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Monday, May 31, 2010

Two more from UofL Women's Track in Championships



(A brief tribute to the brilliant actor Dennis Hopper, who passed away from prostate cancer. His roles in "Easy Rider", "Blue Velvet" and "Speed" will always be remembered as some of the best character portrayls in cinema. We had the distinct pleasure of seeing him at the Kentucky Derby several years ago and spent the rest of the afternoon making up subplot stories on how some of his best character roles would have behaved at the Run for the Roses.)

Rest ye well, Dennis.

Two more Cardinals have qualified for the NCAA Championships. D'Ana McCarty finished ninth in the discus during Day Two of the East Regionals and Characheicia Lockhard finished in the top twelve in the long jump to move to the next level.

Jere' Summers fouled on all of her discus attempts and will not advance.

Louisville will have four participants in the upcoming Championships.

-D'ana McCarty (Hammer, discus)
-Jere' Summers (Hammer)
-Lindsey Cook (Hammer)
-Characheicia Lockhart (Long Jump)

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The amamzing Angel McCoughtry unleashed 32 points on the L.A. Sparks Sunday to lead the Atlanta Dream to a 101-82 win. Our friend Sue has a great recap of the Dream's win on her site "They're Playing Basketball." You can access it over on the left hand side of our site under SITES WE RECOMMEND."

Atlanta is now 6-0 and according to McCoughtry:

"When we're playing off of our defense, we can't be beat."

A few points from McCoughtry don't hurt either.

What impact has McCoughtry had on the Dream since she arrived in the WNBA last year? Before Angel, Atlanta was the worst team in the WNBA. When she arrived...and she became a starter....they reached the playoffs. She made Chamique Holdsclaw expendable and eventually released.

Angel, obviously, hasn't done it all by herself. But...like her teammates at UofL realized when she showed up on the UofL campus as a freshman...her court actions make everyone else a little better and the team excellent.

As a former Lady Card who spent one season with her said:

"We've come to expect the unexpected out of her... anything she does isn't surprising. I'm lucky. I get a front row seat on the bench to watch her work."

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Women's throwers "put the hammer down" in Regionals



Senior discus and hammer athelete Jere' Summers was one of three UofL women's track and field members to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

Summers, D'Ana McCarty and Lindsey Cook all are headed to the Championships in the hammer event after first day action in the NCAA East Regional at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro.

Summers was 3rd out of 48 entries in the hammer toss with just one qualifying throw in the event. Senior Lindsey Cook finished 5th and junior D'Ana McCarty secured 10th place for the Cards. The top 12 finishers made it to the championships.

Both Summers and McCarty will also participate in the discus on Day Two of the regionals. Given their domination of the recent Big East Championships, both should easily score well enough to participate in the championships in this event also.

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How about Angel McCoughtry! The Atlanta Dream are 5-0 in the WNBA Eastern Division and McCoughtry leads the league in scoring average with 21 points a game. They had to work late to take the latest one when they faced the Phoenix Mercury. Atlanta stormed out to a 65-46 halftime lead but then had to withstand a late 16-0 run by Phoenix. With the score 96-93 Atlanta, guard Diana Taursi missed a game tying 3 pointer at the buzzer for the Mercury and the Dream escaped with the win.

McCoughtry had 28 points to lead the Dream. They face the always tough Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday.

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A bit off our usual subject matter here, but CARDINAL COUPLE spent Saturday afternoon with several fans and former players from the Arkansas State football team over at Churchill Downs.

They are eagerly anticipating Charlie Strong bringing the Cards to Jonesboro, Arkansas in early October. With the group were a couple of former cheerleaders for ASU and a current assistant trainer for the athletic program.

They share a common thread with Cardinal fans. They absolutely love the city of Louisvile and they're not exactly enamored with Lexington nor UK. A lot of positive comments about the Downtown Arena construction and the Papa John Cardinal Stadium expansion.

A nice afternoon discussing college sports, watching the horses and enjoying the beautiful weather. Have a safe trip home, folks...but remember...Cardinal Football will arrive in Jonesboro in October and leave with a win.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

We're Back....



