Louisville softball opens up their 2023 ACC Tournament trip against 5-seed Virginia Tech. The Cards and Hokies did not face each other this year. Virginia Tech swept the series last season in Blacksburg and hold a 15-8 advantage over UofL all time.
The Cards enter the tournament as the 4-seed after going 16-7 in conference play and 35-17 overall. Taylor Roby and Alyssa Zabala have been the dynamic duo in the circle this season, commanding a majority of the time. They have 2.42 and 2.84 ERAs, respectively. Sam Booe, Gabby Holloway, and Cassie Grizzard have each contributed from the bullpen.
As a team, Louisville hits .317 with six Cards hitting above .300. Korbe Otis leads the charge at .399 with 67 hits. Roby's 22 home runs is a team-high and is tied for the lead nationally. Six Cards have at least 24 RBI's. Sarah Gordon leads the team in doubles with 12 while Otis has seven triples.
The Cards' woes have mainly come from a defensive standpoint with a plethora of fielding and throwing errors. Louisville has had great success with zero or one errors per game while anything above that has been a factor in a majority of the losses.
Virginia Tech enters the game 36-17 on the year with a 14-10 ACC record. They've found success from the defensive end. However, they have run-ruled 11 opponents this year.
The Hokies hit .298 as a team with just four regulars hitting above the .300 mark. Emma Ritter paces the team with 61 hits and a .365 batting average. They have five players with double-digit home runs Bre Peck leading the team with 15.
Emma Lemley has been the ace for Virginia Tech. She carries a 3.37 ERA with 262 strikeouts against just 42 walks. Lyndsey Grein has also seen a fair amount of time in the circle with a 4.08 ERA. She has recorded 89 strikeouts to 39 walks.
Louisville and Virginia Tech will take the field at 1:30 p.m. today and will be aired on ACC Network.
In the first day of action, 9-seed Syracuse took down 8-seed Virginia 8-2 and 10-seed Georgia Tech upset host 7-seed Notre Dame 8-1.
Several Softball Accolades in ACC
The ACC awards and teams were announced yesterday and there was no shortage of recognition for Louisville players.
Sarah Gordon was named ACC Freshman of the Year. The catcher has played every game this season behind the plate. She ranks second on the team with a .385 batting average and 62 hits while her 12 doubles is a team high.
Gordon is the first player in Louisville history to be named ACC Freshman of the Year. She was recently named to the National Freshman of the Year Top 25 list. Gordon was also named to the All-ACC First Team.
Korbe Otis joins Gordon on the All-ACC First Team. The sophomore center field led the team in batting average, hits, and triples this season. She was a perfect 8-8 in stolen bases and set the portogram record with a 35-game reached base streak.
Taylor Roby was the third Cardinal to be named to the All-ACC First Team. The graduate student retained her do-it-all role by leading the Cards in the circle with a 2.42 ERA and powering the team at the plate with 22 home runs and 55 rbis.
Daisy Hess was named to the All-ACC Second Team. The shortstop transferred into Louisville this season and made an immediate impact. She helped command a youthful infield while hitting .342 with 52 hits.
Easton Lotus was named to the All-ACC Third Team. After missing much of last season due to a leg injury, the sophomore started every game at second base. She closed out the regular season on a 16-game hitting streak and hit .291 with 48 hits on the year.
Alyssa Zabala was named to the All-ACC Third Team. The freshman pitcher was quick out of the gate this season with her impact on the pitching staff. Her 14 wins was best on the team as were her 87 strikeouts. Zabala carried a 2.84 ERA but just a 1.19 WHIP.
We hope to see plenty more in the future with so much young talent on the team.
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!