June 20, 2012
Final 2012 Game Notes
The 2012 University of Louisville softball team has etched a spot in the school record books as one of the most memorable in school history.
Louisville softball saw many highlights in the 2012 season including winning the BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles. En route to a program-best 55-5 overall record, the Cardinals made their ninth straight NCAA appearance and earned the No. 15 seed in the NCAA tournament while being selected as a host site for the third time in four years.
The Cardinals finished the season at No .17 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association rankings and No. 18 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball coaches poll, but spent five weeks in the top 10 of both polls, reaching as high as Nos. 9 and 7 respectively.
The Cardinals finished the season with a .309 team batting average and outscored opponents 306-97. Louisville had five players batting over .300 in its starting lineup. Alicja Wolny led the way at .387, Kristin Austin followed closely at .384. Taner Fowler (.366), Jennifer Esteban (.335) and Jordan Trimble (.313) rounded out the top five batters.
The Cardinal pitching staff of Tori Collins, Chelsea Leonard and Caralisa Connell combined for a 1.39 ERA and held opponents to a .188 batting average with 24 shutouts and 393 strikeouts in 402.1 innings of work.
Collins and Fowler Named All-Americans
Tori Collins and Taner Fowler were selected to the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association All-America third team. They join Lacy Wood (2006), Kristen Wadwell (2009) and Melissa Roth (2009 and 2010) on Louisville's list of All-Americans .
Fifty-four student-athletes from 33 different institutions representing 13 conferences earned the honor of being named to one of the three 2012 Division I All-American teams, the Association. The All-America teams were chosen by NFCA member coaches from each region.
Collins a senior pitcher from Lafayette, Ind., posted a 25-2 record and a 1.30 ERA with 186 strikeouts in 179.1 innings. She was selected to the Ohio Valley Region first team in 2012 and earned All-BIG EAST Conference honors in 2010 and 2012. She finished her career ranked third on the school's all-time list for strikeouts (590), wins (66) and saves (10) and fourth in career shutouts (23).
Fowler, a sophomore designated player/utility player registered a .366 batting average with a team-best 12 home runs and 52 RBIs in 2012. She earned Ohio Valley Region and All-BIG EAST first team honors.
Pearsall to be inducted into Miami's Cradle of Coaches Association
U of L head softball coach Sandy Pearsall will be inducted into the Miami University Cradle of Coaches Association on Sept. 22. She joins Randy Ayers, Thad Matta, Joe Novak and Sue Ramsey to comprise the Cradle of Coaches Class of 2012-13.
Pearsall spent six years (1992-98) guiding the Miami softball program before being hired to start the Louisville softball program where she has spent the last 13 years amassing a 506-261 record (.659). She has been a collegiate head coach for 25 years and owns a 756-595 career mark (.560).
The Cradle of Coaches Association was established in 1971 to acknowledge the role Miamians have played in establishing Miami University as the Cradle of Coaches. While all Miami Alumni who go on to coach or those who have coached at Miami are considered part of the Cradle of Coaches.
Cards Place Five on All-Great Lakes Region Teams
Five University of Louisville softball players earned National Fastpitch Coaches 2012 All Great Lakes Region honors. Tori Collins, Alicja Wolny, Kristin Austin and Taner Fowler earned first team honors, while Katie Keller was named to the second team.
A total of 263 players representing 129 different institutions comprise this season's regional teams, including first and second teams for each region. The all-region teams were chosen by NFCA member coaches from each region, and all the honorees were eligible for selection to one of three 2012 NFCA Division I All-American teams.
Cards Earn No. 15 Seed in NCAA tournament, Advance to Louisville Regional Final for Second Straight Year
The University of Louisville softball team earned the No. 15 seed in the NCAA tournament and was selected as a host site for NCAA softball regional May 18-20 at Ulmer Stadium. The Cards welcomed Valparaiso, Kentucky and Michigan to Ulmer Stadium which was also selected as one of two televised sites with each game being carried on ESPN or ESPN2. This marked Louisville's ninth consecutive NCAA tournament bid and the third time it has served as a regional site host. The Cards also hosted in 2009 and 2011.
