LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Juniors Maggie Ruckenbrod and Hannah Kiyohara each had three hits and drove in two runs to help lead the No. 11 University of Louisville softball team to a 7-2 win over visiting Western Kentucky Tuesday evening at Ulmer Stadium. Louisville improves to 21-3 while Western Kentucky falls to 11-8 on the season.
“I thought our team came out swinging the bat aggressively against a very strong pitcher and I was really pleased to see that,” said U of L head coach Sandy Pearsall. “We have to continue maintaining that pressure throughout the game. I thought we started to cruise a little bit when we shouldn’t have, but we ended strong and got a complete game from Caralisa which is what we really needed today.”
Katie Keller got the home half of the first inning started with her seventh home run of the season, a leadoff shot over the left field fence. Alicja Wolny singled, moved around to third on Ruckenbrod’s base hit and came home on Kiyohara’s RBI single.
The Cards added a pair of runs in the third. Ruckenbrod drew a one-out walk and came around to score on Kiyohara’s two-out double to make the score 3-0. Whitney
Arion walked and Jennifer Esteban followed with an RBI single to bring Kiyohara home.
Keller led off the fourth with a triple to the right field fence and crossed the plate on Jordan Trimble’s sacrifice fly to increase the lead to 5-0.
The Hilltoppers got two runs back in the top of the fifth. Kelsie Mattox reached on a fielder’s choice and took second when an error allowed Mallorie Sulaski to reach. Jacqueline McGill’s RBI single sent Mattox home and Sulaski crossed the plate on a wild pitch to make the score 5-2.
Ruckenbrod’s third home run of the season gave the Cards a 7-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth. Wolny reached on a fielder’s choice and Ruckenbrod followed with a two-out home run over the left field fence.
Caralisa Connell (13-2) got the win, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits and striking out five in a complete game effort. Keller was 2 for 4 with a home run, a triple, two runs and an RBI.
Emily Rousseau (6-3) took the loss, allowing seven earned runs on 11 hits and striking out five in 6.0 innings of work. Metoyer, McGill and Shawna Sadler each had a hit for the Hilltoppers.
The Cardinals are back in action this weekend when they hold the Louisville Softball Classic. U of L will face No. 24 North Carolina at 3 p.m. and Eastern Michigan at 5 p.m. Friday. They will take on Wisconsin Sunday at 10 a.m. and Iowa Monday at 1:30 p.m.