The University of Louisville softball team will play host to in-state rival No. 21/22 Kentucky in a midweek matchup Wednesday at Ulmer Stadium. Fans are encouraged to wear red in the annual Battle of the Bluegrass. Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the gate or by calling 502-GO-CARDS.
The game will be televised on ACC Network Extra with Don Russell handling play-by-play duties and Daryl Foust providing analysis.
Game Day Information
Date: April 12, 2017
Location: Louisville, Ky.
Venue: Ulmer Stadium
Promotions: Red Out
Television: ACC Network Extra
Live Scoring: GoCards.com
Twitter Updates: @UofLSoftball
The Cardinals will take a break from ACC play with a midweek matchup against in-state rival No. 20 Kentucky Wednesday at 6 p.m.
• Louisville brings a 22-12 record into Wednesday’s game after posting a 1-2 showing at Boston College last weekend.
• Junior Nicole Pufahl leads the team with a .394 batting average, six home runs, 34 RBIs and 22 runs. The centerfielder also leads the Cards in multi-hit games (12) and multi-RBI games (9) and has reached via a walk or hit in the last eight games.
• Senior Maryssa Becker (17-7) paces the Cards in the circle with a 1.97 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 153.0 innings of work and is holding opponents to a .233 batting average.
• Senior Jordan McNary has reached base via a hit, a walk in 18 of her last 20 games and is a perfect 9-for-9 in stolen bases.
• UofL is currently fifth in ACC standings with a 6-4 league record. No. 1/2 Florida State (38-1-1, 18-0) stands first in the league with Boston College (23-13, 8-3) currently in second with NC State (14-25, 8-4) and North Carolina (31-11, 10-5) in third and fourth place respectively.
• Sandy Pearsall enters her 18th season as UofL’s head coach. After building the program from scratch in 2000, Pearsall has guided the Cardinals to six conference championships. Under her watch, Louisville has made 13 consecutive NCAA regional appearances and served as a host site in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Cards Against Kentucky
Series Record: Louisville leads 19-18
Last Meeting: April 27, 2016 – Kentucky won 2-1 at Ulmer Stadium in the only meeting between the two teams last season. The April 6, 2016 matchup scheduled in Lexington, Ky. was cancelled due to weather.
• Maryssa Becker took the loss after allowing two unearned runs on 11 hits and striking out six in a complete game effort. Becker kept the Wildcats scoreless through six innings before a 54-minute lightning delay in the bottom of the sixth inning. Kentucky then scored both runs in the seventh.
• Kelsey Nunley got the win in a complete game effort. She surrendered one earned run on four hits and struck out seven. Abbey Cheek and Katie Reed each tallied three hits in the game to lead the Wildcats offensively.
• Megan Hensley went 2 -or-3 to pace the Cards at the plate.
Scouting the Wildcats: Kentucky enters the weekend with a 24-11 overall record prior to a Tuesday matchup against Marshall. The Wildcats stand seventh in the SEC with 5-7 mark.
• The Wildcats were swept in a three game weekend series against Tennessee with scores of 9-0, 5-2, and 9-4, respectively.
• Kentucky is led offensively by Bailey Vick who carries a .357 batting average with a team-best seven doubles hits. Abbey Cheek follows at .347 and leads the team with seven homeruns and 26 RBIs, while Katie Reed leads in hits (41).
• Meagan Prince (11-6) leads the Wildcats in the circle with a 1.52 ERA with 113 strikeouts in 105.2 innings and has logged four saves.
The Cards will resume ACC play with a road trip to Blacksburg, Va., for a three-game series at Virginia Tech.
Louisville defeated host Boston College 5-3 in game one, but the Eagles went on to win the next two games 6-2 and 3-1 to claim the series.
Louisville 5 – Boston College 3
• Senior Morgan Meyer went 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI to help lead the University of Louisville softball team to a 5-3 win over host Boston College in game one of an ACC series Friday evening at BC’s Shea Field.
