Season Review: Softball
(CARDINAL COUPLE writer and photographer Jared Anderson looks back on the 2021 Softball season for the University of Louisville, Most of the photos you'll see here are from his lens. Jared, by far, spent more time at Ulmer Stadium and on the field covering the squad than any of us. His opinions and observations in this article are his own....but he's done a good job with this recap and summation of what he saw. As always. feel free to comment on his article.)
As the UofL sports seasons quickly wind down we have time to sit back and review how the teams did. We can highlight certain players, games, and accomplishments while also look at some of the not-so-bright spots. I'll begin with Louisville Sotfball, since I spent a lot of time there taking photographs.
With the NCAA Selection Show this past Sunday, this Louisville Softball team is officially done for the year..
The Cards of the Diamond concluded their season 21-28-1 overall and bowed out of the ACC Tournament in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Duke. Louisville went 15-21-1 in conference play and held a 9-15-1 mark at home on the year.
A losing season for a team that was just one full season removed from being a game shy of making an NCAA Super Regional is a bit disappointing. With plenty of big names on the team we hoped to see the Cards climb into the rankings and surprised a few faces.
They went 6-14-1 in games decided by two or fewer runs or went into extra innings. This Louisville squad also went 3-18-1 against ranked opponents.
Although only credited with 58 errors on the year- what you could argue as generous- Louisville averaged higher than one error per game. In games where the Cards committed two or more errors they went 2-14-1. The errors were probably the biggest factor in the losing record and absence from the NCAA Tournament.
However, there are bright spots to the season. Carmyn Greenwood batted .430 on the season, enough to earn her All-ACC Second Team honors. The soon-to-be fifth year senior started every game in left field and was a vacuum to anything that came her way. The elder Greenwood sister recorded 74 total hits with nine doubles and three home runs. Her 29 rbis ranked second on the team while her 11 stolen bases ranked second on the team.
Celene Funke had a down year at the plate, but improved on some incredible career stats. Funke's 12 steals on the season put her at 74 all-time, placing her second in program history. Her 121 runs scored stands 10th all-time.
Taylor Roby was named to the All-ACC First Team after her dual threat approach as a pitcher and batter. Roby batted .359 on the year with 51 hits and a team-high 43 rbis. She also led the team with 14 home runs, enough to earn back-to-back intentional walks against Florida State. In the circle, Roby led the team with a 2.96 ERA and 12 wins. She pitched more than double the number of innings from anyone else while striking out 83 batters.
Jennifer Leonhardt matched Roby's strikeout total of 83 despite joining the Cards for just one season. The redshirt senior earned four wins while leading the team with a 1.19 WHIP.
Maddy Newman was a four year starter for the Cards, all at second base. She finished her career with 115 hits and 84 runs scored. The senior recorded 24 steals and batted .268.
Makayla Hurst was a new face to the Louisville program and took over first base duties with a .972 fielding percentage. However, it was Hurst's bat that turned heads. The junior batted .292 with 38 hits and nine home runs, enough dingers to place her second on the team. Her 25 RBI's ranked third on the team.
This was Holly Aprile's second full season as head coach but third overall. With any coaching change, we saw some speed bumps as players adjust to the new system and recruiting can take a little time. Coach Aprile isn't afraid to play big ball with heavy hitters while still keeping some speedsters ready to step in on the base path when called upon.
Louisville's focus for next year will be to clean up the fielding errors and become more aggressive while remaining smart at the plate. There are some solid players returning to the team next year with some potential bright spots with the incoming class. With five teams from the ACC in the NCAA Tournament and two of them earning national seeds, the schedule is challenging. It will be up to Louisville to adjust and adapt.
Tune back in on Thursday to see another Jared review of one of our Louisville teams from this season.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!