Live stats vs. Northwestern (Friday) The road aheadThe Cardinals are embarking on a tough 2019 schedule which includes a total of 17 games against teams that qualified for the 2018 NCAA Tournament – including national champion Florida State. UofL will also face six opponents ranked among the top 25 and six receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA polls.• Louisville’s ranked opponents include No. 1/2 Florida State, No. 6/6 Tennessee, No. 15/17 Michigan, No. 21/18 Kentucky, No. 21/20 Auburn and No. 24 Notre Dame, No. 24 Indiana. Northwestern, Cal State Fullerton, North Carolina, NC State and Virginia Tech. Cards on the airAt the start of the 2019 season, the Cardinals will have 25 games televised nationally including one contest on ESPNU. The television slate feature all of the Cardinals’ 19 home games.• All 12 ACC institutions sponsoring softball will be featured multiple times throughout the season, with more than 220 games streaming on ACC Network Extra, Watch ESPN and the ESPN App. ESPN’s broadcast schedule will include more than 650 college softball games.• The Cardinals will appear on ESPN’s ACC Monday on 6 for the third game of its ACC matchup against 2018 national champion and preseason ACC favorite Florida State. The University of Louisville softball team will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. to face Northwestern and No. 15/17 Michigan in 2019 ACC/Big Ten Challenge at North Carolina’s Anderson Softball Stadium.Louisville (3-2) will open the tournament Friday against Northwestern at 10 a.m. and follow with a matchup against Michigan at 1:30 p.m. The Cardinals and the Wolverines will meet again Saturday at 12:30 p.m. UofL will wrap up its weekend against Northwestern Sunday at 10 a.m. Louisville picked to finish fourth in ACCThe Cardinals were picked to finish fifth overall and third in the Atlantic Division. In the team preseason poll, reigning national champion Florida State was unanimously selected to win its sixth-straight ACC regular season title. Notre Dame, North Carolina and Pitt respectively filled out the top five ahead of the Cardinals, who are coming off of a 33-20 campaign and a 10-12 mark in conference play.• In the Atlantic Division preseason standings, Louisville was picked to finish third behind Florida State and Notre Dame. Syracuse, Boston College and NC State round out the division. 2019 PRESEASON ACC COACHES POLL1) Florida State (121 points, 11 first-place votes)2) Notre Dame (102 points)3) North Carolina (95 points)4) Pitt (88 points)5) Louisville (75 points)6) Duke (69 points)7) Georgia Tech (55 points)8) Syracuse (51 points)9) Boston College (47 points)10) Virginia Tech (41 points, 1 first-place vote)11) NC State (29 points)12) Virginia (19 points)Atlantic Division Coastal Division1) Florida State 1) North Carolina2) Notre Dame 2) Pitt3) Louisville 3) Duke4) Syracuse 4) Georgia Tech5) Boston College 5) Virginia Tech6) NC State 6) Virginia Scouting the Wildcats:• Northwestern is receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball coaches’ polls. The Wildcats enter the weekend with a 4-1 record after opening the season the Titan Classic. The Wildcats collected wins over Utah State (12-0), Pacific (7-0), Louisville (1-0) and Idaho State (7-4), but suffered a 3-2 loss to Loyola Marymount.• The Wildcats are led by Jordyn Rudd, who is hitting .467 (7-for-15) with two home runs and 10 RBIs. Danielle Williams (3-0) shouldered the bulk of the pitching duties in the first weekend and produced a 0.51 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 17.2 innings of work.• The Wildcats posted a 38-19 overall record and a 14-8 mark in Big Ten, culminating with a runner-up finish in the conference tournament and trip to the Athens Regional in the NCAA tournament.•Rachel Lewis, an NFCA All-American in 2018, was named to the Player of the Year watchlist prior to the start of the 2019 season. Melton among Louisville’s career leaders in stolen basesIn 2018, Sidney Melton was a perfect 15-for-15 in stolen bases and improved her career total to 33 to move into tenth place on Louisville’s all-time list, needing two more to tie Kenzie Meisenburg (2001-02) for ninth.• Last year, the speedy infielder led the team with 45 runs and moved into a five-way tie for ninth place among the all-time single season leaders. Looking back to 2018• The Cardinals finished the season with a 33-20 overall record and reached the quarterfinals of the ACC Championship before falling 7-4 to eventual national champion Florida State.