Recapping the Louisville Regional
Louisville 6 - Valparaiso 4
First baseman Alicja Wolny's two-out, three-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh lifted the No. 7/9 University of Louisville softball team to a 6-4 win over Valparaiso in the first round of NCAA regional action Friday at Ulmer Stadium.
With the Cards down 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Whitney Arion and Jennifer Esteban led off with back-to-back singles. One out later, sophomore Katie Keller reached on a fielder's choice which saw Arion out at third, but left two on with two outs for Wolny, who crushed the first pitch of her at-bat over the right field fence for her ninth home run of the season.
Valpo jumped to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Cards answered in the home half of the inning when junior Jennifer Esteban led off with a hit and stole second. Katie Keller walked and Wolny followed with an RBI single. Taner Fowler's two-run single plated Keller and Wolny to give Louisville a 3-1 lead.
The Crusaders had a chance to score in the top of the fourth when Rutkowski led off the frame with a double. A hit by Joylyn Ichiyama-Drewry placed runners on the corners with one out. Catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod teamed with shortstop Whitney Arion to catch Drewry stealing second and Rutkowski at the plate on a double-steal attempt to end the inning.
Valpo used three walks and two hits take a 4-3 lead in the fifth.
The Cards went scoreless in the fifth and sixth before staging the late-inning dramatics for the second game in a row. In the finals of the BIG EAST championship, sophomore Jordan Trimble connected on a walk-off home run, this time it was Wolny with the game-winning hit.
Chelsea Leonard got the win, holding the Crusaders scoreless on two hits and striking out three in 2.1 innings of relief. Wolny was 3 for 4 with a double, a home run, four RBI's and two runs. Esteban was 3 for 4 with a double and two runs to lead the Cards at the plate.
Michigan 2 - Louisville 1 (8 innings)
For the second-straight day, the No. 7/9 University of Louisville softball team made the contest interesting all the way up to its conclusion.
Michigan's Caitlin Blanchard was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning to deliver the Wolverines a 2-1 victory in the second round of the Louisville regional on May 19 at Ulmer Stadium.
Ashley Lane gave the Wolverines their first runner of the frame in the eighth after sending a one-out offering through the right side for a single. Two batters later, Amy Knapp's single to right field that allowed Lane to slide into third base safely on a close play. Knapp stole second uncontested, and Stephanie Kirkpatrick loaded the bases with a walk.
Chelsea Leonard, who provided the Cardinals with a quality 2.1 innings of relief in the win Friday night, was only one out away from pulling Louisville out of the jam. However, in the first pitch of the at-bat, Leonard hit the left-handed Blanchard - inserted that inning as a pinch-hitter - to plate the winning run.
Louisville had an opportunity to end the game in regulation. In the top of the seventh inning, the Cardinals appeared as though their late-inning antics would come to fruition again.
On the fourth pitch of the inning, Alicja Wolny blasted a double to the warning track in left center. Pinch runner Kristen Straley moved to third on a wild pitch. Jordan Trimble's sacrifice fly plated the tying run.
Louisville posed arguably its best threat in the fourth. Kristin Austin drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Wolny's base hit placed runners on first and third, but the Cards could not capitalize.
The Wolverines struck first, with a run in the second inning. After Kirkpatrick reached on an error, she advanced to second, when Doyle drew a walk from Caralisa Connell. Evans then loaded the bases on a fielder's choice. Sappingfield's sacrifice fly plated Kirkpatrick to give Michigan the 1-0 lead.
Connell went six strong innings, allowing just four hits and striking out one. Leonard, who pitched two-thirds of an inning, was tagged with the loss.
Louisville 3 - Kentucky 2
The No. 7/9 University of Louisville softball team scored three runs in the first and held on to beat Kentucky 3-2 in an NCAA regional elimination game.
