U of L softball continues mastery of UK

The University of Louisville scored a 5-1 victory over Kentucky in a matchup of top-20 softball programs on Wednesday evening at Ulmer Stadium. The Cardinals moved to 29-6 on the season before a crowd of 1,415 fans.

The University of Louisville continued its recent dominance of the University of Kentucky on the softball diamond on Wednesday night.

With sophomore Kayla Soles smacking a three-run home run in the second inning and Caralisa Connell pitching a two-hitter, the Cardinals tagged the Wildcats with a 5-1 loss before a crowd of 1,415 at Ulmer Stadium.

The win marked the fourth straight victory for U of L (29-6) in the series with UK and the 12th in the past 13 meetings between the two rivals.

"It's an exciting time to be a Louisville fan," U of L coach Sandy Pearsall said. "It's really important when we get the opportunity to play against them that we win. We don't get those RPI opportunities as much this time of the year.

"It was a nice win and a good effort by our kids."

The game pitted No. 11 U of L against the 20th ranked Wildcats and was played before the fourth-largest crowd in Ulmer Stadium history.

U of L has now won 19 of 21 games since March 1, including a split with No. 1 ranked Oklahoma several weeks ago in Norman, Okla. The Cardinals have been ranked No. 11 for several straight weeks in the polls.

"We came into the season knowing we had a huge X on our backs," Soles said. "Everyone wants to beat us and it comes with being ranked. As you can see not just us, but all of U of L athletics, you are successful but at the same time you can't forget what it goes back to. We have goals and we work towards those goals every day and we have end goals. We want to accomplish things never have before.

Soles gave the Cardinals the only runs they needed.

Taner Fowler was hit by a pitch and Hannah Kiyohara walked before Soles smashed her third home run of the season over the left-field fence.

"I hit low and inside pretty well," Soles said. "It was my favorite pitch. It was low and in. I had to get my hand around. It's always good to beat UK and always good to get on top but it was not just me, we didn't score just three runs it was team."

Alicia Wolney's triple played a run and Kiyohara singled to tack on another run in the fifth as the Cardinals extended the lead to 5-0.

Connell (19-2) had a no-hitter going until the sixth when she gave up two hits and a run to the Wildcats. She struck out four in seven innings.

U of L now leads the overall series with UK 18-13.

The Cardinals will play three games at St. John's this weekend before a Tuesday doubleheader at Providence. The Cardinals have just eight home games left until the Big East Tournament, which begins on May 9.

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