May 22, 2010

Courtesy of Louisville Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Junior shortstop Colby Wherry went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI to help lead the University of Louisville softball team to a 7-4 win over Virginia in an NCAA Knoxville regional elimination game. The Cardinals (41-18) will face host Tennessee (44-13) Sunday at 1 p.m. Virginia concludes its season at 34-23.

"We made some adjustments in our offense and we were able to do what we needed to do today," said U of L head coach Sandy Pearsall. "I thought Kristen Wadwell threw a great game, I'm very happy with our effort today."

The Cardinals avenged Friday's first round 1-0 loss to the Cavaliers in which they only mustered four hits while stranding 10 runners. After beating Ball State 5-1 in the first elimination game of the day, Louisville outhit UVA 9-7 in the second elimination game to advance to the regional final. Tennessee defeated Virginia 11-2 in the winner's bracket to reach Sunday's game of the double elimination format.

The Cards struck early with two runs in the top of the first when Jordan Trimble delivered a two-out single and stole second. Chelsea Bemis followed with a walk to set up Colby Wherry's two-run double.

Louisville added another run in the fourth when Wherry led off with a double. Pinch runner Megan Bivins moved to third on Katelynn Mann's sacrifice bunt and scored on Jennifer Esteban's RBI single to make it a 3-0 game.

The Cavaliers had a chance to score in the bottom of the fifth when Taylor Williams delivered a two-out single, Alex Skinkis was hit by a pitch and Lauren McCaskey walked to load the bases. Louisville starter Kristen Wadwell got Nicole Koren to ground out to third baseman Chelsea Bemis to end the inning.

The Cardinals used four hits to put up a four spot in the top of the seventh. Esteban led off with a single, took second on James' groundout and third on a wild pitch. Austin walked and stole second and Roth was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Trimble's two-run double. Bemis' groundout plated Roth. Wherry's RBI hit scored Trimble to make it a 7-0 game.

Virginia put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh when Abby Snyder singled and took second when Williams reached on an error. Both runners advanced on passed balls and scored on Skinkis' single. McCaskey doubled down the left field line to make it a 7-3 game with one out. Wadwell struck Koren out, but Sarah Tacke followed with an RBI single to pull the Cavaliers within three runs. Wadwell retired Giannina Cipolloni to end the game.

Wadwell (19-11) went the distance in win, allowing four runs, two earned, on seven hits and striking out three. In addition to Wherry's three-hit performance, Trimble went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI and Esteban was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI in the game.

Virginia's Melanie Mitchell (27-18) took the loss, allowing seven earned runs on nine hit and striking out two. McCaskey was 2-for-3 to lead the Cavaliers.