Tallahassee, Fla. - Faced with the task of going up against No. 5 Florida State on their senior day was not an easy one for the Louisville softball team. The Seminoles have one of the highest-powered offense and one of the stingiest defenses in the country.
Saturday was a double header between the two teams where UofL claimed the first game 4-0 before losing in the second game 9-0. The rubber match was held on Sunday, Mother's Day, where the Florida State seniors were honored. FSU walked away with a 4-3 victory to take the series.
In game one, freshman Megan Hensley (15-4) took the win in a complete game shutout. Junior Maryssa Becker got the Cardinals started in the third inning with a solo home run, her eighth of the season. Later that inning, junior Morgan Meyer hit a two-run single that scored sophomores Nicole Pufahl and Jenna Jordan. The Seminoles threatened in the fourth inning with a runner on third, but failed to score. In the seventh, Hensley knocked in sophomore Sidney Melton.
In game two, Florida State took revenge. With a quick run in the bottom of the first they never trailed. Three more runs in the third inning and five more in the fifth inning gave the Seminoles a 9-0 lead. Junior Maryssa Becker (19-10) took the loss after giving up nine runs on nine hits. The Cards registered three defensive errors. The only hits of the game for the Cards came from sophomore Jordan McNary, Maryssa Becker, and Morgan Meyer.
In hopes of leaving Tallahassee with a series win the Cards were quick to put a run on the board in the first inning when Jordan McNary had a leadoff triple and scored on Megan Hensley's fielder's choice. FSU fought back in the third with a pair of runs and a 2-1 lead. Morgan Meyer hit a bloop double in the fourth to score Jenna Jordan. The next inning Sidney Melton hit a leadoff triple and scored when Hailey Smith hit a ball to the outfield to take a 3-2 lead over the host Seminoles. Florida State answered in the bottom of the inning with two runs when the Florida State runner was ruled safe at the plate. UofL was close to tying the score in the sixth, but left a couple runners on base before not producing any runs in the final inning to fall on the road. Becker took the loss.
The Cardinals were impressive, holding Florida State to zero runs in the first game and four in the third game. FSU scored nine in the second game, but failed to hit the double-digit mark in any of the games this series. The bats were hot for UofL in the first and third games, scoring four and three respectively. Five defensive errors, three of them in the second game and two in the third, were the killer for Louisville, which has struggled all season in this category.
By claiming one victory over Florida State it was enough to earn the Cardinals a second place finish in the ACC with a conference winning percentage of .652. Florida State took the regular season championship with a .913 after posting a 21-2 conference record. Notre Dame took third place at 13-7 and a .650 winning percentage. UofL and Notre Dame split their games at one apiece.
#2 Louisville will face #7 Syracuse in the first round of the ACC tournament on Thursday, May 12, in Raleigh. The game is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Tickets for this event can be purchased through the ACC, where the tournament schedule is also posted, at http://www.theacc.com/page/championship_w-softbl or through the GoCards website.