LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Junior Brittany Duncan went 3 for 3 with four RBIs and senior Katie Keller went 3 for 6 with two RBIs and two runs to help lead the University of Louisville softball team to a 5-3 win over Bellarmine and a 5-0 victory over Tennessee State Sunday afternoon at Bellarmine University’s Knights Field.
“I’m happy with how our newcomers are adjusting this weekend,” said UofL head coach Sandy Pearsall. “Our returners also looked good. I think the pitching over the course of the weekend was really what we wanted to see. We did see some good things, although we’re not at 100 percent, but what we are seeing is going to help us. Our defense also continues to get the job done.”
Louisville 5 – Bellarmine 3
Senior Katie Keller went 2 for 2 with a run and junior Brittany Duncan delivered a two-run double to key the Cards to a 5-3 win over the host Knights.
Bellarmine jumped to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Ally Foster led off with a double and two outs later, Tabby Shewmaker drilled a home run over right centerfield.
The Cards got a run back in the top of the second when senior Taner Fowler delivered a leadoff double and came around to score on freshman Kristina Dillard’s RBI hit.
Louisville evened the score in the third when freshman Jordan McNary tripled and Hannah Kiyohara’s grounder to second brought her home to make it a 2-2 game.
Bellarmine pulled back ahead in the home half of the third behind Shewmaker’s RBI double. Maddie Phillips connected on a one-out single and Shewmaker sent a hit to right center field to give the Knights a 3-2 lead.
The Cardinals answered in the top of the fourth when freshman Maryssa Becker reached on an error and took second Katie Keller’s hit an error allowed Morgan Meyer to reach and loaded the bases for pinch-hitter junior Brittany Duncan who delivered a blooper into right field to bring Becker and McDuffie home and put Louisville on top 4-3.
UofL tacked on an insurance run in the fifth when senior Maggie Ruckenbrod reached on an error and moved to third on Tiarra Sanabria’s double and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of freshman Maryssa Becker for the 5-3 final.
All four Cardinal pitchers combined in the effort. Sanabria started the game and allowed two earned runs on four hits and struck out three in 2.0 innings. Freshman Maryssa Becker gave up one earned run on three hits and fanned two in 2.0 innings. Senior Rachel LeCoq held the Knights scoreless and surrendered only one hit while striking out one in 2.0 innings and senior Caralisa Connell closed the game, giving up one hit and delivering a strikeout in the final inning of play.
Louisville 5 –Tennessee State 0
Brittany Duncan went 2 or 3 with a double and two RBI and Katie Keller hit a two-run homer to help lead the Cards to a 5-0 win over Tennessee State.
Louisville took a 2-0 lead in the third when junior Whitney Arion and freshman Jordan McNary reached on back-to-back bunt singles and came around to score on Duncan’s two-run double.
The Cards added another run in the sixth. Duncan drew a leadoff walk. After entering the game as a pinch runner, McNary stole second, took third on a wild pitch and came home on Brittany Sims’ sacrifice fly.
Keller’s two-run homer in the seventh capped the scoring. Freshman Kelsi Jones delivered a one-out doubles and Keller smashed a shot over the left field fence for the 5-0 final.
All four Cardinal pitchers combined on the shutout. Connell started the game and gave up two hits while striking out two in 2.0 innings. Becker entered delivered four Ks in 2.0 innings. LeCoq allowed one hit and struck out one in 2.0 innings of work and Sanabria did not allow a hit in the seventh.
Louisville is back in action next weekend against Ball State at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Wallace State at 1 p.m. Sunday at Bellarmine.