HELLO, AGAIN. Thank you for bearing with our short absentee status on UofL Women's athletics. Some minor computer adjustments were necessary and now we're good to go.
(By the way, the hamsters did return from Truckee..a bit nervous but otherwise in good health.) California dreamin...

The young lady in the picture above wearing the blue #42 jersey is Cierra Warren. Please welcome her as the newest signee for the UofL women's basketball team. Cierra has transferred from the University of North Carolina, will sit out the 2010-11 season and wil have three years of elgibility for Louisville after that.

Warren is a 6'4" post that was ranked 18th best in the nation when she graduated from Los Osos high school in Rancho Cucamonga, CA in 2009. She went to the Tarheels and averaged 4.2 points and 2.6 boards her freshman year as a back up post.

The scoop on Warren is that she is a strong, physical interior presence. Picture Tina Charles or Kia Vaughn and you'll get an idea of her skills. She scores with ease in the paints and is a feared shot blocker. She'll be the type of brawling, agressive post that is a definite plus in the brutal Big East.

Louisville has fared well with transfers in recent years. Candyce Bingham came to the Lady Cards after two years at Xavier. Toni Slaughter joined the team after starting her college career at Cincinnati. Currently on the roster is talented guard Tia Gibbs...here after a year at Vanderbilt.

Sometimes, it goes the other way. Janae Howard left the Cards after one season to transfer to Western Kentucky. She'll be on the court this year, as will Mary Jackson who shipped out to Memphis after a year on the national runner up team.

Welcome to the nest, Cierra.

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Jeff Walz has made official what we've been telling you for weeks here at CARDINAL COUPLE. Gwen Rucker will concentrate on volleyball in 2010-11 and not don the basketball jersey. Laura Terry's career is finished...a victim of knee problems. Ashley Rainey is at Lindsey Wilson. All three of the Cardinals had their shining moments in the red and black and we wish them the best of future endeavors as they go onward toward their degrees and careers. Rucker will be fun to watch on the volleyball court this year. Rainey will probably average double doubles each night at NAIA Lindsey Wilson. Laura will be an inspiration for the team from the sidelines.

And so it goes. They come, they leave, they contribute and they learn.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Big East meetings: Whistling in the dark?



NOTE TO OUR DEAR READERS AND ALL YOU INTERNET BOTS. CARDINAL COUPLE WILL BE GOING DARK FOR A FEW DAYS. THE HAMSTERS THAT POWER OUR HARD DRIVE ARE HEADED TO THE ANNUAL RODENT AND PREDATOR CONVENTION/GAMES IN TRUCKEE, CA. WE HOPE THEY RETURN...

WE'LL BE BACK (WE PROMISE) BIGGER, STRONGER, STEROID AND CAVITY FREE. IN THE MEANTIME, PLEASE AMUSE YOURSELF BY CHECKING OUT THE SITES WE RECOMMEND OVER ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE SITE. OR, ORGANIZE YOUR SOCK DRAW. SEE YOU REAL SOON AND DON'T STOP BELIEVING. SOME ONE OUT THERE JUST MIGHT MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR YOU.

PAUL, SONJA, SCOOTER, RODNEY and MAX AND BERTIE..THE WONDER HAMSTERS.

Big East commisioner John Marinatto just might be feeling like General George Custer these days. The Indians are coming...masked as the Big 10...and they've got plenty of arrows (dollars).

Big East athletic directors and coaches headed to Jacksonville early this week to converge and confab on the league and the future. If the circumstances felt eerily similar to the meeting seven years ago when the league was raided by the ACC and Miami, Va.Tech, and Boston College left...consider the future.

The Big East will likely be raided by another war party in the future. This tribe is called the Big 10 and they are considering the scalps of Pittsburgh, Rutgers, UConn, Syracuse and Notre Dame. Although a snatch and grab of all these schools is unlikely, defection by two or more could have the grim reaper walking down the Big East sidewalk.

And, as it is so often anymore...it's all about the Benjamins. The green stuff. The coffer fillers. Member schools in the Big 10 fare much better financially than their Big East associates. The ESPN package is worth a bilion dollars. The Big East...well, not nearly as much.

