Louisville softball tops rival Kentucky 3-2, advances to NCAA regional final

By Baylee Pulliam–

Louisville softball advances to the NCAA Louisville Regional final Sunday, after a 3-2 victory over in-state rival Kentucky.

“UK was going to end our season or we were going to end their season. So we weren’t going to let that happen to us,” said Cards’ lefty pitcher Tori Collins. “We’ve had their number all year and we knew we could do it.”

Louisville came out swinging, racking up three runs in the top of the first. Alcija Wolny’s scoreboard-seeking missile was the highlight of the inning, earning the junior first baseman her tenth homer of the season.

After an early start for the Cards, both teams went scoreless through the top of the fifth.

With two outs on the board in the bottom of the fifth, Kentucky’s freshman catcher Griffin Joiner sunk one deep in center field, bringing home two runs for the Cats.

Louisville’s defense ran out the clock. Pitcher Chelsea Leonard snagged two pop-ups to close the sixth – redemption for a string of sour pitches that contributed to a 2-1 loss to Michigan in the regional second round.

I had a very calm sense about me and I thought we would get the out,” Leonard said.

Final box score: 3-2, Louisville.

Louisville will face Michigan in the final tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Ulmer Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.

File photo from season play by Eric Voet.

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