The two teams were selected as the American Athletic Conference preseason favorites, making this weekend an important series in the league race. The pair are currently tied for second in AAC play, trailing UCF for the league lead.
The 10th-ranked Cardinals (24-8, 4-2) will face a Cougars (26-6, 4-2) squad that leads the nation with a 1.76 ERA.
"They have gawdy pitching numbers," U of L head coach Dan McDonnell said on Thursday. "They just don't give up any runs. They are good defensivley and they score enough to win, so that's why they're ranked 7th in the country. This is what you call tournament baseball, where you have to throw strikes, you have to make routine plays and you have to get a timely hit. Someone is going to have to get a two-out hit with runners in scoring position and more times than not, that one hit could be the difference in winning or losing a game."
"Funkhouser has settled in nice as the Friday night starter," McDonnell said. "We need for him to give us another inning or so and minimize his walks. Ruxer has been really consistent. Anthony had the one bad outing, but bounced back and given us the type of production that he flashed as a freshman."
The series begins on Friday evening with first pitch scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Saturday's contest will begin at 7:30 p.m., with the final game slated for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. All games can be heard 1570 WNDA.