LAS VEGAS (WHAS11) -- The No. 18 University of Louisville softball team overcame a 5-0 deficit in the third to defeat Texas Tech 10-6 in their season-opener Friday in the UNLV Sportco Classic.
Louisville (1-0) will face host UNLV at approximately 7 p.m. (EST) Friday evening.
The Cards used a five-run third to erase a five-run deficit and fourth inning home runs from Katie Keller and Alicja Wolny to defeat Texas Tech 10-6.
“We got off to a slow start, but I’m really proud of how our team fought back today,” said U of L head coach Sandy Pearsall. “I’m proud of Rachel LeCoq’s performance, she came in and held them in check. I was very pleased with our offense and I have a great deal of confidence in this team.”
The Red Raiders jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning when Mikey Kenney drew a leadoff walk and took third on Shelby Johnson’s single. Sandy James double plated both runners. Adriana Perez singled and Sydnie Tapia walked to load the bases for Katelyn Williams’ two-run single.
A leadoff home run by Adriana Perez gave Texas Tech a 5-0 lead in the third.
The Cards answered with five runs in the bottom of the third. Katelyn Mann and Jennifer Esteban got the home half of the inning started with back-to-back singles. Katie Keller walked to load the bases and Alicja Wolny’s RBI groundout put Louisville on the scoreboard. Taner Fowler followed with an infield single which sent Esteban home. Jordan Trimble walked to load the bases and a wild pitch moved the runners to make the score 5-3. Jasmine Smithson-Willet drew a walk to load the bases for Maggie Ruckenbrod’s game-tying two-run single.
Louisville put up three more runs in the fourth. Esteban drew a leadoff walk and Keller took a 1-2 pitch over the centerfield fence for the Cards’ first homer of the season. Wolny quickly added to that total with a shot over the right field fence to increase the lead to 8-5.
Texas Tech got a run back in the fifth on a two-out home run by Williams.
The Cardinals tacked on two more runs in the fifth when Esteban connected on a two-out double and Keller followed with an RBI single and came around to score on an error to make the score 10-6.
Rachel LeCoq (1-0) got the win, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out four in 7.0 innings of relief. Keller led the Cards offensively with a 2 for 3, three run, three RBI performance. Esteban was 2 for 3 with a stolen base. Wolny was 2 for 4 with two RBIs and a run.
Cara Custer (0-1) took the loss, allowing six earned runs on five hits in 3.0 innings of work. The Red Raiders were led offensively by Johnson who went 3 for 4 with a run. Williams finished the game batting 2 for 3 with three RBI.