Freshman Kyra Snyder went 4 for 5 with a double and three RBIs to help lead the University of Louisville softball team to a 9-7 win against Illinois in the final game of UCF’s Friends of Jaclyn Invitational Sunday morning. The Cardinals finish their opening weekend with a 4-1 overall record.

In a game that featured a total 24 hits and five combined errors between the two teams, the Cardinals built a 7-2 lead only to see the Illini chip away and then tie the game in the sixth. For the second time in as many days, Louisville put together a late-inning rally to secure the win.

Freshman Danielle Watson collected her third win of the young season after surrendering three unearned runs and striking out three in 3.0 innings of relief.

The Cards jumped to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first when freshman Kyra Snyder delivered a one-out hit and moved to second when senior Jenna Jordan reached on an error. An RBI single by junior Blaire Bass plated Snyder and senior Nicole Pufahl followed with a two-run triple.

The Illini (1-4) got two runs back in the bottom of the first when Acosta singled, moved to third on Rowan McGuire’s base hit. Both runners scored on Stephanie Abello’s double to cut the lead to one run.

Louisville answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second behind Snyder’s two-run double. Senior Jamie Soles opened the frame with a hit and junior Sidney Melton reached in an error to set up Snyder whose double to centerfield pushed the Cardinals’ lead to 5-2.

The score held until the fifth when Pufahl and senior Alison Szydlowski delivered back-to-back hits to start the inning and junior Megan Hensley followed with an RBI single. A wild pitch sent Szydlowski home to give the Cards a 7-2 advantage.

A two-run fifth inning narrowed the gap for Illinois with RBI hits by Katie Giddens and Alexis Carrillo to bring the score to 7-4.

The Illini momentum continued in the sixth when they capitalized on two errors along with Carrillo’s two-run single to chalk up three unearned runs, tying the game at 7-7.

The Cardinals countered in the seventh when Hensley led off with a base hit and was safe at second when Soles reached on a fielder’s choice. Sophomore Celene Funke beat the throw on an infield single to load the bases. An error allowed Ferguson to reach and plated pinch-runner freshman Maddy Newman. Snyder’s RBI single plated Funke to put Louisville back on top 9-7.

In the bottom of the seventh, a two-out base hit by Abello brought the tying run to the plate, but Watson delivered her third strikeout of the game to shut the door.

Emily Oestreich (1-2) took the loss after giving up seven runs, four earned, on nine hits and striking out two in 2.2 innings. Carrillo went 2 for 3 with three RBIs to lead the Illini offensively. Acosta and Abello also tallied two hits apiece.

The Cardinals belted out a season-high 16 hits with Snyder’s 4 for 5 performance leading the way. Hensley went 3 for 4 with an RBI. Pufahl went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and one run while Bass was 2 for 5 with an RBI and a run.

“This was a great win today,” said UofL head coach Sandy Pearsall. “Again, we had our backs against the wall, but what I really like is how this team responds. When they tied it up, we came back out and immediately scored. That’s what I like about this team is their fight. They did a great job of executing in that last inning. We had some pitching mistakes and some defensive errors to let Illinois back into the game and we can’t continue to let that happen.”

Lori Korte
Assistant Sports Information Director
University of Louisville Athletics

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