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Saturday, August 7, 2010

For Rachel Story...the best is yet to come

IN SATURDAY'S CARDINAL COUPLE:

- Rachel Story looks to the future
-Fern Creek Softball advances in World Series
-Dream drops a close one
-ZENYATTA returns to the track

For Rachel Story, hope begins anew. Last year, the freshman from Milwaukee played in 28 of Louisville's 32 games...all coming off the bench. She was part of a 4 guard Cardinal rotation but didn't see the minutes of the other three in the back court. We didn't really see the best of the Story until the end of the season...when she started to see more than the 3-5 minutes of court time Walz was giving her. She responded to the increased playing time and despite the Cards less than stellar season, observers were mentioning that she could be a key factor in the Lady Cards 2010-11 season.

Sometimes, it takes awhile for players to develop into what the team's needs are. Such looks to be the case with Story. She can run the offense from the point and isn't afraid to pull up and take the mid range jumper. Like most freshmen, her defense was a liability for Louisville last year, but she possesses the quickness and knowledge of the game to improve dramatically in this aspect of roundball.

Story averaged 2.4 points a game for Louisville in a reserve role. She'll be part of a nine player guard compliment that Walz will have to choose from when the Cards take to the court this fall. How high she'll rank in the mix will depend on how well she performs in practice...but reports from campus this summer indicate that she has been working hard with her teammates and her game 'has improved 100%' according to a Cardinal insider.

In what appears to be a wide open, free for all for the guard positions on this 2010-11 Louisville team, we look forward to "getting the full Story" as the season progresses.

PROGNOSIS:

Story has one year's experience and that will give her a slight advantage over some of the newer players Jeff Walz has available. We'd like to see her develop an accurate three point shot and pick up her defensive skills. She can be a valuable asset to the Cards with her ability to be a combo guard and she'll most likely see valuable court time minutes coming off the bench for the Lady Cards.

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The Fern Creek 16 and under women's softball team advanced in their first game of the Babe Ruth World Series...knocking off Pittsfield, MA 6-0.

Kelci Flener got the win for Fern Creek...allowing only three hits in seven innings of work. Fern Creek rocked Pittsfield for seven hits, including a double by Morgan Foley and triples by Alex Ginter and Caroline Peck. The Creekers scored one run in the fifth, two run in the sixth and three in the seventh to secure the victory.

They move on to play Lodi, CA this morning at 11 a.m. and North Olympic, WA at 3 p.m. and will wrap up National Division pool play with a game against host Varina, VA.

The team, coached by Tim McGinty, is made up of local high school softball players from Fern Creek, Mercy, Male and other area schools.

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Tough beat for Angel and the Atlanta Dream last night, falling to the Indiana Fever 95-93 in Indianapolis. The two teams are now tied for first place in the WNBA's Eastern Conference.

Atlanta (18-11) roared out to an early 10 point lead in the first quarter against the Fever but fell behind in the second quarter and trailed 45-39 at the half. Indiana led by ten midway thru the third quarter but saw Atlanta fight back several times and the Dream used a 8-0 run in the 4th quarter to gain a 82-80 lead. The team traded leads and possessions the remainder of the game.

Atlanta went up 93-92 after two Alison Bales free throws but the Fever got a free throw from Ebony Hoffman and two from Tamika Catchings to tie it with 3.5 seconds left. Alison Bales was fouled by Indy as the clock expired, but missed both of her free throw attempts...giving Indiana the win.

Angel McCoughtry was spectacular in defeat with 31 points and Iziane Castro Marquez added 28 for Atlanta. Tamika Catchings led the Fever with 30 points.

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ZENYATTA returns to racing today in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes for 3yr. old and up fillies and mares at Del Mar Racetrack in California, She'll face 5 competitors going a mile and one sixteenth and will mostly likely be a 1/5 or better favorite against weak competition.

Have to wonder why trainer John Sheriffs continues to keep the superstar on the West Coast and on the artifical polytrack surface when there is much more money out there for her across the nation. For example, she could be in the $750,000 Whitney Handicap today at Saratoga and face two of the best horses in the nation in QUALITY ROAD and BLAME.

If ZENYATTA is headed to Churchill Downs this fall to run in the Breeders Cup, wouldn't it be wise to get her a race on the dirt instead of the polytrack? She could even have been entered in the $750,000 West Virginia Derby today at Mountaineer Race Track in Chester, WV....where nine lesser 3 yr. olds will compete over the 1 1/8 mile dirt. A $ 750,000 race in West Virginia? OH, YEAH...we definitely need casino gambling at the Kentucky tracks. Mountaineer isn't exactly one of the top tracks in the nation...but increased purses fueled by casino money have made the venue popular for trainers and owners looking to increase their cash flow.

Time to quit hiding, John. Get the big girl a little road experience and let's see how she handles either the dirt or grass. You've been beating up on a bunch of has beens. Time to prove ZENYATTA has game. Put her up against the cream of the crop.

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