By Sam Draut–

The U of L softball team hosted its final home game of the regular season against 11th-ranked Kentucky on Wednesday at Ulmer Stadium. Louisville allowed two unearned runs in the seventh inning and Kentucky rallied for a 2-1 win over their in-state rival.

Lightning strike: At approximately 7:45 p.m. lightning was seen near the Louisville area, forcing the game to be suspended for 30 minutes and the stands cleared of fans. The delay lasted 54 minutes. Before the delay, Louisville had runners on second and third with no outs, leading 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth.

After the delay, the Cardinals were unable plate either of the runners. Maryssa Becker returned to the circle in the top of the 7th inning and got the first out of the inning before Katie Reed reached base on a single. Sylver Samuel fouled out third baseman Hailey Smith for the second out, but Becker ran into trouble. Sidney Melton fielded a ground ball and tossed what would have been the game ending force play to second baseman Brittany Sims, but the senior infielder dropped the ball as she moved toward the bag. Then Abbey Cheek singled in Katie Reed for the game-tying run. Brooklin Hinz followed with a single up the middle to score Nikke Sagermann for the go-ahead run.

The circle: Maryssa Becker pitched a complete game, but dealt with runners on base throughout the night. She allowed 11 hits and 2 unearned runs while striking out six hitters. The junior’s record fell to 19-7 on the season. With only one run of support, Becker pitched well in a tight game, a good sign for coach Sandy Pearsall as a series against Notre Dame and Florida State loom ahead.

Double plays: Louisville’s infield flashed some leather in the early innings, turning consecutive double plays in the second and third frames. In the second inning, Cardinal first baseman Sarah Lopesilvero caught a line shot and stepped on first base to end the inning.

In the third inning, with runners on second and third with one out, shortstop Sidney Melton field a ground ball and checked the runner at third base before throwing to first for the first out. Kentucky runner Katie Reed left for home after Melton’s throw, but Lopesilvero quickly turned and threw to home. Jenna Jordan received the throw and made a nice tag for the final out of the inning.

Power trip: More known for speed, Jordan McNary hit a ball to deep right-centerfield that scored Brittany Sims to give the Cardinals a 1-0 lead. The triple in the second inning was McNary’s third extra base hit this season.

Swipe streak stunted: Louisville leadoff Sidney Melton reached first base on an infield single in the first inning and attempted to steal second base during Becker’s at-bat. Melton was thrown out, the first time she has been caught stealing this season. The sophomore had been a perfect 15 for 15 on stolen base attempts.

Photo by Sam Draut / The Louisville Cardinal