Louisville jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first when Jennifer Esteban led off the game with a single. Two outs later, Alicja Wolny sent a shot to the scoreboard in centerfield for her 10th home run of the season to give Louisville a 2-0 advantage. Taner Fowler followed with a single and back-to-back walks to Jordan Trimble and Maggie Ruckenbrod loaded the bases. A wild pitch sent Fowler home to increase the lead to 3-0.
Kentucky answered in the bottom of the fifth when Brittany Cervantes broke up Tori Collins' no-hitter with a single to right field. Griffin Joiner's two-out home run over the center field fence.
Collins got the win, allowing two earned runs on two hits and striking out three in 5.1 innings. Leonard picked up her 12th save of the season, holding the Cats scoreless on one hit in 1.2 innings. Esteban was 2 for 4 with a run to lead Louisville at the plate.
UK starter Chanda Bell took the loss, allowing three earned runs on three hits and striking out one in 1.0 innings.
Michigan 4 - Louisville 0
The No. 7/9 University of Louisville softball team's best season in program history came to an end with a 4-0 loss to No. 21 Michigan in the finals of the Louisville regional. The Cards finished the season with a 55-5 overall record.
Michigan jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first when Nicole Sappingfield drew a one-out walk and took second on Amanda Chidester's base hit. Sara Driesenga walked to load the bases for Ashley Lane's two-run single. Sophomore Caralisa Connell entered to pitch for the Cards and retired the next batter. A hit batter loaded the bases with two outs, but Connell induced a fly out to get out of the inning.
The Wolverines added another run in the second when Lyndsay Doyle reached on an infield single and took second on Bree Evans' sacrifice bunt. Chidester's fly out to center sent Doyle to third and she came home on Sara Driesenga's single to make the score 3-0.
Chidester's two-out RBI single in the fourth increased the Wolverine's lead to 4-0.
The Cards started to rally in the top of the seventh when junior Alicja Wolny and sophomore Jordan Trimble led off with back-to-back singles. Sophomore Maggie Ruckenbrod's groundout moved both runners into scoring position, but Michigan starter Haylie Wagner induced a fly out ot end the game.
Trimble's Walk-Off Bomb Lifts Cards to 4-3 Win Notre Dame in BIG EAST Championship
Jordan Trimble's leadoff home run in the bottom of the eighth broke a 3-3 tied and lifted the No. 8/9 University of Louisville softball team to a 4-3 win over host Notre Dame in the finals of the 2012 BIG EAST Championship. The regular season champion Cardinals rallied from a 3-0 deficit and sent the game to extra innings to claim their second league tournament title.
Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead in the second. Kasey O'Connor registered a one-out single and moved to third on an error following Chloe Saganowich's infield single. Alexa Maldonado followed with an RBI single to put the Irish on the scoreboard.
The Irish put up two more runs behind Katey Haus's two-run homer in the third. Emilee Koerner delivered a two-out single to set up Haus' home run to take a 3-0 lead.
Louisville got two runs back in the fourth when Taner Fowler led off the inning with her twelfth home run of the season. The sophomore took an 0-1 pitch over the left field fence to make the score 3-1. Jordan followed with a triple off the top of the right field fence and came home on a squeeze bunt by Katelyn Mann to cut the lead to 3-2.
In the fifth, Jennifer Esteban reached on a one-out single. One out later, Alicja Wolny drew a walk to set up Fowler's two-out RBI single which brought Esteban home and tied the score at 3-3.
Trimble, the BIG EAST Tournament's Most Outstanding Player took the first pitch over the right field wall for her fourth homer of the season to give the Cards the 4-3 win.
Chelsea Leonard got the win, giving up one hit and striking out one in 1.1 innings of relief. Connell held the Irish scoreless on one hit and struck out one in 2.2 innings of relief. Starter Tori Collins allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits and fanned two in 4.0 innings. Trimble was 2 for 4 with a triple and a home run and scored two runs. Mann was 3 for 3 with an RBI. Fowler was 2 for 4 with a home run, two RBIs and a run.