We deal with women's sports here at CARDINAL COUPLE. A Big East defection will rock the men's basketball and football programs the most. But, consider Big East women's basketball without say...a UConn or Rutgers. Big East softball missing a Notre Dame or the league's tournament champion Syracuse? Track and field and swimming without the strong prescence of the Irish and the Orange? (As far as Pitt goes...don't let the door hit you in the backside on the way out. When's the last time Pitt won anything of consequence except for the Dave Wannstadt lottery?)High on the hill...staring down on what is definitely a pro sports town...Pittsburgh is the only away football tailgate trip I've ever been to where the NFL leather jackets and team jersey logos outnumbered the college team's.

When the battle begins, the Big East will return the favor and go shopping for replacements. It's hard to buy a Camry when you've been driving a Lexus but there are schools that are probably on the addition list.

Depending on the extent of pilfering, these schools would seem to rank as the (3) logical contenders to change affilitations and conference logos.

1) Memphis. The scorned lover back when the Big East expanded last time...the folks down on Beale Street still have an upside this time around. Strong TV market. Successful men's basketball program. A football stadium that can hold 70,000 fans. And Graceland. Ribs and Mud Island. Casinos nearby.

2) East Carolina. They love their football in Greenville and if football is the transmission to the Big East vehicle...you could do a lot worse by adding the Pirates to the drive train. Basketball...well, mediocre basketball teams in the Big East are a dime a dozen (see Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Florida. OK, you get the picture.) Adding another is a moot point at this juncture.

3) Central Florida. Media, media and location. Successes in football and a desire to grow. They are considered by some sources the "Louisville of the late ninties" a university on the verge of exploding into national prominence and growth. Whether they have a Tom Jurich type at the controls flying the athletic department plane is uncertain...but AD's are susceptible to career changes. Ask Wood Selig.

You may differ with these prognosticated picks. The Big 10 may decide schools like Missouri or Bellarmine are more lucrative. Aliens could land tomorrow and return Barack Obama to the mothership. But, something's going to happen down the road and, as usual...he who displays the most marbles usually wins the game. We'll see who the Big 10 adds to their pillage sack.

C. Viv Stringer and Geno Auriemma playing Northwestern and Illinois instead of Louisville and DePaul? It just could happen...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

McCoughtry named Player of the Week



Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry has been named WNBA Eastern Conference player of the week as the first week of the WNBA concludes. The former University of Louisville All-American helped lead the Dream to a perfect 4-0 record.

It was a very good week for the Baltimore, MD native. She averaged 21 pts., grabbed 5.5 rebounds and dished out 3 assists per game. Angel went off for 32 points against the Connecticut Sun and scored in double figures for each game.

In her sophomore season in the WNBA, Angel has proved to be a "go-to" small forward for Atlanta and seems to mesh well with the rest of the Dream's front line this year. The #1 pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft, McCoughtry needed a little adjustment time to the big league...but once she was inserted into the Dream's starting lineup, her full court play and court awareness helped the Dream make the WNBA playoff in only their second year of having a franchise.

Keep flying high, Angel.

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Although Louisville softball did not advance to the NCAA Softball Tournament Super Regionals, they did tie for the best record of the four Big East teams that were in the field of 64. None of the Big East schools made it to the round of Sweet Sixteen.

Louisville and Notre Dame posted 2-2 records to lead the way for the Big East. The Irish ended up losing to #2 ranked Michigan in the Ann Arbor region. The Cards were eliminated by #15 Tennessee. The Vols and Wolverines will try to get to Oklahoma City in a 3 game series against each other in Ann Arbor in the Super Regional.

DePaul ended their year by going 1-2 in the Columbia regional. Syracuse dropped both games in the College Park regional.

Out of the sixteen teams advancing, the Pac 10 leads the way with six member schools winning in regional play. Washington, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, California and Arizona continue toward the prize. The SEC has four teams still penciled in...Georgia, Tennessee, #1 seed Alabama and Florida. The University of Kentucky went 1-2 in the Columbus regional.

Missouri, Oklahoma, Michigan, Hawaii, Lousiana-Lafayette and BYU round out the winners.

Playing softball for Hawaii...yeah, I think I could have handled that back in my college days.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Softball wins two to advance to regional final



Jordan Trimble's hot bat helped the Cards take two Saturday in Knoxville.

