By Daniel Rankin

The University of Louisville Softball team had a successful weekend against ACC opponent North Carolina. 

With two weekend victories, the Cardinals move their record to 21-16 on the season and improve to 5-7 in ACC play. 

Game 1 – Fri., April. 8

A cold and rainy Friday night didn’t dampen the Cardinal offense in the series opener that saw the Cards win 9-4. 

UNC jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Senior Taylor Roby responded quickly, hitting a two-run homer into the nearby street. Ally Alexander continued the first inning by singling up the middle to score Vanessa Miller. Carmyn Greenwood brought both Alexander and Jenna Servi home by doubling to left field to extend the lead to 5-1. Greenwood capped off the big run by scoring on a sacrifice fly to finish the opening inning, 6-1. 

The Tarheels responded with three runs throughout the latter innings but failed to mount a serious comeback giving the Cardinals the 9-4 win. 

Game 2 – Sat., April. 9

The Tarheels were more prepared for the Louisville pitching staff in the second game of the series jumping out to an early 3-0 lead. Despite a two-run second inning by the Cards, North Carolina never surrendered the lead. 

Louisville was playing catchup for the entirety of the game and kept fighting until the very last out. Dylann Cravens hit a double in the seventh, scoring Roby and Korbe Otis to spark a possible late comeback. Miller continued the attempted comeback by scoring Cravens, but ultimately, the Cards fell short 9-5, sending the series to a critical final game. 

Game 3 – Sun., April. 10

In the rubber match of the series, the Cardinals were able to secure a vital win for their postseason hopes, beating the Tarheels, 5-2. 

The two teams were scoreless through the first two innings until Louisville put two runs up in the third innings. Smith continued her strong weekend by Servi on a ground ball up the middle. Otis caught the North Carolina defense off guard with a bunt allowing Carmyn Greenwood to score. 

In the fourth inning, the Cards put another three runs on the board before North Carolina finally got on the board with a two-run sixth. 

Solid pitching from Taylor Roby, who earned her 11th win of the season, shut down a possible comeback from UNC, giving the Cards the series victory. 

This was an important series for Louisville as they now have momentum going into their biggest game of the season. 

Next for the Cardinals is the big rivalry game against the No. 8 Kentucky Wildcats tomorrow at 6 pm at Ulmer Stadium. 

Photo by Daniel Rankin // The Louisville Cardinal