Raleigh, N.C.- After a successful regular season the Louisville softball team is gearing up for the ACC tournament. As the 2-seed the Cards should find themselves in the championship game against 1-seed Florida State, but the road is not simple.
First up for the Cards is 7-seed Syracuse. In the regular season series between the teams UofL won 2-1 at Ulmer Stadium. The lone win by the Orange was a shutout victory. During that game Louisville had difficulty hitting the ball and reaching base, but also committed numerous fielding errors. In the two victories the Cards could not manage to put up more than four runs. Syracuse is not an offensive powerhouse, but can put up a couple runs. As long as UofL manages a few runs then they should come out on top.
If the Cards get passed the first round they will play the winner of 6-seed Virginia Tech and 3-seed Notre Dame. Louisville went 2-1 versus Virginia Tech, outscoring the Hokies 14-8 in the three games. Errors and poor batting were the cause of the only loss. When facing Notre Dame up in South Bend, Ind., UofL split the series 1-1. Surprisingly, the Cards were well prepared for the Irish. After falling in the first game off of a walk off the Cards turned around to win 8-3. If Louisville faces Virginia Tech then expect a win. If Louisville finds themselves against Notre Dame then expect a dog fight. The Irish were .650 in the ACC, falling behind the .652 of Louisville. The teams have a solid match up and could sway either way.
In the event Louisville finds themselves in the championship then they will more than likely find themselves facing Florida State. The Seminoles had two conference losses all season, with one being to the Cards in Tallahassee. Florida State mercy ruled the Cards in the second game of the series and won a nail biter in the rubber match 4-3. This game will surely be in the favor of the offensive juggernaut of Florida State, but having defeated the Seminoles once this season it would not be surprising if the Cards do it again.
Keys to the tournament for the Cards: -Hitting the ball into the gaps in the opposing defense -Minimize the number of errors committed in the field -Pitchers Maryssa Becker and Megan Hensley must be in top of their game
The tournament is winnable for the Cards. The potential is there and time and time again this season Louisville has managed to live up to it. With the help of an all star lineup coaching staff there could be a new championship trophy back at Louisville soon.