With their backs to the wall after losing to Virginia yesterday, Sandy Pearsall's University of Louisville softball team knew that wins would be the only thing able to get them to the regional final on Sunday against Tennessee. They pulled off the feat, beating Ball State 5-1 and Virginia 7-4 Saturday to reach the final game.

After watching the Vols send Virginia to the losers bracket, Louisville faced Ball State. BSU took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first but Louisville tied the game in the top of the third with back to back doubles by Vanessa James and Melissa Roth.

The Cards took the lead in the top of the fourth when Alicja Wolny's single brought home Jordan Trimble. Louisville added three insurance runs in the top of the seventh for the final margin.

Tori Collins (18-5) went the distance for Louisville on the mound...allowing
seven hits and striking out six

The Cards started off the rematch against Virginia by scoring two runs in the top of the first when Trimble singled, Chelsea Bemis drew a walk and both scored on a Wherry double.

Louisville added a run in the fourth with another Trimble single and another Wherry double. The top of the seventh saw Louisville increase the lead to 7-0 when Jennifer Esteban opened with a single, Austin drew a walk and Roth loaded the bases after getting hit by a pitch. Trimble responded with a 2 RBI double and Roth scored next when Bemis grounded out. Wherry blooped a single to bring home Trimble to end Louisville's scoring.

The Cavs did rally for four runs in the bottom of the seventh...but Kristen Wadwell was able to finish the game and get the win. She allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits and struck out three to improve her record to 18-11.

The Cards will face Tennessee at 1 p.m. Sunday in the finals. If they win, they'll play the Vols again for the championship.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cards fall to Tenn. in 9 innings 3-1





Cardinal Couple has found out that senior forward/center Laura Terry will not play basketball for the Lady Cards in the 2010-11 season. Knee problems force the popular player to the sidelines.

Louisville's softball team lost Sunday to the Tennessee Vols 3-1 in 9 innings to end their season. The Cards had reached the finals of the Knoxville Regional with two wins Saturday and needed to beat UT twice Sunday to claim the title.

The Cards took an early 1-0 advantage when Chelsea Bemis blasted a shot deep over the left center wall. Cardinal starter Tori Collins allowed a run in the fifth to tie the game. Both teams had opportunities to score in the successive innings but UT ultimately ended up capitalizing in extra innings with two runs, laregely due to two Cardinal throwing errors in the field.

Tough end to a wonderful season for Sandy Pearsall's squad. Louisville won 40 games this year and has a strong team returning with Bemis, Jordan Trimble, Colby Wherry, Jennifer Esteban, Tori Collins and Alicja Wolny just a few of the girls that will be back next year.

Louisville does lose ace pitcher Kristen Wadwell and four year starter at catcher Melissa Roth to graduation but Pearsall's youth movement contributed big and often to the Cards successes and recruiting has gone well for Louisville for next season.

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As mentioned above, Laura Terry's career as a Lady Cardinal basketball player for Jeff Walz has ended because of her knee problems. Terry gave the CARDS three years of hustle and depth in the paint and was a decent three point shooter as well.

We'll miss that determination and lockdown defense on the hardwood but that big smile and positive attitude will still be on the Cardinal sidelines cheering her teammates on. We'll always remember Terry dashing down the court at the end of the Rutgers game several years ago to protect a loose ball from getting into the Scarlet Knights' hands and preserving a Cardinal win.

Thanks for the memories, Laura and remember that you will always be a part of the sisterhood known as Lady Cards hoops.

Cards fall to Cavs 1-0



The University of Louisville women's softball team opened play in the NCAA Knoxville Regional Friday with a 1-0 loss to the Virginia Cavaliers. In the double elimination format, the Cards next face Ball State Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Louisville had several chances to tie or win the game, especially in the late innings. The Cards had runners in scoring position in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh innings but could not get one across the plate.

Their best opportunity came in the bottom of the seventh when they managed to load the bases with two outs but Colby Wherry lined a shot to the first baseman to end the game.

Virginia scored the only run of the gsame in the top of the fifth when Alison Pittman tripled and then scored on a fielder's choice.

Tori Collins (17-5) took the loss for the Cards...allowing only four hits and fanning five in six innings of work.

