Louisville Earns Non-Conference Win Over Softball Tuesday
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Louisville sophomore pitcher Maryssa Becker tossed a complete-game one-hitter in the circle and posted three runs batted in at the plate, leading the Cardinals to an 8-0, six-inning victory over No. 17 Kentucky on Tuesday in a midweek non-conference battle at John Cropp Stadium.
Kentucky returns to action Wednesday at 6 p.m. ET against WKU at John Cropp Stadium. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network+ through WatchESPN with Dave "Buzz" Baker and former Michigan assistant coach, Purdue head coach and UofL associate head coach Carol Bruggeman on the call. Wednesday's game is the annual Staff Appreciation Day as UK Athletics staff and their families receive free admission and food with the annual UK Staff Home Run Derby to follow the game.
Tickets for Wednesday are available and are $5 for adults, $2 for seniors (ages 65 or older) and youth (ages 6-18), while children ages five and under will be admitted free of charge. Tickets are available by calling the UK Ticket Office at 1-800-928-2287, in person at the Joe Craft Center Ticket Office or online at www.ukathletics.com/tickets. Tickets will be sold -- cash only -- on game days at the ticket booths outside John Cropp Stadium with gates opening one hour prior to first pitch.
The loss over the in-state rivals is the first in the series for Kentucky since 2013 when the Cardinals defeated the Wildcats in Louisville, 5-1. The win for Louisville (25-14), which snaps Kentucky's program-record four-game winning streak in the series, was its first over UK in the three-year history of John Cropp Stadium.
Becker was the overall star for the Cardinals, going the distance in the circle with six innings pitched and no runs allowed on just one hit and eight strikeouts. At the plate, Becker went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run and RBI single. Junior third baseman Hailey Smith was 1-for-3 in the game with a single and run scored, while senior outfielder Kelsi Jones hit a three-run double in the fifth inning to blow open the game and all but clinch the win for the Cardinals.
Kentucky (28-17) started Shannon Smith in the circle with the sophomore going two innings to start the game with two earned runs allowed on two hits with four strikeouts. She was replaced to start the third inning by sophomore Meagan Prince, who tossed 1.2 innings with two runs scored on four hits with no strikeouts. Freshman pitcher Erin Rethlake came on to get the final out of the fourth inning and allowed three earned runs in the fifth inning before Smith reentered and allowed an unearned run in the sixth inning.
Offensively, the Wildcats only recorded one hit in the game, getting a leadoff single from junior Nikki Sagermann before Becker retired 18 of the next 20 batters she faced to pick up her 11th win of the season.
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Wednesday, April 22
WKU vs. Kentucky -- 6 p.m. ET -- Live Stats -- SEC Network+