We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Thursday, June 1, 2023

UofL Puts Three on D1 Softball All-American Lists -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

With the summer slump getting ready to come for us in full force, it's important for us here at Cardinal Couple to keep you on your toes. As such, you've got Case in the driver's seat today and I'll be back on Saturday. I'm covering for Jared, who shifted to Friday to cover for Daryl, who covered for Paulie yesterday completely outside the confines of our other schedule rework. You've gotta stay flexible around here.

Gordon, Otis, and Roby Honored by D1 Softball

With the announcement of D1 Softball's All-American lists yesterday, the Cards saw three players add to their list of accolades. The publication names three teams as of this year, with a freshman team being added alongside the first and second teams. The normal teams consist of players 1-9 on the diamond along with a two-way player, three additional pitchers, and four utility players. The freshman team didn't name a two-way player but had a total of six pitchers, giving that team one extra spot.

Sarah Gordon was named to that inaugural freshman team, holding down the catcher role. It was a good year for catchers in the state, as UK's Kayla Kowalik took the spot on the second team. The first team catcher was Oklahoma's Kinzie Hansen, one of five Sooners on the first team. OU added two more on the second team to represent seven of the Big 12's nine honorees on the first and second teams. The SEC led the way with ten, and Tennessee played a part in that as the only other team with multiple first teamers (two). 

Taylor Roby and Korbe Otis were both named to the second team, with Otis in the outfield and Roby claiming the two-way spot. Roby and Otis make up half of the ACC delegation in those top-two teams, though the other two players made the first team. Clemson's Valerie Cagle was the first teamer in the two-way spot, which makes sense since she was named the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. FSU's Kathryn Sandercock joined Cagle on the first team in one of the pitcher slots. IU's Taryn Kern just snuck onto the first team, claiming the last utility spot. She had significantly less competition for the 2B slot on the freshman team. Kern was the only freshman to be honored on either the first or second team. Despite their success, OU didn't place any freshman on the list. That said, I wouldn't count on a Sooner drop off in 2024 just yet.

We extend congratulations to Louisville's honorees and look for more exciting things to come from the returning players in 2024. 

Until next time, Go Cards!

Wednesday, May 31, 2023


Happy hump day readers! 

Its Daryl stepping in with ya midweek.  Bats are in town but Paulie phoned a friend for some back up to get something posted today so you get me to cover the summer Pro Cards.


Sky vs Dream

The Chicago Sky visited the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday evening where the Dream led pretty much the entire way and got the 83-65 victory.   The Sky are now 3-2 on the season while Atlanta moves to 2-2.   Both squads are in the middle of the pack in the standings at 5 and 6 respectively.  The Las Vegas Aces are the lone undefeated squad at 4-0... they're averaging an almost 25 point differential over opponents. 

Dana Evans scored 11 points to lead Chicago. Kahleah Copper, Marina Mabrey and Kristine Anigwe each added 10. Sky starters Courtney Williams was 2 of 10 from the field and Elizabeth Williams went 3 for 10.

Rhyne Howard scored 20 points, Allisha Gray and rookie Haley Jones each added 13 points each. AD had a free throw make in 14 minutes.

The Dream made 18 of 24 free throws compared to just 9 of 11 makes for the Sky.

The Dream led 40-25 at halftime after Chicago shot just 28% and turned it over eight times. The Sky finished the game 25 for 77 (33%) with 15 turnovers.

The Sky will head back to Chicago to face the NY Liberty, who stand third in the league standings, Friday at 6pm. 

Also happy belated birthday to Myisha Hines Allen who celebrated her 27th birthday yesterday at the Washington Mystics. They have yet to make their debut with the squad but some say it is getting near...  

Good luck to the Cards!!

Please, if you know anyone who can be a living donor or if you would like more information on how to be a organ donor, please call Madelyn Hunt at the Trager Transplant Center at UofL Hospital (502) 587-4358 option 5. 

