#18 Louisville Softball 2020 Preview

Louisville Cardinals
Overall Rank: #18
Conference Rank: #2 ACC
 Louisville Logo
Louisville got off to a nice start in the first year of the Holly Aprile era as the Cardinals ended up winning 35 games and going to the Evanston Regional. Louisville won the first two games of the Evanston Regional, including a win over Northwestern. However, on championship Sunday the Cardinals lost twice to the Wildcats. The season didn’t end how Louisville wanted it to, but this team should have plenty of confidence in themselves as they move forward into year two of the Coach Aprile era.
2019: 35-23, 12-12
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Holly Aprile
Key Departed Players:
Sidney Melton, INF, .337 BA, 2 HR, 37 RBI, 35 SB
Megan Hensley, P, .314 BA, 13 HR, 44 RBI, 2.99 ERA, 9-4 W/L, 107.2 IP, 54 BB, 91 SO
Kyra Snyder, P/INF, .282 BA, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 5.60 ERA, 0-0 W/L, 5.0 IP, 3 BB, 5 SO
Danielle Watson, P, 3.83 ERA, 12-15 W/L, 161.0 IP, 96 BB, 164 SO
Key Returning Players:
Celene Funke, OF, .324 BA, 3 HR, 26 RBI, 29 SB
Rebecca Chung, C, .299 BA, 6 HR, 35 RBI
Taylor Roby, P, .287 BA, 4 HR, 23 RBI, 2.62 ERA, 14-4 W/L,107.0 IP, 59 BB, 65 SO
Maddy Newman, INF/OF, .271 BA, 0 HR, 16 RBI, 6 SB
Charley Butler, OF, .250 BA, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 12 SB
Caitlin Ferguson, INF, .212 BA, 4 HR, 26 RBI
Taylor Roby will need to take a bigger workload in the circle in 2020 to offset the loss of Megan Hensley and Danielle Watson, who had a combined 21-19 record between them. Roby was very effective in 2019 as she went 14-4 with a 2.62 earned run average and did a nice job of making teams put the ball in play. Celene Funke had the second highest batting average on the team last year, hitting .324 with three homeruns, 26 runs batted in, and 29 stolen bases.  Rebecca Chung is back at catcher after hitting .299 with six homeruns and 35 runs batted in and will have the task of bringing along the rest of the pitching staff behind Roby in the early stages of the 2020 season. Maddy Newman and Charley Butler will provide some speed on the base paths as they combined for 18 stolen bases in 2019.  The schedule will be challenging with games against Alabama, Oklahoma State, Kentucky, Michigan, and Northwestern, which will prep the Cardinals nicely for the ACC portion of the season. A trip to Tallahassee will be the most difficult portion of the conference slate as they will miss North Carolina and Virginia Tech, which helps things. Overall, Louisville should win around 35 plus games again 2020 and return to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament