Softball Sweeps Friday at Bama Bash
It hasn't been an easy start for Holly Aprile's squad this season. The Cards got a ranked win in their opener before losing six straight. Louisville snagged a win over Wisconsin last week to break the streak but fell again to ranked Michigan the next day. Louisville looks to turn things around this weekend, and they started that attempt with a pair of wins yesterday. Louisville shutout both Penn State and Wichita State to move to 4-7 on the season. The Cards will get another shot at Wichita State this morning before a pair of games against power house (and host) Alabama. The Crimson Tide is a perennial title contender and is currently ranked 13/10 in the polls. The Cards will have their work cut out for them.
Harris No-Hits Penn State
In the first game of the day, the Cards got off to a promising start in the top of the first inning. Louisville got runners on first and second with two outs after a Maddy Newman walk and a Cassady Greenwood single. That would be the end of the rally, though, as the Nittany Lions got out of the jam. In the bottom half, Chardonnay Harris walked the second batter on four pitches, and Claire Swedburg stole second to give Penn State a runner in scoring position with two outs. Harris got a swinging strikeout on the cleanup hitter to keep the game level.
The next two innings saw twelve up-twelve down as both teams were held in check. Taylor Roby broke the tie with a lead-off home run in the top of the fourth. After a pair of outs, Carmyn Greenwood doubled and Charley Butler singled her home to give the Cards a 2-0 lead before a strikeout ended the inning. Harris once again sat down the side in order.
In the top of the fifth, Louisville's offense continued the rally. The Cards used seven singles, a walk, and an error to bat around the order and score seven runs. After blowing open a 9-0 lead, Harris picked up two groundouts and a pop-out to finish the game due to five-inning run rule. As the walk in the first inning was the only baserunner allowed, Chardonnay Harris picked up the no-hitter. The no-hitter was Louisville's first since Maryssa Becker in 2014.
Offense Picks up Where it Left Off Against Wichita State
Following the seven run fifth inning that ended the game against Penn State, Louisville's offense was more than ready to keep playing. After Taylor Roby worked out of a runner in scoring position in the top half, Louisville's hot offense once again stepped to the plate. Celene Funke walked, stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Maddy Newman then walked and stole second, giving Louisville two in scoring position with no outs. Roby promptly brought them both home with a single. After a Cassady Greenwood bunt single, Charley Butler came on to run for Roby. A double steal put runners on second and third and a Carmyn Greenwood bunt single scored one. Louisville then executed another double steal to score another run and a Rebecca Chung groundout scored the final runner. Louisville put two more on base after a single and a hit by pitch to bat around the order, but Funke flied out to end then inning.
Louisville would go on to score a run in the second and two runs in the fourth to carry an 8-0 lead into the fifth, where Roby would sit down the Shockers' batters and win in the second straight run rule game. Roby gave up just two hits and a walk, while giving up no runs. Meanwhile, every Louisville batter to step to the plate reached base one way or the other.
The Cards will see if they can keep their hot offense rolling today as they open the day with another game against Wichita State at noon. Their first game with Alabama is scheduled for 2:30PM and will be available via WatchESPN (SECN+).
Swimming in Third at ACC Championships
Heading into the final day of competition at the ACC Women's Swimming Championships, Louisville sits in a comfortable third place. The Cards (747.5) are nearly two hundred points ahead of fourth place UNC (567) but almost 150 behind second place NC State (888). Virginia leads by a mile at 1001.5 points. In addition to their solid team standing, Louisville has currently had multiple swimmers set pool times that qualified for invites to the NCAA Championships last season. We'll take a look at the potential NCAA qualifiers once conference championships have wrapped up and invites have gone out.
Lacrosse Falls in Tough Match at #14 Michigan
Louisville Lacrosse hit the road to take on a ranked Michigan team yesterday and put up a fight for much of the game. The Cards had to weather a storm as the Wolverines opened with a five goal run over the game's first ten minutes. Louisville bounced back and Shayla Scanlan's hat trick goal with six seconds left in the half made it 7-6 Michigan. The Cards would fight again in the second half, opening the half with a game tying goal from Paige Richbourg. Scanlan would go on to tie the game at 11 with 11:30 to go but that would be Louisville's final goal of the game. As they opened, Michigan closed, scoring four goals over the final seven minutes and shutting out the Cards to claim a 15-11 victory.
Despite the loss, Louisville showed great will and toughness in their second ranked game of the season. The Cards saw a lot of lopsided losses last year and appear to be holding their own much better this season. In addition to the spread out scoring, 11 goals from six players (Scanlan, Richbourg, both Blalocks, Hannah Morris and Brenna Shanahan), Rachel Florek set a program record for saves to keep the Cards in the game. Florek finished with 17 stops, preventing what could have been a very ugly outcome for the Cards. Louisville moves to 2-2 on the year and will head down I-65 on Tuesday for a matchup against Vanderbilt at 4PM.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
After taking last week off, we're back with the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour today at 11AM. Jared and Paulie are both traveling this week, so Jeff and I will be holding down the fort, but we'll have plenty to discuss. With basketball getting into the big time part of the season and softball and lacrosse both being underway in earnest, we'll have no lack of topics to discuss. Join us as we go live on YouTube or catch the replay of the show any time.
Until next time, Go Cards!