As always, Go Cards 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

End of Season Sadness -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

End of Season Sadness, The Summertime Slump

While summertime offers a time of plenty of sunshine and a bit of a break from the constant scheduling headaches with various events, it also gives us a lengthy lull from UofL sports. As I mentioned on our podcast this past Saturday, this absence from being able to photograph games also brings a bit of sadness due to the empty void it leaves.

Just to give you an idea of how busy I actually am during the Louisville sports seasons, here's the number of events I photographed for each sport this past season with preseason exhibitions, regular season events, and postseason events included. This doesn't include work done with organizations or athletes or selection shows that are not NCAA sanctioned games/events.

In the 2022-2023 Louisville sports season, I photographed:
-9 women's soccer games
-6 men's soccer games
-19 volleyball games (includes trip to UK and first four postseason matches)
-8 field hockey games
-8 football games (includes trips to Clemson and UK)
-19 women's basketball games (includes trips to Bellarmine, UK, and ACC Tournament)
-18 men's basketball games
-4 lacrosse games
-14 baseball games
-15 softball games (includes trip to UK)

Would you believe that 120 games is considered a down year for me? In all fairness, if I added out-of-season scrimmages (ie fall softball, spring volleyball, spring field hockey, and spring football) and the other games in the ACC Tournament I photographed, that number would be about 132. I wasn't able to make it our to tennis or swim and dive this year, which cut down on the total number of sports I shot to 10. 

As I mentioned earlier, I do some other photo work that isn't NCAA sanctioned such as Louisville Live, selection shows and cheer and dance events.

You see photos from those women's sports here at Cardinal Couple almost on a daily basis. We do try to provide a mixture of action shows and emotions/smiling shots. Personally, I favor the celebration and smiling shots. I like showing the emotion from the players and coaches. To me, it shows that they are still humans, despite how close we get to idolizing them, and it's a time that those countless hours of practices and workouts pay off in that moment of celebration. I try to capture the emotion in a way that we can feel that. Sometimes, that may come across in tears and seasons come to a close or from Senior Day recognitions.

There's also quite a few men's sports up there. While we don't cover men's sports here at Cardinal Couple (we are glad to see when they perform well), the CC crew has always been kind and willing to work with me as I do some photo work for men's sports for other various sites out there. Those sites know there's a strict policy of not using my women's sports photos, as the rights to use those are solely with Cardinal Couple, but I am grateful that CC allows me to work with those sites in order to get out to sports such as football and men's basketball.

I've sat through a 2-12 season (football), a 4-28 season (men's basketball), a 5-13 season (lacrosse), and so many other rough patches for different sports. Regardless of the success, or lack thereof, I still try my best to get out to as many games as possible for each sport.

People ask me all the time why I feel like I have to be at each game and why I don't take games off. My answer is always the same: "I don't HAVE to be at each game. I WANT to be at each game. I love being there."

One of the positives I did not anticipate when I first stressed myself out so much to get to so many games is the appreciation from players and their families. While sports such as football, women's basketball, and men's basketball will draw in dozens of photographers and plenty more media, for many of the smaller sports, it's usually the photographer Louisville Athletics sends and myself. While Taris, Adam, and Co. do a phenomenal job photographing games (seriously, the work they produce should be award-winning), more cameras out there allows for more angles and more shots for players.

Players and parents reaching out to me to offer their appreciation for my photos happens weekly and I'm happy to play my part. Many of these players and their families share these photos on their personal social media or even blow the pictures up and print them out at home to keep for the long haul. These are memories they get to keep forever.

Being at these games each season also allows me to interact with so many people who love UofL just as much as I do. That includes the UofL digital media team, the UofL sports information folks, the ushers, other media members, and of course the Cardinal Couple crew. My outgoing and social personality tends to be in heaven during these times.

