NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Freshman Kayla Soles hit a two-out, two-RBI double to give No. 1 Louisville a 2-0 victory over No. 5 DePaul in the first semifinal of the 2012 BIG EAST Softball Championship at Melissa Cook Stadium on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. The Cardinals advance to their third-straight championship game and will play at 6 p.m. on Saturday against the winner of No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 6 St. John's. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.
The Cardinals broke through for the game's only runs in the top of the fourth inning. Sophomores Jordan Trimble and Maggie Ruckenbrod put runners on the corners with back-to-back singles. Soles connected on a liner to the centerfield fence, her only hit of the tournament thus far, for an RBI double that cleared the bases and put Louisville ahead 2-0.
DePaul threatened the UofL lead in the sixth, twice putting batters on second, but were shut down by Cardinal ace senior Tori Collins (24-1). The lefty dealt six strikeouts throughout the game and allowed only two hits in a complete game effort. DePaul sophomore Kirsten Verdun (26-13) took the loss after giving up seven hits and striking out five batters.
Louisville improves to 52-3 on the season while the Blue Demons fall to 35-20.
The Cardinals are searching for their second BIG EAST Championship title after winning their first in 2007, the last time the tournament was held at Notre Dame. Louisville is also trying to become the first No. 1 seed to win the championship since the Irish did so in 2003.
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.