Trimble BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player - Cards Place Four on All-Tourney Team
In addition to Trimble's MVP honors, she was also named to the All-Tournament team after batting .600 (6 for 10) with two doubles, a triple and a home run for a 1.300 slugging percentage. She totaled four runs in the tournament, scoring in each game and notching a pair of runs in the title game. The centerfielder had two hits in each game: the 8-0 win over Connecticut, the 2-0 win over DePaul and the 4-3 victory over Notre Dame.
Tori Collins, Taner Fowler and Alica Wolny joined her on the All-Tournament team.
Collins got the complete game shutout win against DePaul in the semifinals and posted a 1.27 ERA with eight strikeouts in 11.0 innings. Wolny batted .429 (3 for 7) with a home run, two RBIs and a run. Fowler hit .400 (4 for 10) with a home run, four RBIs and two runs in the tournament.
Notes From the BIG EAST Tournament
Prior to the 2012 title, the last time the Cardinals won the BIG EAST Tournament title was in 2007, when they defeated host Notre Dame 3-1.
This was the third straight year Louisville reached the finals of the tournament. They finished runner-up to Syracuse in 2010 and 2011.
Louisville became the first team to win both the league's regular-season and tournament titles since Notre Dame did so in 2003.
The Cards snapped Notre Dame's 17 game winning streak .
Louisville Named BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year; Nine Cards Take Home BIG EAST honors
The University of Louisville softball coaches earned 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.
Coaching Staff of the Year
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.
Nine All-Conference selections
Austin 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 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 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 belted out four doubles and two home runs, drove in 13 runs and scored 11 in BIG EAST play.
Arion stepped into a starting role and went on to bat .291 with four home runs and 17 RBI in league play.
Connell notched a 7-1 mark against conference opponents with 41 strikeouts in 51.1 innings.
Esteban is a two-time selection after batting .292 with 15 runs and six stolen bases against BIG EAST opponents.
Trimble registered a .286 batting average with two home runs, seven doubles, 15 RBIs and 12 runs in league play.
Wolny earns her third-straight league honor after batting .322 with five doubles and three home runs with five doubles against BIG EAST competition.
Cards Ranked No. 17/18 in final coaches' polls
Louisville was ranked No. 18 in the final ESPN.com/USA Softball poll on June 12. The Cardinals reached a program-best No. 7 on May 15 after spending two weeks at No. 8. On April 17, the Cards appeared in the top 10 for the first time in program history when they jumped three spots from No. 12 to No. 9 - 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. Prior to 2012, 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 were ranked No. 17 in the final USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll. Louisville reached its highest ranking at No. 9 on April 24 and spent the final weeks of the season at that spot. The Cards appeared in the top 25 in each ranking period in 2012. 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 2012, 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.
Pearsall and the Cards reach the 500 win mark
The May 5, 8-4 win over St. John's marked the University of Louisville's 500th win under head coach Sandy Pearsall since its inaugural season in 2000. Pearsall just completed her 13th season after building the program from scratch. She has guided the Cardinals to four conference championships, and nine consecutive NCAA regional appearances including serving as a host site in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
Louisville Captures 2012 BIG EAST Regular Season Title
On May 5, the No. 8/9 University of Louisville softball team captured the regular season BIG EAST Conference title with a doubleheader sweep of host St. John's. The Cardinals defeated the Red Storm 15-4 and 8-4 to secure the title. Louisville notched its second BIG EAST Conference regular season title with the first one coming in 2006. The Cardinals won the 2007 tournament at Notre Dame.
Cards in the national standings
The final national statistical ranking were released on June 6 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 led the nation with win/loss percentage of 0.917 with a final 55-5 record. The Cards' collective 1.39 team ERA stood at fourth in the nation. Louisville registered 94 doubles and was eighth with 1.57 doubles per game. Their 18 triples placed them ninth in the nation with 0.30 triples per game. The Cards' .975 fielding percentage was 15th. Louisville posted a .479 slugging percentage and a 309 batting average - placing the Cards at Nos. 16 and 19 respectively.