So, now we arrive at summer. Take away those 120+ events, travel time, time spent interacting with folks, and time spent editing and I have thousands of extra free hours available. Well, that's what happens in the summer. Free time can be nice to relax and focus on time with friends and family. This summer is especially different with my wedding in 11 days and my honeymoon to follow not long after, so that summertime lull won't be as extreme, but not having UofL games to look forward to each day, or at least each week when teams all seem to be on the road at the same time, can be difficult.

I really do appreciate Cardinal Couple for keeping me around after all these years as their photographer and grateful to all of you for allowing me to showcase so much of that work here all the time. A post of my favorite shots is in the works for later in the summer, but will have to wait until we get past the wedding craziness.


Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day -- College Softball World Series-- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



....In remembrance....

I decided to see what people thought this holiday was for, in addition to cookouts and I asked three people I happened to talk to on Sunday and see what their answers would be. Not many I know of these days can get the answer correct.

The first person I asked (male, middle aged) told me it was the yearly time for the Indianapolis 500 and a weekend to remember people who had died.

The second person I spoke with (female, 30's)  was pretty sure it was a day to remember those who had served in the armed forces and had passed away and that it was the beginning of summer. . 

The final person I queried on this (male, retirement age) indicated that it was a day to remember and honor those who had died. 

Somewhere, in those answers is part of what Congress intended the holiday to represent. It was designed to be a day of reflection and remembrance of those who died while serving in the U.S. Military. 

The question posed to me was...if a sailor has a massive heart attack while leaving a U.S. Naval ship to go on shore he or (she) to be just as honored as the 19-year old guy who got shot down by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam war? 

Tradition tells us that the correct way to observe the holiday is to pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day to honor those who died serving the U.S. 

I was indoctrinated into the meaning of the day very early in life. An uncle I never met, on my mom's side, was killed in WWII when his destroyer was attacked and sank by the Japanese Navy. My mom told me about it very early in my life. Then, later on, two guys in my neighborhood, older than me, were killed in combat in the Vietnam War. 

So, as you read this today, on Memorial Day, maybe take a little time at 3 p.m. to honor those who died while serving our nation in the Armed Forces


Eight DI softball programs have advanced to the 2023 College Softball World Series.  

-- From the Pac 12, Stanford, Washington and Utah are headed to Oklahoma City, 

-- The Big 12 has two schools headed to the College World Series (Oklahoma and Oklahoma State), 

-- Two SEC schools are among the final eight also, in Alabama and Tennessee. 

-- The final school is Florida State, from the ACC. 

So, how many of these "great eight" did the Louisville Cardinals face in the 2023 season? The answer is two...Florida State, who faced the Cards in a three game series to end both squads ACC regular season conference play. The Cards dropped all three contests in Tallahassee to the 'Noles' 4-6, 4-6 and 1-2. And Oklahoma is the second, who downed the Cards 10-1 on April 15th at the Miami (OH)University ballpark.

The Cards have face Tennessee six times, in the history of Louisville Softball, and are 0-6. Five of the matchups were in Knoxville and one in Clearwater, FL. The Cards are 0-8 lifetime against Alabama...six of the matchups in Tuscaloosa and two in Minneapolis. 

Against Oklahoma State, Louisville is 0-4 over the years, with three losses in Stillwater and once in Honolulu. The Cards are 0-1 vs, Stanford lifetime, and are 0-1 versus Utah. The Cards are 0-3 against Washington overall, all at neutral locations. 

Will we ever see Louisville in the College World Series? The first step is getting to a Super Regional, where you have a 50/50 chance of advancing to the College World Series. Winning games after the conference schedule is finished. 

Maybe 2024 will be that year...



Sunday, May 28, 2023

Track and Field Keep on Running - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Track and Field Championship Bound

Taylor Herbert, Kiyah Yeast, Tiriah Kelley, and Synclair Savage are headed to Austin for the NCAA Outdoor Championship.

