals earned the top seed in the BIG EAST tournament and will face eighth-seeded Connecticut Thursday at 12:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals.
2012 BIG EAST Player of the Year
Kacee Cox, St. John's, Sr., C
2012 BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year
Laura Winter, Notre Dame, So., P
2012 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year
Alyssa Landrith, Rutgers, Fr., P
2012 BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year
All-BIG EAST First Team
P Tori Collins, Louisville
P Laura Winter, Notre Dame
C Kacee Cox, St. John's
1B Dani Miller, Notre Dame
2B Stephanie Watts, Syracuse *
3B Kim Silva, Connecticut
SS Kourtney Salvarola, USF
OF Kristin Austin, Louisville
OF Alexa Maldonado, Notre Dame
OF Veronica Grant, Syracuse
U/P Kirsten Verdun, DePaul *
DP/U Taner Fowler, Louisville
All-BIG EAST Second Team
P Jenna Caira, Syracuse
C Amy Buntin, Notre Dame
1B Stephanie Medina, USF
2B Katie Keller, Louisville
3B Kelly Hmiel, Pittsburgh
SS Chloe Saganowich, Notre Dame
OF Kelsey Thornton, Notre Dame
OF Kristi Cady, St. John's
OF Janine Richardson, USF
DP/U Amy DeLuca, Connecticut
All-BIG EAST Third Team
P Caralisa Connell, Louisville
P Alyssa Landrith, Rutgers
P Stacy Kuwik, Syracuse
C Holly Stevens, Pittsburgh
1B Alicja Wolny, Louisville
3B Brittney Lindley, Rutgers
SS Whitney Arion, Louisville
OF Jennifer Esteban, Louisville
OF Jordan Trimble, Louisville
OF Chandler Howard, Rutgers
DP/U Mary Connolly, DePaul