Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Softball Cards blank UK 6-0
Brittany York contributed to the Cards first inning rout of UK starting pitcher Rachel Riley before an overflow crowd in Ulmer Stadium Wednesday night.
The University of Louisville softball team has developed a propensity for jumping on opponents early in games this year. Wednesday night was no different as the Cards tallied five first inning runs and coasted in for a 6-0 win over the Wildcats.
Cloudy skies and pleasant temperatures greeted the record setting crowd tonight for the rivalry game which was announced at 1134 in attendance, plus several hundred more in the outfield berm area behind the fences. Although neither team sent one over the fence tonight, Louisville batted around in the bottom half of the first to jump out ahead of UK and chased starting pitcher Riley to the dugout when leadoff hitter Melissa Roth appeared at the plate for the second time in the inning.
Roth started the firworks for Louisville by leading off the bottom of the first with a single. Although she was forced out on Vanessa James' fielder's choice, James scored on a booming double by Alicja Wolny. A single by Jordan Trimble put runners on first and third and both scored on Colby Wherry's line shot single to give the Cards a 3-0 lead. Chelsea Bemis followed with a single and York's fielder's choice scored Wherry and left Bemis safe at second because of a fielding error. Bemis scored when Roth singled to put the Cards up 5-0.
The Cards put Tori Collins on the mound to face the Wildcats and despite a shaky
start for the sophomore righty, she and Kristen Wadwell combined to limit the UK nine to just three hits for the game. Collins (8-3) gave up two singles in the top of the first but would only allow one more hit in 5 innings of work. Wadwell retired all six batters she faced and struck out three.
Chandra Bell came on in relief of Riley for UK and limited UofL to just one run in 5 innings on the mound.
Louisville tacked on the insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when Jennifer Esteban drilled a longshot triple to the center field fence and scored on a throwing error when Melissa Roth successfully stole second after reaching first by getting hit by a Bell pitch.
The big crowd was treated to rousing performances from the UofL Pep Band thruout the game and dozens of UofL t-shirts and hats were tossed out to attendees from the press box and sideline areas. Notables in the crowd enjoying the rivalry game included Lady Cards basketball stars Monique Reid and Becky Burke and Cardinal women's basketball assistant coach Stephanie Norman.
"It was just a wonderful night for softball and a great win for our girls against the Cats." commented long time Cardinal athletics fan Bill Hancock after the game. "It's always good to sweep the in-state rival." Louisville defeated Kentucky 3-0 earlier in the season in Lexington.
And, indeed...Paul and I had fun at the game and with the rowdy crowd tonight while watching the Cards extend their win streak to five games. Although the "big guy" didn't get a t-shirt thrown to him...I thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the ol' ballpark tonight and the chance to root for the Cards victory.
Louisville (25-12) returns to action next Wednesday with a doubleheader at Rutgers.
Written by Sonja and Paul