The quartet, which has seemingly been setting school records all throughout the season, punched their ticket yesterday with an eighth place finish in the 4x100m relay with a time of 44.10.   That time is, again, a school record, beating their 44.55 from the ACC Championship meet a few weeks ago.

Synclair Savage was already set to go to Austin based on her 9th place finish in the long jump, flying 6.24m, or 20 feet and five and three quarters inches.

Also headed to Austin is Aliyah Welter based on her 4.12m pole vault that finish 11th place in Jacksonville.

The five, along with five from the men's side of the competition will comprise the largest contingent UofL has sent to the Outdoor Championships since 2009.

The NCAA Outdoor Championship meet will take place June 7-10 in Austin Texas.

The Mystics Pick Up Another Cardinal

No, unfortunately, they're not re-signing Emily Engstler or Jaz Jones, but a perhaps lesser known former Card will be joining the Mystics organization.

Ariana Freeman was admittedly only at UofL for one season, in 2014-15, joining the Cards in the freshman class along with Myisha Hines-Allen, Mariya Moore, Arica Carter, and Sydney Brackemyre.

You won't see Freeman on the Mystics' floor, though she will be beside it quite a lot.

With the growing visibility of the WNBA as a whole, and the Mystics as a program, they have added Freeman to their broadcast team as a sideline reporter.  This, of course, re-unites Freeman with Myisha Hines-Allen who is on the roster for the Mystics.  At the moment, Hines-Allen is not on the court as she continues to recover from off-season surgery.

Freeman has already had a distinguished career in broadcasting.  After leaving Louisville after her freshman year, she transferred to Colorado-Boulder where she earned her degree in broadcast journalism.

A native of the northern Virginia, Freeman returned to the area to start a masters program at George Mason University, but her career picked up almost immediately upon her return to the area.  She did a stint with the Washington DC professional football team as their on air Charitable Foundation reporter, before finding her way to CBS.  She joined in a part time news associate role, but was brought on board full time as a Broadcast Associate on the news desk and eventually joined the Evening News program.  She covered numerous stories relating to college sports, mostly women's basketball, and gained a great deal of national broadcast exposure.

She will be joining Christy Winters-Scott and Meghan McPeak to be the third member of the Mystics' broadcast team, one of the few all-women broadcast teams, even in the WNBA.

You can check out the Mystics' introduction of Freeman in a segment of the first episode of their Coffee with a Coach Show:

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

Perhaps we can get Ariana Freeman to the join the CCRHP as a guest someday, get her to bring an air of professionalism to the show?  No?  We're beyond hope?

Perhaps, but we have a lot of fun doing it, and for doing it on a budget of zero dollars, I think we do ok.

The CCRHP was on the air again yesterday, albeit getting a bit of a late start with the live stream thanks to a technical glitch.

You can catch the full show from the beginning in its podcast form however, at just about any podcast directory, or directly at turned Spotify at:

Jared, Paulie, and myself were on the show and we spent most of the show recapping the seasons for Softball and Lacrosse, and discussing the status of the programs and what's in store for them in the future.

We also give a shoutout to the various programs within the UofL Athletic Department for their academic successes, particularly Field Hockey and Women's Soccer for their 3.819 and 3.748 cumulative GPAs respectively.

Check it out and enjoy the fun!


Saturday, May 27, 2023

Track in NCAA Prelims; Catalano Honored -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

At Least Two Cards Headed to Austin

Photo per UofL Athletics
This week saw Louisville Track and Field athletes begin their quest for national glory at the NCAA East Region Preliminary meet. The Cards are in Jacksonville, Florida, where competition began on Wednesday. Thursday saw two Cardinals qualify for the NCAA meet in Austin when Synclair Savage placed 9th in the long jump and Aliyah Welter placed 11th in the pole vault. Savage's qualification is her second consecutive while this will be the third straight season in which Welter has advanced to the national level. One more athlete on the women's side will compete for a chance to go to Austin, Texas for the NCAA National Championship meet today. Katie Martin finished fourth in her heat and 12th overall in the first round of the 400m hurdles. She will participate in the quarterfinals with a chance to move on.