• Becker picked up the win, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits and striking out two in seven innings.
• Dreswick took the loss, allowing five unearned runs on five hits and striking out four in four innings. Weed had a double and two RBIs to lead the Eagles at the plate.
Boston College 6- Louisville 2
Boston College evened the series with a 6-2 win in game two.
• Megan Hensley took the loss, allowing six earned runs on eight hits and striking out three in 5.1 innings. Pufahl was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI while freshman Caitlin Ferguson also had two hits to help pace the Cards offensively.
•Jessica Dreswick got the win after allowing two earned runs on eight hits and striking out three in a complete game effort. Sharabba led the Eagles at the plate going 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI.
Boston College 3 – Louisville 1
Senior Jordan McNary went 2-for-3 with an RBI, but a sixth-inning home run by Jordan Chimento lifted host Boston College to a 3-1 win in the rubber game of an ACC series Sunday afternoon.
•Becker took the loss after giving up three earned runs on six hits and striking out two in six innings.
•Dreswick picked up the win after surrendering one unearned run on four hits and striking out five in a complete game effort. Chimento led the Eagles offensively with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate and drove in all three runs.
Hitting for average
In the current starting lineup, four players are batting above .300 on the season. Junior Nicole Pufahl recently took over as the team’s leading hitter with a .394 average. Senior Jordan McNary follows at .351 with freshman Caitlin Ferguson stands third at .346 and junior Jamie Soles rounds out the top hitters at .323.
• Before suffering a season-ending injury in the Feb. 25 game against California, junior shortstop Sidney Melton carried a .364 batting average.
Ferguson Takes Over
Caitlin Ferguson stepped into the role of Louisville’s starting shortstop and leadoff hitter following junior Sidney Melton’s season-ending injury in late February. Since that time, the freshman has settled into the role and is one of the top hitters on the team with a .346 average, seven doubles, 17 runs and 17 RBIs. She is second on the team with five multi-RBI games and stands third with nine multi-hit performances.
Pufahl’s Time to Shine
Junior centerfielder Nicole Pufahl leads the Cardinals in most offensive categories while in the midst of a career-best season. The three-year starter carries a .394 batting average and a .667 slugging percentage with six home runs, seven doubles, 34 RBIs and 22 runs. She also has tallied a team-best 12 multi-hit performances and and nine multi-RBI games.
Becker Ties School Record with Twelfth Career Save
On March 18, Maryssa Becker entered the game in relief in the seventh inning during game two of Louisville’s ACC series with Pitt. The Cards were leading 5-1, but the Panthers had the bases loaded with no outs in the inning with the tying run at the plate. After surrendering a run on a groundout, Becker proceeded to strike out the next two batters to pick up her school-record tying 12th career save.
• Becker is currently tied with Chelsea Leonard (2010-12) and Catherine Bishop (2004-07) and needs one more save to own the record outright.
Becker Sets Single Game RBI Mark
In the Cards’ 13-2 win over CSU Bakersfield on Feb. 10, Maryssa Becker connected on an RBI single, a three-run homer and a grand slam, producing eight RBIs and setting a school record. She surpassed the previous record (7) held by Katie Keller (twice in 2013) and Melissa Jacobo (2002).
Becker Earns 50th Career Win, Notches 500th Strikeout
On Feb. 12, senior Maryssa Becker tossed a two-hit, complete game shutout to help the Cardinals to a 1-0 win over Indiana State. The victory marked the 50th of Becker’s career and moved her to sixth on Louisville’s all-time list. She currently has 64 wins and needs one more to move into a tie for fifth along with Jessica Rak (2000-03). Kristen Wadwell (2007-10) owns the record with 94 victories.
• In the Feb. 24 game against California, Becker registered her 500th career strikeout. She becomes only the sixth player in program history to earn at least 500 career Ks. Becker has 585 strikeouts and stands fourth on the all-time list, needing five more to move into a tie for third with former All-American Tori Collins (2009-12). Kristen Wadwell (2007-10) holds the all-time record with 696.
