Seton Hall softball, fresh off their first two Big East wins of the season against Providence, will host the Louisville Cardinals for a three-game conference series this weekend.
The Pirates (20-22, 2-9 Big East) return home after a long run of eight straight games away from Ivy Hill Park, going 3-5 over that stretch.
The Hall received strong pitching throughout the weekend against the Friars.
Freshman Danielle DeStaso gave up nine hits but just one earned run in a complete game win in game one. The Pirates also got a home run and five RBIs from sophomore third baseman Meredith Henze in the opener.
Another freshman, Casey Moses, stood tall in game two, giving up five hits and two runs in six innings, but the Pirates’ bats fell silent in a 2-1 loss to the Friars.
Seton Hall came back in the rubber game, as junior hurler Brooke Tull turned in her third career complete game shutout, limiting the Friars to four hits and one walk in a 2-0 Pirates’ victory.
Junior Brittany Hammer became just the 24th player in program history to record 100 career hits in the game, going 2-3 in the game three win.
Hammer ranks second in the conference in runs scored, while senior Kristin Kaelin leads the Pirates in batting average with a .344 mark and is second in the Big East in RBIs and doubles.
Louisville, heading into a doubleheader against USF at home on Wednesday before heading up to South Orange, has won their last nine games and is 38-2 overall, with the two losses both coming to conference foe DePaul.
The Cardinals are ranked first in the Big East in team batting average with .324, second in the conference in team ERA at 1.23, and also second among Big East teams in fielding percentage at .973.
Louisville has three of the top seven individual hitters the Big East in terms of batting average in senior Kristin Austin (.418), junior Alicja Wolny (.395) and sophomore Taner Fowler (.372). Austin also leads the conference in hits, runs scored and triples.
In addition, the Cardinals also have three of the top seven pitchers in the conference in terms of ERA. Senior Tori Collins leads the staff with a 1.11 ERA, with redshirt sophomore Chelsea Leonard at 1.24, followed by sophomore Caralisa Connell with a 1.54 ERA. Collins ranks fifth in the Big East in strikeouts, while Leonard leads the conference with eight saves on the season.
The Pirates and Cardinals will play a doubleheader on Saturday, with first pitch for game one scheduled at noon. The teams will also play a single game on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. All games will be played at Ivy Hill Park.
Jason Guerette can be reached at Jason.email@example.com.