Allegra Catalano on Academic All-District Team

Photo per UofL Athletics
Jared wrote a bit about the academic announcements for the spring on Thursday, and one more honor came through yesterday. Allegra Catalano, a senior on the 2023 lacrosse team, was named to the At-Large Academic All-District team by the College Sports Communicators. Players must be a starter or key reserve and maintain a 3.5 GPA. Catalano started in 13 games for the Cards this season and scored 12 goals. Off the field, Catalano served on the Student Athletic Advisory Committee while working toward her degree in Sports Administration with a minor in Business Administration. She graduated this month with a cumulative 3.9598 GPA. Congratulations to Allegra!

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

I'm out this weekend as I'm "back home again in Indiana" as I am every Memorial Day weekend. It's time to watch cars go fast and turn left. Daryl is also out, playing golf with Peyton Siva. At least that's the excuse she gave us. The show will go on, though, as Paulie, Jeff, and Jared hold down the fort. As always, you can check out the live stream of the show by going to the Cardinal Couple YouTube page and clicking on the live video. Jeff usually creates that about an hour before the show, which officially starts at 11 AM Eastern. If the live time doesn't work for you, there are plenty of playback options, so be sure to check out whichever is best for you!

Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
Anchor (podcast host): Link
Apple Podcasts: Link
Google Podcasts: Link
Overcast (free account required): Link
Pocket Casts (free account and app required): Link
RadioPublic: Link
Spotify: Link

Until next time, Go Cards!


Friday, May 26, 2023



Hello again readers.  I hope you are finding some fun things to do this summer and enjoy this Memorial weekend however you choose to spend it.  I celebrated another birthday since the last time I checked in,  the pictures in today's post make me think I might've lost another inch in height this past trip around the sun. If anyone finds it, please return asap..

I will probably find my way over to a golf course at some point this weekend and I am looking forward to slamming the laptop shut at the end of the work day today!   


I will admit though, work isn't so bad when you get awesome visitors.

 We had the newest WBB member, Hennie Van Schaik, stop by the office!  I was glad to have a chance to meet Hennie and help process some paperwork to make them officially a Cardinal!  

She even indulged us in marking on the International Cards map where her hometown is.

Your newest 6'3 Cardinal forward...Hennie Van Schaik and Daryl. We're 99% sure who would win the opening tip between these two.  

Facts about Urk, Netherlands

  • Population about 21,000 

  • About an hour away from Amsterdam

  • The Urkish dialect is one of the oldest and most distinctive and includes elements that are older than standard Dutch and were never part of the standard language.

  • Until World War II, Urk was an island and could only be reached by boat.                                               
  • Hennie comes to Louisville from Cal-State Bakersfield, where she played as a freshman and sophomore. She was CSUB's best scoring threat and started 20 of the 22 games she played in last year. 

Cards in the Pros

The Washington Mystics (1-2) go to Wintrust Arena on Friday where they'll meet the Chicago Sky (2-0) on Friday 5/26.  Tip off is set for 8 p.m. Two Cards WBB greats are on the rosters. 

Dana Evans (Chicago) is averaging 7.5 points 2 rebounds and 3.5 assists to start the 2023 season where she played almost 35 minutes against the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday. Unfortunately, Myisha Hines-Allen (Washington) is still sidelined with a knee injury and will not play vs Chicago.  


We invite you to join us for Saturday's Cardinal Couple Rdio Hour Podcast. We'll  recap the week's activities in Louisville women's sports and look ahead to next week. Last we heard, it'll be Paulie, Jeff, Jared and Daryl on the podcast. Check it out on the Cardinal Couple You Tube Page. 

Have a GREAT holiday weekend everyone.  

As always, Go Cards!!

