May 22, 2010
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Despite fireworks late that saw each team post four runs during the seventh inning, Louisville (41-18) held on for a 7-4 victory on Saturday night in NCAA Knoxville Regional action to eliminate Virginia (34-23) from its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history.
The Cardinals now advance on to "Regional Championship Sunday" where UL will battle Tennessee (44-13) at 1 p.m. ET. Louisville would need to win that game and the "if necessary" match-up at 3:30 p.m. ET in order to keep the Lady Vols from next weekend's NCAA Super Regionals.
UL shortstop Colby Wherry led the Cardinal offense by going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs, while second baseman Jordan Trimble was 2-for-4 at the dish with two RBIs, two steals and a stolen base. For Virginia first baseman Lauren McCaskey registered a 2-for-3 performance with a double, triple and an RBI during the losing effort.
Louisville starter Kristen Wadwell improved to 19-11 on the season, allowing two earned runs on seven hits from the circle with three walks and three K's in a complete game triumph. Melanie Mitchell took the defeat for the Cavaliers after permitting seven earned runs on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts over 7.0 frames of work.
The Cardinals wasted little time jumping in front on the scoreboard, putting up a two-spot in the top of the first on a two-RBI double by Wherry.
Another Wherry two-bagger and an RBI single up the middle from left fielder Jennifer Esteban pushed the UL advantage to 3-0 in the top of the fourth.
It wasn't until the seventh frame that things got really wild from an offensive standpoint as both squads posted four runs in the inning.
An Esteban single to left christened Louisville's half of the seventh as the Cardinals put together a scoring outburst that ended up being absolutely vital as far as insurance runs go. That opening hit set in motion a series of events that led to a two-RBI base knock from Trimble, an RBI groundout off the bat of third baseman Chelsea Bemis and a run that scored via a single from Wherry and an error on Virginia center fielder Giannina Cipolloni.
With Louisville up 7-0 entering the Cavaliers final opportunity in the bottom of the seventh, the game seemed easily in hand. UVA wouldn't go down without a fight, however, as Virginia strung together four runs on four hits with the assistance of a couple of UL miscues. A single from second baseman Alex Skinkis plated a pair, McCaskey doubled in a run down the left field line and right fielder Sarah Tacke singled in a tally on the infield. Having cut the deficit to 7-4, Cipolloni stepped into the batter's box with a runner on first, looking to extend the contest. She grounded out sharply to third base, however, as Louisville's Bemis made an outstanding play and tossed across the diamond to conclude the match-up.