#37 Louisville Softball 2019 Preview

Louisville Cardinals
Overall Rank: #37
Conference Rank: #3 ACC
Louisville Logo
It’s a new era for Louisville softball as former Pittsburgh head coach Holly Aprile takes the reigns of the Cardinals program replacing Sandy Pearsall. The Louisville program has always been solid but Aprile has a track record that should allow her to challenge Florida State in the ACC Atlantic on an annual basis. Aprile also will have the advantage of more financial resources to retain a quality staff and has quality facilities in place to set her up to hit the ground running right away.
2018: 33-20, 10-12
2018 Postseason: None
Coach: Holly Aprile
Key Departed Players:
Nicole Pufahl, OF, .303 BA, 3 HR, 26 RBI
Alison Szydlowski, INF, .301 BA, 3 HR, 17 RBI
Jenna Jordan, C, .272 BA, 3 HR, 24 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Celene Funk, OF, .356 BA, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 17 SB
Sidney Melton, INF, .329 BA, 3 HR, 26 RBI, 15 SB
Caitlin Ferguson, INF, .317 BA, 4 HR, 40 RBI
Maddy Newman, 2B/OF, .315 BA, 0 HR, 10 RBI
Madison Cousineau, C, .323 BA, 1 HR, 7 RBI
Danielle Watson, P, 3.13 ERA, 14-10 W/L, 129.2 IP, 92 BB, 105 SO
Megan Hensley, P, .355 BA, 9 HR, 49 RBI, 3.35 ERA, 17-8 W/L, 184.0 IP, 83 BB, 138 SO
Kyra Snyder, P/1B, .3.07 ERA, 1-2 W/L, 27.1 IP, 23 BB, 18 SO, .291 BA, 0 HR, 15 RBI
Scoring runs shouldn’t be much of a problem after Louisville averaged over five runs per game last season. Celene Funk, Sidney Melton, Caitlin Ferguson, and Megan Hensley will be the key components of the everyday lineup for the Cardinals. Funk and Melton hit for a high average and have great speed that can keep the pressure on opposing pitchers. Ferguson and Hensley provide the power as the combined for 13 homeruns and 89 runs driven in last season. The pitching staff will be led by Hensley and Danielle Watson, who won 31 of the 33 games in the circle in 2018. Limiting walks will help Hensley and Watson take that next step as starting pitchers since their walk to strikeout ratio was a little too close to each other in 2018. Cutting down on homeruns will also help the pitching staff grow as they allowed 35 homeruns while hitting just 27 as a team last season. There is a good balance to the non-conference schedule as there are RPI building games against Cal State Fullerton, Michigan, Northwestern, Missouri, and Kentucky. It will be important for Louisville to do some more damage out of conference this season if they are going to get back to the NCAA Tournament. Overall, the Cardinals should adapt well to the new coaching staff and get back to the NCAA Tournament in 2019.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament