UK softball hosts No. 8 Louisville

Junior pitcher Lauren Cumbess prepares to pitch at the UK vs. WKU game at the softball complex in Lexington, Ky., on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff

By Tyler Spanyer | @KernelSpanyer

tspanyer@kykernel.com

After what is being called the year of the Cardinal by many, how could Louisville athletics get better?

Well, Louisville boasts the No. 8-ranked softball team in the country and is looking to sweep the season series against the No. 17 Cats, who will host their rivals in the new John Cropp Stadium.

The Cardinals (42-6, 15-1 Big East) are riding a 16-game win streak and have lost one conference game this season. The Cardinals are the only Big East team ranked in the Top 25 in what is a weak year for the conference.

Louisville has yet to drop a series this year, but did split a two-game set with No. 1-ranked Oklahoma. Oklahoma beat UK, 11-0, earlier this year.

Junior Katie Keller leads Louisville at the plate. Keller hits at a .432 average with a team-leading 45 RBIs. Senior Alicja Wolny hits second on the team with a .424 average with nine home runs and 42 RBIs.

In the circle, Louisville is led by juniors Caralisa Connell and Rachel LeCoq. Connell holds a 1.98 ERA and is 24-2 on the year in 24 starts. LeCoq leads the team with her 1.84 ERA and holds a 15-4 record in 21 starts.

UK is coming in after losing its last series at Arkansas and is looking for revenge from an earlier 5-1 loss to the Cardinals.

Junior Lauren Cumbess, who saw her 12-game hitting streak come to an end over the weekend, leads the team at the plate with a .359 average and her team-leading 11 home runs.

Freshman Kelsey Nunley leads the Cats in pitching and after picking up two losses over the weekend her overall record still stands at 20-6 with a 2.08 ERA.

First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday.