LOUISVILLE, KY (3/13/12)—The No. 16/17 University of Louisville softball team improved to 20-0 on the season by sweeping Illinois State 8-2 and 8-0 Monday at Ulmer Stadium.
“The first game wasn’t one of our best in terms of our defense, but we created enough offense to overcome some mental errors and misplays,” said U of L head coach Sandy Pearsall. “The second game we came out with a more complete effort. I was pleased with the way we hit the ball and continue to find ways to win.”
Louisville 8 – Illinois State 2
The first game of the day was delayed almost two hours while the teams waited for heavy rain to pass through the area, but the Cards wasted little time getting on the scoreboard with two runs in the bottom of the first. Senior Kristin Austin singled and came around to score on an error following sophomore Katie Keller’s base hit. Keller, who had moved to third on the error, crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
The Cards used a pair of doubles and three-run homer by sophomore Hannah Kiyohara to put up a four-spot in the third. Sophomore Taner Fowler and junior Alicja Wolny opened the home half of the inning with back-to-back doubles to add another run. Sophomore Jordan Trimble reached on an error to set up Kiyohara’s first career home run, a three-run shot over the left field fence to make the score 6-0.
Illinois State got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth when Lizzie Andrew connected on a leadoff single, took second on an illegal pitch and came home on Laura Canopy’s RBI hit.
The Redbirds added another run in the fifth when Nichelle Harrison registered a pinch hit single and Jhavon Hamilton followed with a single. Both runners advanced on Lauren Kellar’s ground out and Harrison came home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Elizabeth Kay to bring the score to 6-2.
Louisville got a run back in the fifth when Fowler delivered her second double of the game and came around to score on a base hit by Trimble to increase the lead to 7-1.
The Cardinals capped the scoring in the sixth. Austin singled and stole second. Keller walked and Fowler was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Wolny grounded out, but Austin crossed the plate for the 8-2 final.
Tori Collins (9-0) got the win, surrendering two earned runs on eight hits and striking out eight in 7.0 innings. Kiyohara was 2 for 2 with a home run and three RBIs. Fowler finished 2 for 2 with two doubles and two runs. Austin was 2 for 4 with two runs.
Jordan Birch (7-7) took the loss, giving up six runs, only one earned, on eight hits and striking out two in 2.2 innings. Andrews and Canopy each had a pair of hits.
Louisville 8 – Illinois State 0 (five Innings)
Junior Alicja Wolny went 3 for 3 with three RBIs while sophomores Chelsea Leonard and Caralisa Connell combined for Louisville’s tenth shutout as the Cards cruised to a 9-0 win over the Redbirds.
Following their 8-2 win in game one, the Cardinals picked up where they left off by jumping to a 1-0 lead in the first. Austin singled, took second on Fowler’s hit and crossed the plate on an RBI single by Wolny.
Louisville used an error and five hits – including a two-run homer by Wolny – to put up five runs in the fourth. Kiyohara got things started with a single. Freshman Kirsten Straley entered the game as a pinch-runner and stole second. Freshman Whitney Arion’s double gave the Cards a 2-0 lead. Junior Jennifer Esteban reached on an error, stole second and took third on Austin’s base hit. A double steal increased the lead to 3-0. Keller singled to set up Wolny’s third home run of the season, a two-run shot over centerfield to make the score 6-0.
The fifth inning brought two more runs to give the Cards their sixth run-rule win of the season. Freshman Kayla Soles started the inning with a double and Kiyohara drew a walk. Arion followed with an RBI single and an error sent Kiyohara home for the 8-0 final.
Connell (6-0) got the win, giving up just one hit with a strikeout in 2.1 innings of relief. Chelsea Leonard surrendered two hits and struck out six in 2.2 innings. Everybody in the lineup got a hit as the Cards cranked out a season-high 14 hits in the game. Arion was 2 for 2 with a run and an RBI and Austin was 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI.
Megan Warner (4-4) took the loss, giving up four runs, one earned, on 10 hits and struck out one in 23.0 innings. The Redbirds drop to 13-12 on the season.
Information submitted by Lori J. Korte
Posted by Luke Short—SurfKY News
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