• Among the returners are National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region selections junior Caitlin Ferguson and Hensley as well as all-ACC honoree Melton and sophomore Maddy Newman, who earned 2018 all-ACC freshman team honors. Junior Celene Funke also returns after leading the team with a .355 batting average along with sophomore Danielle Watson who posted 14 wins in the circle during her freshman campaign. Cards in the ACC/Big Ten ChallengeLouisville carries a 7-5 record entering the fourth season of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Below is a breakdown of past tournament results.2018 (at NC State)Feb. 16 – Louisville 7 – Northwestern 6 (8 inn.)Feb. 16 – Louisville 3 – Northwestern 2Feb. 17 – Ohio State 6 – Louisville 5 (9 inn.)Feb. 18 – Ohio State 4 – Louisville 02017 (at North Carolina)Feb. 17 – Louisville 9 – Ohio State 0Feb. 17 – Louisville 6 – Purdue 5Feb. 19 – Louisville 9 – Purdue 1Feb. 19 – Ohio State 4 – Louisville2016 (at NC State)Feb. 19 – Louisville 7 – Wisconsin 1Feb. 20 – Nebraska 4 – Louisville 3Feb. 20 – Louisville 5 – Wisconsin 0Feb. 21 – Nebraska 3 – Louisville 0 Print Friendly Version Live stats vs. Northwestern (Saturday) Louisville celebrates 20th SeasonThe 2019 campaign marks the University of Louisville softball program’s 20th season. In two decades of softball UofL has compiled a 718-371 (.659) record with six conference championships, 13 NCAA regional appearances and four regional finals. Cards against the fieldNorthwesternSeries Record: Louisville leads 5-3Last Meeting: February 9, 2019 – Louisville and Northwestern will face off for the second time in a week after meeting in the Titan Classic on Feb. 9. The game featured a battle in the circle between Louisville’s Danielle Watson and Northwestern’s Danielle Williams. Each pitcher was in the midst of a one-hitter through six innings before the Wildcats broke through in the seventh.• Watson took the loss, giving up one earned run on two hits and striking out six in a complete game effort. Funke registered both of Louisville’s hits in the game.• Williams got the complete game shutout, holding the Cardinals to two hits and striking out 13 and retiring 17 in a row at one point. Maeve Nelson and Newport accounted for the Wildcats’ hits.Cards vs. Wildcats in the 2018 ACC/Big Ten ChallengeFebruary 16, 2018 – The Cardinals defeated the Wildcats 7-6 in eight innings and 3-2 in the opening doubleheader of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Raleigh, N.C.• Megan Hensley and Danielle Watson each picked up a win while Caitlin Ferguson went 3-for-5 with two RBI’s.Louisville 7 – Northwestern 6 (8 innings)Jenna Jordan’s two-out, three-run homer in the top of the seventh tied the score at 6-6 and senior Jamie Soles’ sacrifice fly drove in the go-ahead run as the University of Louisville softball team rallied from a 6-2 deficit to beat Northwestern 7-6 in game one.• Danielle Watson got the complete-game win, allowing two runs, one earned and striking out seven while scattering three hits. Offensively, Louisville outhit Northwestern 9-3, with Alison Szydlowski and Jordan each tallying two hits. • Kaley Winegarner took the loss, giving up three runs, two earned, on nine hits and striking out five in 6.2 innings of work. Lewis, Wilkey and Novak accounted for the Wildcats’ three hits. The Aprile Era2019 marks the first season under new head coach Holly Aprile following the retirement of Sandy Pearsall, who began the program in 2000. Aprile becomes only the second head coach in Louisville softball history.• Prior to her arrival at Louisville, Aprile, 2018 ACC Coach of the Year spent 10 seasons (2009-18) as Pittsburgh’s head coach and five years (2004-08) as an assistant. In 2018, she earned ACC Coach of the Year honors after leading the Panthers to the 2018 ACC Coastal Division title and a runner-up finish in the conference tournament. Hensley climbing the record bookMegan Hensley has entered Louisville’s top career list in several categories.• Tied for first for grand slams with four, along with Lacy Wood (2003-06).• Fifth with nine career saves and needs one more to tie for fourth with Tori Collins (2009-12).• Seventh in career appearances (96). Tori Collins (2009-12) stands sixth at 142.• Seventh in career games started in the circle (67). Carlisa Connell (2011-14) is sixth with 98.