By Matthew Keck —
It was another tough weekend for the University of Louisville softball team (7-12) in Oklahoma Feb. 28- March 1.
Their first game of the weekend was against the University of Illinois at Chicago (6-9) Feb. 28, ending in a five inning, 10-2 route.
The Cards kept things tied 1-1 through the top of the third inning, but the wheels fell off then. UIC scored three runs on the Cards in the top of the third and piled on seven more in the fourth and fifth inning.
Redshirt sophomore Taylor Roby was the starting pitcher for the Cards against UIC. She pitched three complete innings, giving up six hits, three runs and tallying two strikeouts.
Freshman Taja Felder and junior Paige Schindler came in after Roby and gave up a combined seven runs on six hits. Schindler struck out one UIC batter during her two innings in the circle.
On the offensive side, sophomore Cassady Greenwood was the only player to hit an RBI. She finished with two hits along with three other Cardinals.
The Cards dropped their second game of the evening to No. 15 Oklahoma State University (13-5), 3-0.
Junior Chardonnay Harris got her eighth start of the season but ended up with her sixth loss. She pitched all six innings against the Cowboys, giving up only five hits and three runs, along with striking out three batters.
All three of the Cowboys runs came in the third inning.
Seniors Celene Funke and Caitlin Ferguson were the only two Cards to connect at the plate and get on base with hits. Four runners were left on base against the Cowboys.
With a new day ahead of them, the Cards turned things around on day two against No. 10 University of Oregon (17-2). The Cards bested the Ducks 4-3 with the help of a couple runs in the seventh inning.
Going into the top of the third inning tied at 0, Funke kicked off the scoring for the Cards with a two-run home run to right field, putting them up 2-0. Having herself a big day at the plate, Funke came back in seventh inning with another RBI triple to tie the game 3-3.
Junior Maddy Newman kept the offense going and got herself an RBI, knocking in Funke, which would also be the winning run.
Seven players finished with hits off the Ducks, but as a team, the Cards had 13 strikeouts in total.
Roby made her second start of the weekend, pitching four and two thirds innings. She struck out two batters, but gave up five hits and the only three runs for the Ducks.
Harris was back in the circle for the remainder of the game, picking up her third win of the season. In two and one thirds innings she tallied three strikeouts and only gave up two hits.
The Cards couldn’t keep their momentum from the first game, taking another loss to OSU, 1-2, in eight innings.
The Cowboys jumped out on top 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning with an RBI double off Roby. But the Cards answered back in the top of the sixth, tying things at 1-1.
Felder came in as a pinch hitter and doubled to right center, scoring U of L’s only run of the night. While the rest of the team had five hits, they left six runners stranded on base.
Roby pitched the entire game for the Cards and got her sixth loss of the season. She struck out five batters on the night and only gave up three hits and two runs.
The Cowboys hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth to get the victory over the Cards.
For their last game of the weekend, the Cards made a short trip to Tulsa, Okla., to take on the University of Tulsa (11-8) March 1. They ended their weekend with a 3-2 win over the Cane’s in eight innings.
Redshirt junior Carmyn Greenwood put the Cards up 1-0 in the top of the first with a solo home run to left field. Holding onto the lead until the fourth inning, Funke drove in another run with an RBI single to put U of L up 2-0.
It would stay tied 2-2 at the end of the seventh, forcing the game to go into extra innings. But Roby came up big for the Cards with a solo home run in the eighth that would be the winning run.
In addition to hitting the winning home run, Roby picked up her fourth win of the season, making her record 4-6. She was in the circle for three innings, only giving up three hits and one run.
Harris was the starter for the Cards, staying in the game through five innings. She struck out two batters and only gave up three hits and one run as well.
As a team, U of L finished the day with nine hits and only three strikeouts. They did leave eight runners on base, showing one of their weaknesses again.
Although coming away with a losing record on the weekend, 2-3, the Cards showed that when they can get their bats hot they’re a team to be reckoned with.
Their next matchup is their home opener against University of Illinois March 6 at 12:15 p.m., at Ulmer Stadium.
Photo Courtesy of University of Louisville Athletics