NOTRE DAME, Ind. - No. 1 seed Louisville earned a shutout victory over No. 8 Connecticut, winning 8-0 in five innings of Game 2 of the 2012 BIG EAST Softball Championship at Melissa Cook Stadium at the University of Notre Dame. The Cardinals will move onto the semifinals where they will face No. 5 seed DePaul at 4 p.m. on Friday.
Louisville first got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning, rounding the bases for two runs. Senior Kristin Austin and sophomore Katie Keller reached base on a single and a walk, respectively, and both came around to score.
Cardinal junior Alicja Wolny added to the lead in the bottom of the third when she sent the tournament's first home run over the centerfield fence to put Louisville up 3-0.
The Cards added five runs in the fifth to end the game on the league's eight-run rule. The action started with an RBI single by sophomore Taner Fowler and a bases-loaded walk to freshman Kayla Soles. Sophomore Maggie Ruckenbrod's single added two runs before an errant throw scored Soles to end the game.
Wolny went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBI for the Cardinals, while Fowler was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Louisville sophomore Caralisa Connell recorded the win, improving to 19-1 on the season, and Connecticut junior Kiki Saveriano (11-16) took the loss. Cardinal sophomore Chelsea Leonard pitched 1.2 innings of no-hit relief to pick up her NCAA-leading 11th save of the season.
With the win, the Cardinals improved to 51-3 on the year. The Huskies dropped to 21-27. Louisville has recorded at least one victory in the BIG EAST Championship every year it has been a member of the conference (since 2006).
The 2012 Softball Championship is an eight-team, single-elimination tournament. Results from all BIG EAST Softball Championship action can be found at the BIG EAST Championship Central page. All first and second round games will be streamed on BIGEAST.tv while the championship game will be televised live on ESPN2 on May 12 at 6 p.m.