Louisville next faces a Ball State squad that fell to Tennessee 5-0 in the second game. The Ball State Cardinals are making their first NCAA softball tournament appearance in 12 years.

The winner today survives and will play the loser of the Virginia vs. Tennessee game. The loser goes home.

************************************************************************8

Angel McCoughtry pours in 32 for the Atlanta Dream last night in a win over the Connecticut Sun. Atlanta is undefeated and getting great play out of Angel, Sancho Lyttle and Shalee Lehming.

That's our girl...Get her the ball and get out of the way..
Written by Paul
5/22/10

Friday, May 21, 2010

Roth, Bemis selected for All-Region team



















Back to back honors for the Cards' California connection of Melissa Roth and Chelsea Bemis when it was announced yesterday that they had been selected for the NFCA All-Region squads. Both made the teams in 2009.

For Roth, another first team apperance. She led Louisville in batting average (.398), home runs (16) RBI's (47) and runs scored (57).

Bemis made the second team...which is a little surprising considering she was the Big East Player of the Year. Her second half of the season spurt helped her bat .311. She put 12 over the fence and drove in 44 base runners.

Congratulations to both...who are also elgible for All-America honors.

Louisville begins regional play today at 4 p.m. in Knoxville, TN against the Virginia Cavaliers. This is the Cards seventh straight NCAA apperance.


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CARDINAL COUPLE got a nice e-mail from Portland, OR. sports writer Jerry Ulmer yesterday. He writes some really great article about the Portland high school sports scene. He pretty much told us that they're in the dark in Portland as much as we are in the 'Ville when it comes to high school recrruit Shoni Schimmel. With that info, we here at CARDINAL COUPLE are going into the "watched pot never boils" mode and we won't mention her again (promise!) until a decision is offered by her.

A noted psychologist once recalled a club that he and his brother formed as kids where the requirements for membership were based on standing in the corner of their bedroom and not thinking about polar bears. We're doing the same but substituting the girl we're not mentioning for the bears.

Written by Sonja
5/21/10

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rowing ends season with 6th place finish



The University of Louisville women's rowing team finished their season with a sixth place finish in the South Region and 13th place standing overall in the competition in Oak Ridge, TN. The Cards were coming off a three week layoff since competing in the Big East Championships...where they finished 4th. The Big East competition was held in Worcester, MA.

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With the spring signing period now ended and still no word on Shoni Schimmel's college selection, the Cards will now wait and see if a letter of intent will surface over the summer months. Let's not forget the five incoming freshmen Louisville head coach Jeff Walz already has headed to campus. A brief introduction of each one follows...

CHARMAINE TAY. 5'10" Point Guard. Bloomfield Tech, NJ

Tay brings to Louisville a knack for getting the team into the transition game quickly and is good at controlling the pace and tempo. Can either put it up or distribute to teammates. A good rebounder. Tay will challenge for time at the point..where Dez Byrd returns, Rachel Story saw time last year and Shelby Harper filled in as a walk on. Tay was the 6th ranked point guard in the class of 2010.

SHAWNTA' DYER. 6'2" Post/Wing Marion Harding, OH

Dyer is a versatile front line player who can play all three spots. She's good at driving to the basket, can spot up and shoot the mid-range jumper and rebounds on both ends of the court. It should be interesting to see where Walz will use her...especially with the Cards lack of depth at the power forward and center spots. Dyer was ranked #12 at the wing in the 2010 recruiting class.

SHERRONE VAILS. 6'4" Forward/Post Arundel, MD

Vails has great arm span and is a shot blocking machine inside. Her height and length give her a superior rebounding advantage and she can score underneath pretty easily. She should be in the mix for playing time in the post...where foul prone Keisha Hines returns for her senior season or at the power forward spot..where Asia Taylor impressed late in the season.

ANTONITA SLAUGHTER. 6'1" Small Forward Christian Academy, Lou., KY

Slaughter is an all-around player who excels at scoring from the wing or inside, is a defensive stopper and reminds many of a young Angel McCoughtry because of her court awareness, ability to make impossible plays and sweet shooting touch. Whether she joins the battle for inside play or is designated to play the wing for Walz...she's one that will see plenty of time because of her many skills.

