Tuesday, April 9, 2019
One For The Ages...Louisville Softball downs FSU 10-9 -- Lacrosse Today -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
SOFTBALL RALLIES TO KNOCK OFF SEMINOLES 10-9
Holly Aprile, head Louisville softball coach, indicated it might have been one of the most fun ones she had ever taken part it.
The up-and-down, topsy-turvy seven inning affair at Louisville's Ulmer Stadium was a roller coaster ride last night but Louisville struck last, and best, in a thrilling, edge-of-the-seat, instant classic 10-9 win over #3 FSU Monday night.
Freshman Rebecca Chung delivered a three-RBI, walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh to put the final touches on a game that had four lead changes, 19 runs and 18 hits.
If you were there, or watching on ESPNU -- this one was one you'll remember for a very long time.
Like some amusement park rides, it started a little bumpy and herky-jerky for the Cards. FSU came out with three first inning runs on two hits, a walk and a unfortunate throwing error to take the early lead.
During a run-down of a trapped runner, a toss for a tag-out went awry, and several Seminoles scampered home because of it.
Louisville was still behind 3-0 in the bottom of the third with the bottom of the order coming to the plate, but, they responded in a big way. Chung reached with no outs. Singles from Maddy Newman and Charley Butler filled the bags with Cards. Then "Food Mart" (Sidney Melton) emptied the bags with a triple and the game was evened up with a 3-3 score.
Cards starting pitcher Danielle Watson was starting to find her groove in the circle after the shaky first inning and keeping FSU scoreless. At the plate, Louisville was staying hot and a deep triple from Maddy Newman to left-center completely fooled the "in-shallow" FSU outfielders in the fourth inning and plated two more Louisville runners to push the Cards ahead 5-3.
UofL kept the hitting party going in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs, shortstop Caitlin Ferguson went opposite field and sent a towering blast down the right-field line that stayed fair (hitting the small fence on the right field pole) and Louisville had increased the lead to 7-3 with the two-run boomer from Fergie. Louisville had chased FSU ace hurler Meghan King (19-2) from the circle and the stands were a buzz with the proficiency of the UofL bats.
Our photographer Jared Anderson was in right field berm talking to former Cardinal standout Nicole Pufahl and said the ball would have landed right next to him if the extension fence on the pole hadn't stopped it.
Watson had cruised along in control for five innings for Louisville after the shaky start, but that was about to change for the sophomore pitcher from Osceola, IN in the top of the seventh. The Noles had decided they were not ready to load up the bus just yet and travel back to Tallahassee.
They produced six runs -- the big blow being a bases loaded blast that easily cleared the center-field fence from Sydney Sherrill -- and the Cardinal Faithful in the seats (over 500 by most estimates and including athletic director Vince Tyra) went from elation to anxiety.
Taylor Roby was called upon to take the circle and relieve Watson and she stopped the damage, getting the final two outs of the Noles half of the inning.
Louisville had one last at-bat to try for the tie to send it to extra innings or to win it. FSU brought King back to the circle to see if she could keep the Cardinal bats silent. The crowd noise had subsided temporarily except for the few FSU fans in attendance and that infernal war chant Noles fans are prone to do.
The Cards were not ready to concede. They were getting back off the mat and squaring their fists for one last haymaker attempt.
And, they connected.
Food Mart started things off and delivered a single. FSU's King was having trouble finding the zone and walked Megan Hensley and Ferguson but the Cards had narrowly escaped a double play (after an umpires conference). It came down to this: There were two outs when Chung strode to the plate with the bases full.
On the first pitch delivered by King, Chung sent a laser to right center that got past the outfielders and rolled to the fence.
Melton, Hensley and Ferguson were running as if their lives depended on it and all three crossed the plate to give the Cards the walk-off 10-9 win.
The team exploded onto the field. Laptop chargers were exploding in the press box and the crowd erupted in a wild celebration. Cards win! The Cardinals win a 10-9 slug-fest !! From adversity to accomplishment, the Cards conquer FSU.
The Cards find a new hero, get production from the old guard and discover that they can produce a "it isn't over until we say it's over" shining moment.
A signature win in Holly Aprile's young career as the Cardinals skipper and a night where Louisville softball showed the Noles and the rest of the viewing nation that perseverance and hope can provide good results and wins. UofL Softball could have easily hung their collective heads after the furious FSU rally, but, they chose to continue the fight and believe that they could strike the last blow.
And, they did just that.
UofL (25-14, 6-6) takes the series 2-1 against FSU (37-5, 9-3) and gets a few days to prepare for next weekend's trip to BeanTown to face Boston College for three.
(Photos from Jared Anderson)
THEY SAID IT:
Post game audio links below
Holly Aprile LINK: HOLLY DISCUSSES 10-9 WIN AND SERIES
Rebecca Chung LINK: POST GAME REBECCA CHUNG
LACROSSE FACES OHIO STATE
In one of those mid-week, non ACC matchups that have dotted the LOULAX schedule this season, Scott Teeter's Cards bring in Ohio State for a 1 p.m. matchup today at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium.
Louisville looks to end a four game losing streak when they take the turf against the Buckeyes.
The skies are bright this morning and it should be ideal playing conditions. A great spring day to watch fast-paced, exciting Lacrosse action
Why not tell the boss that "you've got this thing", escape the workplace and come out for the thrill that is Louisville Lacrosse on Floyd Street!