--By Jared Anderson
--Photos by Jared Anderson
Louisville softball opened their home season at Ulmer Stadium in the Cardinal Classic this weekend. Due to poor weather conditions the schedule was altered to just Friday and Saturday. The Cards were not phased as they went 4-0 on the weekend.
Friday, March 1
Louisville 7, Indiana State 1
Game one started at 10:30 a.m., and saw wind chills below freezing. The Cards didn't warm up until the sixth inning, where a six-run inning became the difference in the game.
The Sycamores scored their only run in the first after loading the bases with a pair of hits and a walk. Megan Hensley hit a batter to send a run home, but worked out of the jam after. The Cards put together a couple hits in the second to even the score. Aggressive base running forced throwing errors in the sixth along with some well-timed hits broke open the game and the Cards never looked back.
Hensley (2-1) worked through four innings and one run for the win. Taylor Roby closed out the final three innings for her first save on the season.
Louisville 5, Missouri 3
The Tigers came into the weekend ranked 26th in the RPI and the Cards rallied late to pull off the upset. All of Louisville's runs came in the back half of the game.
Missouri raced out to a 3-0 lead off of infield hits and a dropped fly ball in the outfield in the second inning. The Cards answered with two runs in the fourth highlighted by Caitlin Ferguson's triple. Rebecca Chung launched a home run to the top of the ledge in right center to give Louisville a lead in the sixth and a base hit up the middle added a safety net.
Danielle Watson (4-4) threw a full game and limited Mizzou to five hits and three runs on the game.
Saturday, March 2
Louisville 3, Indiana State 0
In a rematch from the first game, the Cards went on to take the second game as well.
Similar to their first two games, Louisville took some time to get going on offense, scoring all of their runs in the fourth inning. Ferguson hit a two-run shot to left field, which would have gone into the street had their not been a net up, and Kyra Snyder doubled later in the inning to drive in the other run.
Taylor Roby (4-1) pitched a full game that featured only five Indiana State players reaching base.
Louisville 3, IUPUI 0
The final game of the Cardinal Classic featured the hosts against the Jaguars. Louisville won a second straight shutout victory.
Maddy Newman hit a sac fly for the first run of the game in the second inning and the speedy Sidney Melton beat out a throw to first to drive in a run a few batters later for an early lead. Hensley's hit to left field in the top of the seventh drove in Celene Funke, who had previously doubled to get into scoring position.
Hensley (3-1) surrendered three hits and a walk in a full game pitched.
The weekend puts the Cards at 11-6 on the year. They host Lipscomb on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., before heading to Auburn for the War Eagle Challenge over the weekend.