Raleigh, N.C.- Playing in the North Carolina heat proved to be no trouble for the Louisville Cardinals, who faced Syracuse in the first round of the ACC softball tournament. Coming from rainy Louisville to a sunny Raleigh, in which the field had to be watered before gameplay, seemed to have no effect.
The Cards defeated the Orange in a 1-0 game, the third shutout of the tournament in as many games. Florida State easily overwhelmed Pittsburgh and North Carolina came out on top of Boston College.
Starting pitcher Megan Hensley went 4 2/3 innings and only allowed a total of five hits. With a couple of runners threatening to score in the fifth Coach Sandy Pearsall brought in her top pitcher Maryssa Becker. Becker got out of the inning and did not allow a hit during her short time on the mound.
On the offensive end of things UofL was not bad. Making contact from the get-go off of Jordan McNary’s leadoff double, the Cards connected with many pitches. However, many of the hits went straight to a Syracuse defender for an out. It was not until the bottom of the fifth after Jenna Jordan’s leadoff single and another single by Sidney Melton right after that the Cards had a good shot at putting up a run. Brittany Sims got on base by fielder’s choice, but after a Syracuse throwing error Jordan raced home to cross the plate.
Louisville had an abundance of tough plays on defense to keep the shutout. Morgan Meyer had a diving catch in right field to help highlight the plays. Sims snagged multiple hard hit ground balls to get the out at first. The Cards did not have a single error during the game, but capitalized on the lone error by the Orange.
Louisville will play the winner of Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, which had a weather delay and resumes at 10:30 a.m., at 3:30 p.m. On the other side of the bracket 1-seed Florida State faces 5-seed North Carolina. All games can be viewed on ESPN3 or Fox Sports South.