SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Softball takes two on Saturday
-Interviews from softball practice
The University of Louisville softball team shut out Creighton for a total of 14 innings yesterday behind the strong pitching of Chelsea Leonard, Caralisa Connell and Tori Collins and improved to 12-0 with 7-0 and 4-0 wins Saturday.
Leonard drew the start for game one and tied the Louisville school record with 16 strikeouts for seven innings. She allowed one hit to the Jays to improve her record to 3-0.
Louisville struck early with a run in the first inning. Jennifer Esteban singled and reached home when Katie Keller reached on an error.
The Lady Cards added four runs in the second inning. After Hannah Kiyohara drew a walk, Whitney Arion singled and Kristin Austin smashed a double to score Kiyohara. Keller got both Arion and Austin home with a single and then scored when Jordan Trimble hit into a fielders choice. The Cards were up 5-0 and Creighton still didn't have a hit.
The Cards were still hot in the third inning...Katelyn Mann singling and coming home on a Arion single. Louisville added their seventh run in the fourth when Taner Fowler put one over the left field fence. Her third home run of the season.
Creighton broke up Leonard's no-hit bid in the top of the sixth with a single.
Caralisa Connell opened as the starting pitcher and struck out eight...allowing just four hits in five innings to improve her record to 3-0 before Tori Collins came in to finish. Collins KO'ed three Creighton batters and gave up just one hit.
Louisville had the hot bats early again in the second game, posting a first inning run when Austin singled, stole second and scored on a Fowler single. The Cards added the final three runs of the game in the fourth inning. Arion singled and both runners were safe on a Esteban fielder's choice. Austin reached on a error, scoring Arion and Keller drove in Esteban and Austin with a single.
12-0 is the best start in Louisville softball history.
Had the chance to stop by and watch a bit of the softball team's practice and get a couple of interviews before the series with Creighton. Thanks to Jared Stillman and Lori Korte for letting me "piggyback" off Jared and a couple of spots he was doing. We'll be doing a feature article on "J-Bone" later this week -- be sure to catch it.
First off was first year softball trainer Lauren San Agustin
CC: What are some of the things an athletic trainer does in softball?
Lauren: We make sure the athlete's bodies are ready for competition, that their bodies recover after training and their good to go for the next day.
CC: As a trainer, you have to deal with minor and major injuries. How is this team looking so far this year on injuries?
Lauren: We got a little banged up early but we're looking to get those small injuries out of the way, and we're hoping to have a successful, uneventful season injury-wise.
CC: If you had to pick a player who is in prime shape, injury free and ready to play, who would be the first one that comes to mind?
Lauren: Our center fielder Jordan Trimble comes to mind. She gets in the training room, in the weight room and on the field every day and is always taking care of her body with preventative steps...so I think that helps her and keeps her in good shape 24 hours a day.
CC: What's the best part of your job?
Lauren: Hanging out with the team, getting to travel and meet all different types of people!
Next was sophomore multi-position player Taner Fowler.
You've had a great start to the season so far, hitting two home runs and batting .469. Talk about the great weekend you've just had. (in the ECU Pirate Clash)
Fowler: Our team fought through the whole weekend. We found ourselves down a lot but by the bottom of the seventh we found a way to get it done. We played with a lot of heart. We want to win, no matter what. We've worked hard. And this is what we've worked hard for...to win no matter what.
Speaking of bottom of the seventh situations, you had a big base hit..one that gave the Cardinals the lead at the time and giving you an extra inning win. Explain what you were thinking as the game moved along.
I just think about all the time and hard work I've put into my swing. Now it's time to let it show. I try to be relaxed, comfortable and try to win for my team. That's the most important thing.
Speaking of hard work, Coach has said you've had to make changes from last season. She said you worked really hard over the summer and fall. What changes did you make?
I pull away from the ball a lot so I hit a lot of pitches foul. I was struggling and not getting through the ball. I worked on trying to get my hands out and get some of those inside pitches more up the middle and in fair territory.
You really didn't know where you were going to play at the beginning of the season. You spent time at first base and catcher. You're going to be behind the plate for awhile now. What's it like to switch positions constantly?
You just have to be ready for whatever because we practice hard and I'm pretty confident at whatever position I go in at.
You're at 9-0 this season with three big games this weekend...what's it going to take to make that a solid 12-0?
We just have to stay focused like we have been. Whenever we come out we have to be ready to play. Just keep working as a team and keep out offense and defense together.
Last but not least...Cardinal shortstop Jordan Trimble
Question: This is your first season and shortstop. You've played outfield and second base before that. Talk about the move.
Trimble: The move was difficult to adjust to just because of the reaction time. Working in the outfield is different, you have more reaction time and time to adjust. You throw differently. The physical aspect and mental aspect wasn't bad...I was a shortstop throughout high school.
Question: You had a great freshman season. Last year you red-shirted because of breaking your ankle. Tell us how great it is to be back and how you feel.
Trimble: The first practices were unreal...I've never been one to sit out. I have a really 'want to do' attitude. Sitting out all year was miserable. I did everything I could do to get back as soon as I could.
Question: How great is it to be back at Ulmer Stadium after two out-of-town weekends?
Trimble: It's a great feeling to be back, especially being a local kid. Just knowing everyone out in the stands and the support we have from them.
Question: Talk a little bit about playing high school ball at Manual...was it a dream of yours to be a player here at UofL down the road?
Trimble: Definitely, my parents have wanted me to come to Louisville all my life...through middle school, high school ...through my travel ball coach...it was all part of the plan.
Just coming here...seeing every game each summer with my grandparents. Louisville was definitely in my top five as schools to come to.
Question: Talk a bit about coming back from an injury as devastating as a broken ankle.
Trimble: I've never really been hurt before. This was my first time of ever having to be out of games because of an injury. At the beginning I had a lot of trouble. I had to go see a sports psychiatrist to get my mind back in a state that it was going to be OK to lose a year, that I'd get red-shirted and I'd come back actually better than I was. (The ankle)...It gets sore sometimes, but when you break and then mend a bone it comes back stronger. It gave me extra time to work on things like hand-eye coordination and my swing. I think I actually gained from being out a year.
Great perspectives from two very talented players and a up and coming new trainer for the Cards. We look forward to productive and healthy season for them and the entire Cardinal team. Thanks again to Lori, Coach P and J-Bone for their assistance and suggestions.