By Sam Draut–

The University of Louisville softball team opened the first of three games against Virginia Tech with a 12-3 win at Ulmer Stadium on Saturday. Maryssa Becker threw a complete game and Louisville’s bats exploded for nine runs in the fifth inning. Louisville (26-8 overall, 10-3 in the ACC) takes sole possession of second place in the ACC with the win, but will face Virginia Tech (20-18 overall, 9-4 in the ACC) in a doubleheader tomorrow.

Big inning: With the score tied 3-3 in the fifth inning, Becker roused up the Cardinals momentum when she struck out Caitlyn Nolan with the bases loaded in the top half of the inning. In the bottom half, Louisville loaded the bases and Nicole Pufahl drew a walk to give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead. Brittany Sims followed with a bases clearing triple. Then Louisville added two more runs on a throwing error by Virginia Tech third baseman Kelsey Mericka. Megan Hensley ended the game with a 3-run home run. The game ending blast was the freshman’s eleventh home-run of the year.

The circle: Becker pitched five innings, holding Virginia Tech to six hits and three runs (one earned). The junior improved to 14-5 on the season.

Table setter: After Maryssa Becker set down Virginia Tech in order in the top of the first inning, leadoff hitter Sidney Melton started the bottom half by reaching base on an error by shortstop Caitlyn Nolan. Melton went first to third on Becker’s single to left centerfield, and then scored on a fielder’s choice two batters later, giving Louisville a 1-0 lead.

In the third inning, Melton led off with a single, and Becker blasted a home-run to left-field to tie the score at 3-3.

Pickle: Virginia Tech scored its second run in the second inning on an error by first baseman Sarah Lopesilvero during a rundown between third and home. Becker fielded the ball hit by Chelsea Whitcomb and caught Kelsey Mericka off third base, beginning the pickle. A few throws ensued, but Mericka slid in safely to home as Lopesilvero bobbled the ball.

Photo by Wade Morgen / The Louisville Cardinal