POLLY HARRINGTON. 6'0" Power Forward Hickman Mills, Kansas City, MO.

Don't let the height on Harrington fool you. She plays like she's 6'3" and is a ferocious rebounder and scoring machine in the paint. She can also hit the mid range jumper and her aggressiveness on both ends of the court will serve Walz's transitition style of hoops very well. She'll challenge for time at the power forward immediately and is a bona fide front line product.

This class has been ranked as high as #5 for 2010 and will provide the Cards the depth and skills to make a deep run in Big East conference play. Schimmel would be a great addition to this group...but even without her...it may be Walz's best job of recruting since he arrived at Louisville.

Written by Paul
5/20/10

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dedicated













Shoni Schimmel shares a laugh with her sister Jude. Whether she'll announce today on where she's headed to college is anyone's guess. It is good, though...to see her practicing in the Louisville Cardinal shirt.

(Today, we share with you the notes from a friend. She was a decent high school and college basketball player who went on to do some coaching in the area before getting married and moving out of state.)


11 year old Connie has no doubt that she'll become a good basketball player someday. She's already the starting center on her school's 5th and 6th grade team...playing a little select team ball and watching replays of her games from the winter to see what she's doing right and wrong on the court. Her Dad is a family friend and he asked me if I would give him and her an honest evaluation on what kind of game she had, where she needed to improve and what to work on. Her Mom couldn't tell you the difference between a full court press and a neatly pressed suit but she is grateful for the fact her daughter doesn't spend all day on the internet and 4G network.

For Connie, there are successes and frustrations. She is tall and she gets a lot of rebounds. She doesn't like the double teams and swat away attempts she faces when she gets the ball in the paint. She realizes that with them, though, it means someone is open and she tries to find them. She works on moving her feet and knows she's still slower than the coaches would like to see her. She jumps rope and practices spin moves and block out positioning. I can attest to the fact that she's learned how to throw an elbow.

Her Dad asked me to see what I thought. She was a bit shy at first as we talked a little before we hit the court. Eventually it came out that she's a huge Vandy fan, envious that I communicate with the coach and players in the program and would die to get a chance to watch them in a practice setting.

No promises. I told her that I'd see. Then, we got on the court. My skills on the court aren't what they used to be but I remember the things I was taught. She tried to back me in for an easy basket. I sent it to the sidelines. I drew a flying foul when I head faked her and banked one off the glass. The game of "21" wasn't close but it gave me enough to work with for suggestions and an idea of where she was with her skills.

I reintroduced her to the box behind the goal on the basket. We spent time using it from various places around the paint. I showed her how to work the pump fake and finally got her to quit taking the ball almost to the court before raising back up for a shot. It was enough for one day. Her Dad got it all on camera and we agreed to do it again in a few days. It'll be a once or twice a week session with her this summer. Other sports beckon. She enjoys softball and she'd like to take up the game of golf.

We sit and drink water afterward. She likes water instead of soft drinks, which is a good thing. We talk diet. She is large for her age but not obese. I mention chicken, fish, pasta, vegetables and fruit, She counters with cheeseburgers, fries, pizza and ice cream. We reach an agreement to try it my way for a few weeks. We compromise to allow the pizza and ice cream to remain. Before I leave, I give her an old practice T-shirt I used when I was in college. A bit big on her, but the look of awe and appreciation was worth it.

It felt good to be back out there again. After years of coaching and years before that playing...I found I still had the competitive drive. If it makes the difference in a young basketball player's life, I'll be happy. If she quits the game and goes on to other teenage pursuits..so be it. The exercise can't hurt either of us, though.

What I saw was a dedication and willingness to learn. And, that's a good start.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Categorizing the Cavaliers



The University of Virginia's womens softball team is making its first ever apperance in the NCAA Championships. They'll play UofL at 4 p.m. Friday in Knoxville, TN. Let's take a look at the Cards first opponent.

The Cavs came in second in ACC league competition and faced Va. Tech in the first round of the playoffs. The Hokies were hosting the ACC Tournament and turned back to Cavs 1-0 to eliminate them from the event.

