The 2016 Softball season for The University of Louisville came to a conclusion with a 6-4 loss to BYU in the elimination bracket of the Columbia Regional in the NCAA Tournament. In the double elimination regional, The Cards lost their opening game to Nebraska in heartbreaking fashion as Nebraska hit a walk off single giving them the 3-2 victory. This was the third time this season that Louisville played Nebraska and the second time Nebraska won on a walk off.
The Cards finished the season with a 35-17 record. They also finished 2nd in the powerful ACC. Head coach Sandy Pearsall started the Softball program at Louisville in 2000. In 17 seasons as the Louisville head coach, she has led the team to 13 straight NCAA tournament appearances (that ranks among the top 15 active streaks in the 64-team 2016 NCAA Tournament field) and six conference championships. She has a 654-332 overall record at U of L. Earlier the season she notched her 900th victory as a coach and now has a 904-666 overall record for her 30 years of coaching.
Combined with Pearsall at the helm and only losing 3 seniors from this years team, the future is very bright for the 2017 softball season. Three of the four pitchers on the roster are underclassmen led by junior Maryssa Becker and freshman Megan Hensley. Becker won her 20th game of the season in the ACC tournament and that moves her into a tie for ninth on Louisville’s single-season list, marking the 11th time in school history that a player has registered 20 or more wins in a season. Becker leads the team with 16 multi-RBI games and 15 multi-hit games. Hensley was named ACC Co-Pitcher of the Week twice. Once in the very first week of the season and also in the last week of the season. Hensley also leads the team with 13 home runs and stands second on the team with 52 RBIs while splitting time in the outfield, at designated player and pitching. Hensley and Becker combine for 22 of Louisville’s 35 home runs and 110 of its 275 RBIs. With these two returning and leading the team next season, I am very optimistic the ladies can advance in next years NCAA tournament and possibly make a run at the record of 55 wins set by the 2012 team.
As Always, GO CARDS!