Chelsea Leonard led the nation with 12 saves. Kristin Austin was fourth in the nation with eight triples and sixth with 0.14 triples per game. Tori Collins stood at 17th with a 1.37 ERA
Seniors Kristin Austin, Tori Collins and Tesha Paysen completed their careers with 182 wins - the most of any class in program history. As freshmen, they helped set a school record with 48 wins and broke that record as seniors. They went to four straight NCAA regionals and hosted three in their careers. Additionally, they won the 2012 BIG EAST regular season and tournament titles and posted two runner-up finishes in the BIG EAST Conference championship.
Cards Register First 50-win season; seventh 40-win season; ninth straight season of 30 or more wins
On May 5, the Cards defeated St. John's 15-4 and 8-4 to improve to 50-3 on the year, setting a new record for season win totals and registering the first 50-win season in program history.
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.
After completing their 13th season, the Cards have posted at least 30 wins 11 times and 40 or more wins seven times.
2012 - 55-5
2010 - 41-19
2009 - 48-11
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 were 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. Among Louisville's regular victories at home are No. 20 Michigan and No. 17 USF.
In 2011, 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 finished her career at third on the all-time list with 590. Catherine Bishop (2004-07) stands at second with 616. 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 became the eighth player in program history to reach the 200-hit mark and moved to eighth on the school's career list with 209 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 snapped an 18 game win streak - which is the second longest streak in program history - on May 2 with an 8-1 loss at No. 5 Tennessee
The Cardinals hit 48 home runs with 10 players connecting on roundtrippers. Taner Fowler led the team with 12 home runs. Alicja Wolny followed closely with 10. Katie Keller and freshman Whitney Arion were tied with seven homers apiece. Jordan Trimble had four home runs while Katelyn Mann notched two. Kristin Austin. Hannah Kiyohara and Kayla Soles had one apiece. Maggie Ruckenbrod belted out three home runs in her first four games before being sidelined by injury.
The home run total placed second on the school's all-time list behind the 2005 team's tally of 57.
Austin saving the best for last
Outfielder Kristin Austin had a career-best season her senior year with .384 batting average, 45 runs, eight triples 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 Tori Collins and Chelsea Leonard and Caralisa Connell combined for 24 shutouts through the Cards' 60 games. They carried a 1.39 team ERA - which finished at No. 4 in nation and had 393 strikeouts in 402.0 innings. The trio of pitchers also held opponents to a .188 batting average.
After missing the majority of her first two seasons with injuries, redshirt sophomore Chelsea Leonard had an impact on the Cards' success in 2012. She carried a 1.30 ERA and is limited opponents to a .194 batting average while striking out 108 in 91.1 innings. She led the nation with 12 saves.
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.
Welcome Back Jordan
After suffering a season-ending injury in early 2011, redshirt sophomore Jordan Trimble returned to form in 2012. The 2012 BIG EAST Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player started every game in centerfield or shortstop and registered a .313 batting average with 31 RBIs and 16 doubles.
Her leadoff home run in the top of the eighth lifted the Cards to a 4-3 win over Notre Dame in the BIG EAST Conference title game. She also registered her first career grand slam in the 9-0 win over No. 17 USF on April 18.
Maggie 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 finished the season batting .264 and caught 14 base stealers and picked off four.
Taner took over
Taner Fowler took over at catcher in Ruckenbrod's absence and 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 had a career-best season, batting .366 with a team-best 12 home runs - surpassing last year's total of four - and led the team with 52 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.
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.
Louisville Picked Fourth in BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll
Louisville recorded two first-place votes and 120 overall points - one behind Notre Dame - to place fourth in the preseason poll. The Cardinals finished the 2011 season with a 38-20 record and a 12-7 league record while making a run to the BIG EAST Championship final, finishing as runner-up for the second year in a row.