Virginia (33-21, 13-7) had two players hit over .300 for the season. Sarah Tacke (.362) and Nicole Koren (.308) They were also the Cavs leaders in home runs...with Koren knocking 12 out of the park and Tacke 10. The two also led Virginia in hits, RBI's and run scored. No word on whether they like the same music, wear matching outfits or take the same classes...

Freshman Melody Mitchell handled the majority of the pitching for Virginia and produced a 26-16 record. She has a 2.67 ERA and allowed 228 hits in 267.2 innings pitched. The Cavs staff allowed 42 home runs during the season while Cavs hitters managed 34 against opposing pitching.

It's hard to say right now who Sandy Pearsall which choose to open the regional play. Both Tori Collins and Kristen Wadwell have performed well for Louisville this year and Cavs batters struck out a total of 262 times. The Cards simply need to follow the script that got them this far. Jump on the opponent early with their offensive firepower and let defense and pitching seal the deal.

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Although the University of Louisville women's lacrosse season has ended, it doesn't mean the action has stopped at the University's lacrosse stadium. The Kentucky Lacrosse Association girls' high school state tournament will hold the finals on Thursday at UofL.

Kentucky Country Day and Collegiate will meet in the final game. KCD eliminated Sacred Heart 15-5 and Collegiate downed Ballard 14-7 in games at Assumption field on Monday.

The boys will he holding their semifinals and finals at UofL also, which begin Wednesday when Trinity faces KCD and Collegiate plays St. Xavier.

Jefferson County domination. I wonder what the elitist over at Cats Pause think about that? If they've heard of lacrosse....that is.

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Hard times for the NYRA. The not-for-profit governing body for New York horse racing is running out of money and may have to shut down after the Belmont Stakes is run. Their current cash position is in dire straights and there are doubts whether the historic summer meet at Saratoga will take place. Once again, a case of a state legislature failing to allow video lottery terminals in racing facilities. We all know the problems that has created here in Kentucky.

Trainer Richard Violette, also the president of the NYRA Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association sees a scenario where racing might be suspended in New York beginning June 6th. for two weeks. If a resolution cannot be reached in that time frame, the NYRA would close Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga. The move would mean over 2,000 backstretch workers would be out of jobs and 3,000 horses would be taken off the grounds. Kentucky horse racing could be next. Less racing days, shorter field and lower prize purses are already in effect here.

The city of Saratoga Springs is hugely dependant on the influx of business created by horsemen and visitors who ascend upon Saratoga Race Course during the summer. A cancellation of racing would turn the scenic site into a ghost town.

Today is election day in Kentucky. Any candidate not in favor of allowing casino gaming in Kentucky race tracks won't be getting the vote or endorsement of CARDINAL COUPLE. Join us, won't you?

By Paul
5/18/10

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rainey to Lindsey Wilson


According to a report from the Lindsey Wilson Athletic Department, former University of Louisville freshman forward Ashley Rainey has transferred to the school and will participate in women's basketball there during the 2011-11 season.

Rainey started in sixteen games for the Cardinals during the 2010 season but left campus over the Thanksgiving break and did not return. Rainey's sister and father played basketball for Lindsey Wilson. The school is a member of the NAIA...so Rainey would be elgible to play without having to sit out a transfer year.

Rainey came to Louisville from Warren East high school and was a Ky. Girls High School All State first team selection her senior year. Front line injuries for the Cardinals early last year pressed Rainey into immediate playing time and she responded well for the Cardinals at times but had a tendancy to foul out or get into quick foul trouble in games.

Rainey was also involved in an off-campus incident before Thanksgiving where she and a couple of other Lady Cardinals broke curfew and disobeyed a coach's order by going skating and then created a cover up story concerning the curfew violation.

Rainey did not return to the Cards after the Thanksgiving break and a statement was released that Rainey was undergoing some personal and family issues at home. Reports of a car accident near Bowling Green involving Rainey also surfaced but no official statement was releaseed concerning this.

Her rebounding and scoring skills were useful to a thin Lady Cards front line last year. The Cards should fare a little better in that area next year with Asia Taylor, Keisha Hines, Laura Terry, Polly Harrington, Shawnta Dyer, Sherrone Vails and Antonitia Slaughter available to compete for power forward and center spots.