• Seventh in career innings pitched (436.0). Caralisa Connell is sixth with 608.0.• Eighth career wins (41), needs one more to move into a tie for seventh with Aja Sherman (2002-05).• Eighth in career strikeouts (294), Aja Sherman (2002-05) is seventh with 463.• Ninth in career complete games (28). Needs four more to move into a tie for eight with Tara McClure (2000-01).• Tied for tenth in career home runs with 25 – needs one more to move into a tie for ninth with Maryssa Becker (2014-17). Live stats vs. Michigan (Friday) About Louisville Softball • The Cardinals enter the weekend with a 3-2 record after opening the season at Fullerton’s Titan Classic. Louisville posted wins over Fullerton, Buffalo and Utah State, but fell to Idaho State and Northwestern.• The 2019 campaign marks Louisville’s 20th season as a program and first under new head coach Holly Aprile’s tutelage.• The Cardinals were picked to finish third in the Atlantic Division and fifth overall as voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches.• UofL is receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Coaches poll released on Feb. 12.• Louisville is led at the plate by junior Celene Funke, who is batting .400 with two triples, four runs and two stolen bases in the early season. Senior Sidney Melton follows at a .389 clip with four runs and two stolen bases. Junior Caitlin Ferguson has driven in a team-high six RBIs and has belted out a triple and a home run.• Danielle Watson (1-1) carried a team-best 0.58 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 12.0 innings of work. The sophomore has allowed only three hits in two appearances and is holding opponents to a .077 batting average.• Seniors Megan Hensley and Sidney Melton were selected to the 2019 Preseason All-ACC Team. Tournament Central Stingy pitchingThe Cardinals were impressive in the circle during their opening weekend, producing a 1.35 team ERA with two shutouts while holding opponents to a .174 batting average.• Sophomore Danielle Watson was impressive in her 2019 debut, tossing a one-hit shutout against Cal State Fullerton. In that game, she registered a career-high nine strikeouts and did not walk a batter. Watson was also impressive in the loss to Northwestern, carrying a one-hitter into the seventh inning and ultimately scattering two hits over the course of seven innings while fanning six.• Freshman Taylor Roby had an impressive debut in the circle, picked up two wins as Louisville went 3-2 in its opening weekend. The freshman posted a 2-0 record with a 2.10 ERA. She struck out 14 and scattered seven hits over 10 innings for a .184 opponent batting average.• In her first game against Buffalo, she tossed a one-hit shutout and struck out 10. She also got the win against Utah State.• Senior Megan Hensley (0-1) stands second on the team with a 1.56 ERA and also posted a career-high in strikeouts with 10 against Idaho State and did not give up a walk in the contest. She stands third on the team with 13 Ks in nine innings. Live stats vs. Michigan (Sunday) Story Links Ferguson driving them homeJunior Caitlin Ferguson leads the team with six RBIs. The shortstop used a two-run single and a three-run homer to drove in a career-best five runs as the Cards beat Utah State 7-5. Up NextThe Cardinals will hit the road for the third straight weekend, this time traveling to Knoxville, Tenn. for the Tennessee Classic which will take place Feb. 22-24 and will feature games against No. 8/8 Tennessee, Virginia, Bradley, Kansas and Tennessee State. MichiganSeries Record: Michigan leads 18-3Last Meeting: March 15, 2014 – Michgan won 9-1 at Ulmer StadiumScouting the Wolverines: No. 15/17 Michigan enters the weekend with a 3-2 record after opening the season at the USF Opening Weekend Invitational. The Wolverines defeated NC State (4-3), USF (10-1) and Illinois State (11-4). They lost to #7 Arizona (2-1) and #5 Florida (6-0).• The Wolverines are led by Lexie Blair who is batting .412 (7-for-17) with two RBI’s. Alex Storako leads Michigan from the circle, holding a 3-1 record with a 2.33 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched.• In 2018, Michigan finished with an overall record of 44-13 and 18-3 record in Big Ten play. The Wolverines lost in the first round of the Big Ten tournament but received a tournament bid to the Lexington Regional.• The Wolverines return 2018 NFCA All-Americans Meghan Beaubien and Faith Canfield for the 2019 season.