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Spring Semester Academic Success -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Spring Semester Academic Success for Louisville Athletics

Louisville prides itself not only on the success on the court/field, but also the success on the academic side of the athletics world. 510 student-athletes were named to the Athletic Directors Honor Roll while Athletics as a whole had a 3.327 GPA.

In order to qualify for the Athletics Directors Honor Roll, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.0 GPA. For the 25th straight semester, the combined GPA was a 3.0 or better.

22 of the 23 recognized Division I teams logged a 3.0 GPA or better with field hockey showing up the rest of the teams again with a school-high 3.819 GPA. Baseball was the highest on the men's side with a 3.449.

Several teams had individuals post a perfect 4.0 GPA on the semester. Women's track and field had 13 with a 4.0, women's swim and dive had 11, and women's soccer had 10.

96 student-athletes graduated in the spring semester with 111 total graduating this most recent school year.

We constantly brag on the success on the sports side of things, but it's awesome to see so much success on the academics side for Louisville Athletics.

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Louisville Softball: Roby graduating but Gray on the horizon



Usually, there is concern when a softball program loses their best player. In Louisville's case that would be Taylor Roby graduating. The two-way threat battled all season long to lead DI NCAA Softball in home runs and was also the Cards ace pitcher. Cards softball fans shouldn't get too worried about "in the circle" strength and skills, though. Hurlers Alyssa Zabala, Gabby Holloway, Sam Booe return and one of the best pitchers in high school softball is joining the Cards -- in Brooke Gray. 

Let's learn a little more about Brooke.

Gray plays for Louisville Ballard, the state's powerhouse program, and she's the powerhouse pitcher on a squad that has gone 69-1 over the last two years. Trying to determine just how many games Brooke has won over these last two years is akin to climbing Mt. Everest...the sports trackers like Max Preps and others are not easy to read and don't show easily, we think she's 24-0 this season, but could be off a win or two...and 31-0 so far this year. 

Gray's a lefty and stands 5'5". She's not an overpowering fast ball pitcher, but does have speed in  the mid 60's and throws with pin-point accuracy. She keeps batters confused on what to expect her to toss from the circle. Hits are rarities against Gray and it's not uncommon to see her strike out 10 or more any time she goes to "the flat mound" and throws a complete game. 

Gray's squad faced Eastern in the 7th region finals Tuesday night and Ballard  got a 5-0 win over the Eagles. Gray was in the circle and pitched a four-hit shutout for the Bruins, with 12 strikeouts in the 25 batters she faced. The game was played at UofL's Ulmer Stadium...fitting... since that's where Gray will be throwing her collegiate pitches. 

The win was Ballard's third win of the season over Eastern and improved their record to 32-1. 

Ballard is the defending state champs and defeated Lexington Catholic 3-2 last year for the title. Gray went 31-0 last year. All but one starter returned to that squad, so the Bruins figured to be pretty good again 

So, it's onto the state championships. We'll stay on top of this future Cardinals successes and work on maybe getting an interview with her down the road. Best of luck to her and the Bruins. 


Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Softball Closes Out Strong Season, What to Expect Next Year -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville Softball Closes Out Strong Season, But What to Expect for Next Year

As Paulie broke down in yesterday's article, Louisville softball's season came to an end over the weekend following a rough seventh inning against Indiana. But the season is far from defined by just that seventh inning. The season should be defined by a fourth place finish in the ACC; by the most wins in a season in nearly a decade; by one of the best home run hitting teams in program history.

Louisville finished the year 36-20. The last time the Cards had 36 wins in a year was in 2014, when they went 36-22. The 2014 team went 14-7 in the American Athletic Conference. This year's team went 16-7 in the much-stronger ACC.

The Cards hit .319 as a whole with 470 total hits and 64 home runs, twice as many home runs as opposing teams hit against them. Seven Cardinals hit above .300 and five players recorded at least 50 hits.

On the defensive end, Louisville had a 3.17 ERA as opposed to opposing teams having a 5.51 ERA. The Louisville pitching staff struck out 259 strikeouts while walking only 115 batters.

