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Friday, April 7, 2023

Softball Drops Series Opener Against Notre Dame -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Solo Homer Sinks Cards

With the Bats back in season and opening their home slate this week, you've got me instead of Daryl for your Friday morning read. Unfortunately, it's not the greatest news on the day. Louisville brought Notre Dame in for their weekend set and their bats went as cold as the weather with the front coming in. Notre Dame, on the other hand, found a barrel on the first pitch with two outs in the third inning to score the only run of the game and take the series opener 1-0.

Despite my quip about the coldness of their bats, Louisville scattered six hits throughout the game, double Notre Dame's output, but small ball wasn't working for them. Four of the Cards' six hits came in pairs, but both instances saw the runners stranded. In addition to their six hits, Louisville had a single walk which helped contribute to their six runners left on base. Easton Lotus and Hannah File each had two hits for Louisville, with Korbe Otis and Vanessa Miller picking up the other two. Otis also drew the walk. Louisville only struck out twice, meaning they put the other 19 outs in play. Critically, one of their two strikeouts was with two runners on base and two out. 

The defense and pitching were solid. Allowing just three hits and two walks is a tough pill to swallow when the offense is unable to scratch a single run. Alyssa Zabala got the start in this one, but her outing was shorter than the strong numbers would suggest. The third inning saw Zabala give up the two-out home run and immediately follow it with a double and a nine-pitch walk. Taylor Roby came in in relief and forced a pop out. Zabala's final line was two and two-thirds with two hits, two walks, one run, and a strikeout. Roby was strong in the circle in relief. In the remaining four and a third, she gave up just one hit. Notre Dame was similarly good at putting the ball in play, as they had just the one strikeout, but Louisville's defense was up to the task, despite two errors.

There's really not a lot else to say about the game. With hits scattered and Louisville's only opportunities being dashed, the opener was rather uneventful. Run time was only 1:55, and there wasn't much drama. After Louisville put two on in the third, trying to immediately answer the scoring by Notre Dame, they had just two base runners over the remaining four innings. One was erased by a double play and the other split three foul outs. The last two innings saw the Cards go six up, six down. 

The Cards and Irish will be back in action this evening at 6PM. Last night's loss was Louisville's first conference loss after winning nine straight starting with the series finale against Duke. Unfortunately, the canceled finale against Syracuse last weekend may have crushed their chance at a double-digit conference winning streak. At any rate, they'll have the opportunity to start a new streak tonight. Head out to Ulmer, or catch it on ACC Network Extra.


Until next time (tomorrow), Go Cards!

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