The Cardinals’ roster featured nine (of 19) players from the commonwealth of Kentucky. Caitlin Ferguson (Fr., INF, Versailles, Ky./Woodford County), Lillie Goetz (So., INF, Owensboro/Owensboro Catholic), Shelby Graybill (Fr., INF/C, Ft. Thomas, Ky./Highlands), Megan Hensley (So., P/UT, Ashland/Paul Blazer), Jordan McNary (Sr., OF, Madisonville/Hopkins County Central), Morgan Meyer (Sr., OF, Louisville/Mercy), Ashley Nikolao (Jr., UT, Flaherty/Meade County), Michala Riggle (So., C/1B, Louisville/Christian Educational Consortium), Jordan Vorbrink (So., OF, Louisville/Mercy).
Senior Maryssa Becker is ranked among the top 10 in several career categories at Louisville. The following is a list of milestones she will reach in the near future:
• Needs 1 save to own the record for career saves (12)
• Fourth in career strikeouts (585) needs five more to tie for third.
• Currently sixth on Louisville’s career list for shutouts (16); needs five more to tie for fifth.
• Sixth on the list for career wins (64), needs one more to tie for fifth
• Tied for fifth on Louisville’s all-time list with 145 career RBIs… needs 20 more to move into a tie for fourth.
• Sixth with 98 walks, needs three more to tie for fifth.
• Ninth with 26 home runs – needs one more to tie for eighth
Two of Louisville’s top offensive threats also double as the Cards’ Nos. 1 and 2 pitchers. Senior Maryssa Becker is second on the team with four home runs and is second with 21 RBIs. Sophomore Megan Hensley has six doubles and two homers and has driven in 17.
• In the circle, Becker (17-7) carries a 1.97 ERA with 122 strikeouts in 153.0 innings of work and is holding opponents to a .233 batting average with three shutouts on the season, while Hensley (5-5) has a 2.82 ERA and 38Ks in 62.0 innings.
• The duo is picking up where it left off last season. Listed below are their accomplishments in 2016.
• Becker led the team with 16 multi-RBI games and 15 multi-hit games. Hensley was right behind her with 14 and 15 respectively.
• The two combined for 23 of Louisville’s 37 home runs and 112 of its 281 RBIs.
• Becker was a 2016 All-ACC first team selection while Hensley earned second team honors.
• Hensley earned NFCA All-Southeast Region third team honors.
Becker Named Senior CLASS Award Candidate
Maryssa Becker was selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate softball.
• Becker, a senior pitcher from Medford, Ore., is a four-year starter who has been among the Cardinals’ pitching and offensive leaders throughout her career. She is a two-time All-ACC first team and 2016 ACC Softball Championship All-Tournament Team selection and was named to American Athletic Conference second team her freshman season. In 2014, she became Louisville’s first freshman National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region selection and was a top 25 finalist for NFCA Freshman of the Year.
• In 2016, Becker set a school single-season record for runs batted in with 60, is ranked among Louisville’s top 10 in career RBIs and home runs. She also stands in the top 10 of nearly every career pitching category at UofL.
• The chemistry major was named the 2016 ACC Softball Scholar Athlete of the Year is a two-time ACC All-Academic selection. She earned American Athletic Conference All-Academic honors in 2015 and has been named to UofL’s Athletic Director’s honor roll (3.0 semester GPA) in each of her semesters. She also is a two-time Dean’s List member.
•Becker becomes Louisville softball’s third Senior CLASS Award candidate following Katie Keller who was a top 10 selection in 2014 and Kristi Cunningham who earned the honor in 2009.
• The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists later in the season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
The Road Ahead
The Cardinals are in the midst of a challenging 2017 schedule which features seven opponents currently ranked in the top 25 including No. 1/2 Florida State and No. 2/1 Arizona as well as 2016 national champion Oklahoma.
Assistant Sports Information Director
University of Louisville Athletics