Where Louisville struggled on the defensive end was the .957 fielding percentage while logging 66 errors. In games where Louisville had multiple fielding errors, they went 6-11. They went 30-9 in games where they had one or fewer errors.

The Cards had win streaks of six, seven, and nine games. Their longest losing streak was five games. Louisville scored 10 or more runs 10 times while giving up double-digit runs six times. They run-ruled opponents 14 times.

Who is Leaving?

With the NCAA entering its final year of COVID-19 extra year eligibility this upcoming season, the confusion of "who is coming back for another year" is nearly gone.

Taylor Roby, Hannah File, and Makayla Hurst all utilized their COVID-19 year this year. Elana Ornelas and Taja Felder are both graduating but neither have hinted at returning next year.

Louisville has relied on Roby a lot in her time with the Cards. One of the nation's best home run hitters, Roby ranks high in the UofL record books in home runs and RBIs. She also has appeared in the record books in pitching.

File spent her final three seasons with the Cards after some time at James Madison and spent much of her time in a Louisville uniform at first base as well as being a factor at the plate.

Hurst, Ornelas, and Felder all filled in needed gaps at times for the Cards. Hurst's on base percentage of .577 was a team high.

Who is Returning?

Most of the starters are back. ACC Freshman of the Year Sarah Gordon is back at catcher. The middle infield will be back in second baseman Easton Lotus and shortstop Daisy Hess. Hess is using her COVID-19 year next season. Ally Alexander, who commanded third base a good chunk of the season, will be back. The entire outfield will be back. Korbe Otis was command the outfield from center field. Paige Geraghty will be back and most likely hold down left field. Vanessa Miller and Pickle Winkler battled it out for right field much of the season and both are returning.

In the circle, plenty of Cardinals will be back. Alyssa Zabala, the freshman ace, will be back and most likely be the go-to pitcher. She will have Gabby Holloway, Sam Booe, and Cassie Grizzard in the bullpen with her.

Louisville's top pinch runner, Mia Forsythe, should be back as well. Maddi Grant, who made an impact as a pinch hitter late in the season, should also be returning.

The entire coaching staff should be back again next year. Holly Aprile took over as head coach in the summer of 2018 with her first season with the Cards being in 2019. A majority of her tenure at Louisville has been during the COVID-19 pandemic, but has helped lead Louisville to a pair of 35+ win seasons and two NCAA Regional appearances.

Griffin Joiner has been with Louisville since Holly Aprile took over as head coach and specializes in the pitchers. She has been responsible for helping develop both Megan Hensley and Taylor Roby.

Bryce Neal just wrapped his second season as an assistant coach for the Cards. He specializes in the offense, and Louisville's offense has already improved in that short span.

Casey Bonk followed Holly Aprile from Pitt and has been the Director of Operations since. She is responsible for anything ranging from travel plans, to scheduling, to organizing teams to join the Cards on the field prior to home games, and so much more.

2024 Expectations

With a heavy amount of the starters returning who feature plenty of firepower, expectations will be high next season for the Cards. A 35+ win season should be within reach again.

While the home run totals might drop significantly due to the departure of Roby and File, the batting averages and multi-base hits should still be there. Louisville has plenty of speed returning next year in Otis, Lotus, Alexander, Hess Geraghty, Miller, Gordon, and Winkler. That group was a combined 78-89 (.877) in stolen base attempts They also combined for 87 extra base hits.

The returning group of pitchers combined for 229 innings pitched, 893 batters faced, and 195 strikeouts. Roby won't be around to fall back on anymore so Zabala should command the top spot while Booe, Holloway, and left-handed pitcher Grizzard should all see an increase in innings pitched.

There's plenty of time in the offseason to see what freshmen and incoming transfers will join the Louisville roster for next season, but the addition of new players should just help increase expectations. If you're looking for a women's program on the rise, Louisville softball is the place to go to.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!