#39 Louisville Softball 2017 Preview

Louisville Cardinals
Overall Rank: #39
Conference Rank: #4 ACC
 Louisville Logo
After two games, Louisville was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament. That was a disappointment for a team that won 35 games and went 15-8 in the tough ACC. The good news for Coach Sandy Pearsall and company is that most of the group is back and they should be ready to make a bigger splash in the NCAA Tournament with Maryssa Becker and Megan Hensley leading the way. Becker was one of the best pitchers in the ACC, ending with a 2.25 ERA, 22 complete games and a 20-11 record. Nearly every time Becker was off the mound, Hensley was on it. She sported a 2.44 ERA with a 15-6 record. As long as those two are playing well, the Cardinals can beat anybody.
2016: 35-17, 15-8
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Sandy Pearsall
Key Departed Players:
Brittany Sims, IF, .302 BA, 1 HR, 31 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Maryssa Becker, P/1B, 2.25 ERA, 202.2 IP, 168 SO, .411 BA, 10 HR, 60 RBI
Megan Hensley, P/UT, 2.44 ERA, 132.0 IP, 82 SO, .335 BA, 13 HR, 52 RBI
Sidney Melton, IF/OF, .365 BA, 18 RBI
Lillie Goetz, IF, .327 BA, 2 HR, 22 RBI
Jordan McNary, OF, .313 BA, 12 RBI
Nicole Pufahl, OF, .279 BA, 6 HR, 26 RBI
Both Becker and Hensley are big time power hitting threats. Those two combined for 23 of the team’s 37 home runs. Somebody else needs to step up and consistently drive in runs. Departed infielder Brittany Sims was pretty good at that, but now the pressure will likely be on junior Nicole Pufahl to develop into a more consistent hitter and help bring all of the talented hitters for Louisville home. If that happens, this is a team that should be able to compete with the best teams in the ACC and make some noise in the NCAA Tournament if the pitching gets hot at the right time.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament
Madness 2017 Draft Rankings:
#8 Maryssa Becker