PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The No. 10/11 University of Louisville softball team scored in every inning in a BIG EAST doubleheader sweep of host Providence. Junior Katie Keller had eight RBIs on the day as the Cards defeated the Friars 16-2 in game one and 17-6 in game two to improve to 34-6 on the season and 7-1 in league play.
Louisville 16 – Providence 2
Louisville used 15 hits, including five home runs – two home runs each from Katie Keller and Maggie Ruckenbrod and one from Alicja Wolny to defeat Providence 16-2. Keller also tied a school record with seven RBIs – for the second time this season.
The Cards jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning and would go on to score in every inning of the doubleheader. Keller drew a leadoff walk and Jordan Trimble was hit by a pitch. Both runners moved on a wild pitch and Alicja Wolny followed with an RBI single.
Keller’s three-run homer increased Louisville’s lead to 4-0 in the second. Kayla Soles reached on an error and Jasmine Smithson-Willett walked to place runners on for Keller who connected on her team-best ninth home run of the season.
The Friars (12-20-1, 2-6) answered with an unearned run in the home half of the second. Shannell Harrell drew a leadoff walk and took second and third on illegal pitches. Kristie Dederick walked and stole second, an error on the play send Harrell home to put Providence on the board.
Louisville got the run back in the third when Hannah Kiyohara drew a two-out walk and Soles followed with a single. Smithson-Willett walked to load the bases for Keller who drew the third walk of the inning to bring Kiyohara home and make the score 5-1.
Maggie Ruckenbrod’s two-run homer in the fourth gave the Cards a 7-1 lead. Wolny registered a leadoff single and Ruckenbrod took her first pitch over the left field fence to add a pair of runs.
Providence tacked on another run in the fourth. Jessie Bryant drew a leadoff walk and hits by Stephanie Kiesel and Harrell loaded the bases. An error allowed Dederick to reach, but Bryant came home on the play to make the score 7-2.
Louisville’s offense continued to produce two more runs in the fifth. Smithson-Willett earned her third walk of the game and Keller sent a shot over left field for her second homer of the game and 10th of the season.
The Cards erupted for seven runs in the sixth, an inning which saw seven hits, including back-to-back home runs from Wolny and Ruckenbrod. Taner Fowler singled and came around to score on Arion’s double to start the scoring. Kiyohara followed with a hit and moved to third on Soles’ single. Kiyohara crossed the plate on Keller’s sacrifice fly. A hit by Chrisanna Roberts placed two runner on for Wolny’s seventh homer of the season which made the score 15-2. Ruckenbrod’s second round tripper of the game increased the lead to 16-2.
Rachel LeCoq (13-4) got the win, allowing one earned run on five hits and striking out two in 4.0 innings of relief. Keller was 2 for 2 with three runs and seven RBI. Wolny was 3 for 5 with four RBIs and two runs. Ruckentrod was 2 for 5 with three RBIs and two runs to led the Cards at the plate.
Louisville 17 – Providence 6
In the second game of the day, freshman Jasmine Smithson-Willett was 2 for 3 with a home run and five RBI to lead a Cardinal lineup in which every starter had at least one hit, run and RBI to produce a season-high 17 runs.
Louisville again took an early lead when Keller led off the game with a walk and took second on Hannah Kiyohara’s sacrifice bunt and crossed the plate on Wolny’s RBI single.
The Friars answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Kiarra Baldassari delivered a leadoff single and moved to second on an error. Megan Rollings’ sacrifice bunt sent her to third and Jessie Bryant’s RBI single tied the game at 1-1. Kristie Dederick’s base hit put two runners on for Sarah Kitterman’s RBI hit which pulled the Friars ahead 3-1. A walk to Kelsi Luttrell loaded the bases and Marie Fuego blooped a hit to shallow right field. Dederick scored on the play, but Kiyohara fired a throw to Ruckenbrod to tag Kitterman out at the plate for the third out of the inning.
Louisville used a three-run homer from Smithson-Willett to go back on top 3-2 in the second. Arion connected on a leadoff double and one out later, Mann’s single put two runners on to set up Smithson-Willett’s first home run of the season.
Providence regained the lead with two runs in the bottom of the second. Megan Rollings walked and scored on Bryant’s single to tie the game at 3-3. Shanell Harrell’s base hit brought home Bryant to make it a 4-3 game.
The Friars’ lead was short-lived as Wolny led off the third with her second home run of the day and eighth of the season to tie the game at 5-5. Ruckenbrod followed with a double and came around to score when Trimble reached on an error. Trimble advance to third on Mann’s base hit. After Mann stole second, Smithson-Willett scored both runners on her two-out single to make the score 8-5.
The Cardinals used seven hits, including doubles from Arion, Trimble, Mann and Keller and RBI singles by Ruckenbrod and Kiyohara, to put up a seven spot in the fourth.
Fowler’s sixth homer of the season increased the lead to 17-5 in the fifth. Ruckenbrod led off the frame with her second double of the game and Fowler sent a shot over centerfield to push Louisville’s scoring streak to 11 straight innings on the day.
Dederick added another run for the Friars with a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the fifth for the 17-6 final.
Caralisa Connell (21-2) got the win, allowing three runs on three hits and striking out two in 4.0 innings. Ruckenbrod and Mann each went 3 for 4 with three runs and an RBI. Trimble was 2 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs.
Emily O’Keefe (2-5) took the loss, surrendering eight runs, seven earned, on eight hits in 2.2 innings. Bryant went 2 for 2 with two runs and two RBIs to lead the Friars at the plate.