LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sophomore Kayla Soles’ three-run homer in the second helped key the No. 11/11 University of Louisville softball team to a 5-1 win over No. 20/21 Kentucky Wednesday evening at Ulmer Stadium. Louisville improves to 29-6 while Kentucky falls to 24-10 on the season.
“We were really happy to the win tonight,” said U of L Sandy Pearsall. “Caralisa didn’t have the best start, but she certainly did the job for us. Kentucky is a great program and it’s great for the state that we are both top 20 programs.”
After a scoreless first inning, the Cards jumped to a 3-0 lead behind Soles’ third home run of the season. Junior designated player Taner Fowler was hit by a pitch and junior right fielder Hannah Kiyohara walked to put two runners on for Soles who drove a shot over the left field fence.
U of L tacked on two more runs in the fifth when senior center fielder Jordan Trimble delivered a leadoff single and came home on senior first baseman Alicja Wolny’s first triple of the season which fell in at the fence in right centerfield. Junior catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod’s fielder’s choice saw Wolny out at third, but she came around on Kiyohara’s single to make the score 5-0.
An infield single by Sylver Samuel broke up Caralisa’s no-hitter in the sixth and she took second on an error on the play. Krystal Smith followed with a two-out RBI double to put the Wildcats on the scoreboard.
Kentucky had early chances to score when back-to-back walks followed by a wild pitch placed runners on second and third in the first two innings of the game. In both cases, Louisville starter junior Caralisa Connell and the Cardinal defense retired the next two batters to prevent runs from scoring.
Connell (19-2) surrendered one earned run and struck out four while walking seven in 7.0 innings of work. Soles was 1 for 3 with three RBIs. Kiyohara was 1 for 2 with a run and an RBI.
Kentucky starting pitcher Lauren Cumbess (6-3) took the loss, allowing three earned runs on two hits and striking out one in 2.0 innings. Kelsey Nunley gave up two earned runs on three hits and struck out two while walking three in 4.0 innings of relief. Samuel and Smith recorded the Wildcats’ only hits in the game.
Click here for more stats from the game.