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Rainey's departure frees up a scholarship for the Lady Cards who have their eye on Portland, OR point guard Shoni Schimmel. Returning Cardinals on scholarship are:


Dez Byrd
Tia Gibbs
Becky Burke
Nikki Burton
Rachel Story
LaToya Johnson
Keisha Hines
Asia Taylor
Laura Terry
Monique Reid

A player from 2010...Shelby Harper, a walk on who played point guard last year is currently not on scholarship.

Louisville currently has five incoming freshmen that are also on scholarship. Teams are allowed 15 scholarship players...so the Cards do have room and a scholarship available for Schimmel when she decides.

Written by Paul
5/17/10

Softball selected for NCAA Tournament



The University of Louisville softball team has been selected to play in the NCAA 2010 Softball Tournament and will begin action Friday, May 21st. in Knoxville, TN, against Virginia. If they win, they advance to face the winner of the Tennessee vs. Ball State game. It is a double elimination format..so the Cards must win three games to move on to Super Regional play. Louisville did not face any of the three teams headed to Knoxville during the 2010 season but did go 1-1 against Virginia last year.

Although the Cards were not ranked in the top 16 teams and did not receive a first and second round home field advantage...the draw isn't a bad one for Louisville. Tennessee was the #15 seed overall in the rankings and a total of 64 teams will vye for the final eight spots...which will be played at the ASA Hall of Fame softball stadium in Oklahoma City, OK. Speculation is that if the Cards had been able to defeat Syracuse in the finals of the Big East Tournament...they would have received first and second game home field advantage.

A total of four Big East teams are in the tournament. Notre Dame will play in Ann Arbor and face Illinois State in the first round. DePaul also got in and takes on Illinois in Columbia, MO. Automatic qualifier Syracuse opens with Oklahhoma in College Park, MD. None of the Big East schools were selected for opening round regional sites.

Other area schools taking part in the Championships include Kentucky. The Wildcats travel to Columbus, OH and are paired against host school Ohio State in the first round.

The Division I championships are played over three weekends. Four teams are sent to 16 regional sites and go through the double elimination format beginning Friday. The winning 16 teams go to one of 8 Super Regional sites...where they play a best out of three series against an opponent that would begin May 28th. Those winning 8 teams head to Oklahoma City for the World Series championships that start June 3rd. That format is also a best of three against an opponent...consisting of a quarterfinal, semifinal and final series for the winners...ending June 9th.

NCAA.com has a downloadable, printable bracket at their site and information was used from their site in this article.

Good luck Lady Cards!

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Angel McCoughtry and the Atlanta Dream are off to a 2-0 start in the WNBA. McCoughtry has 20 points Friday night and 11 Sunday. Chamique Holsclaw is listed on the Dream roster but has not participated in either game this season.

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Just a couple of days remain until the late signing period is over for women's college basketball hopefuls. Louisville waits along with several other schools to hear where Shoni Schimmel is headed. The availibility of information on who she is deciding between is basically sparse and boardering on non-existant. One internet speculation being circulated is that she has already decided on a school but members of her family are trying to get her to change her pick...preferring another school. Another circulated rumor is that her mom..who was also her high school coach...has been offered an assistant's job at another school if Schimmel shows up there to play.

For the straight stuff and accurate facts, remember that here at Cardinal Couple...if we tell you it happened, it actually happened...

Tick, tock. Tick, tock...

By Paul 5/17/10

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cards fall to Syracuse 2-1 in Big East Championship game



The softball Cards lose a close one to the 5th seeded Syracuse Orange on Saturday at Ulmer Stadium. For Louisville, just a case of not being able to get the runners to the plate ..as they stranded eight base runners in the game.

Syracuse borrowed a page from the Louisville strategy playbook by jumping on the opponent early and relying on pitching. The 'Cuse was able to push a run across the plate in both the first and second innings against Cardinal pitching.

Louisville's lone run came in the bottom of third when Melissa Roth opened the inning with a walk, moved to second on a Jennifer Esteban single and then raced home on a wild pitch from Syracuse hurler Jenna Caira.

The Cards had a chance to tie it in their last at bat. Roth walked and was granted second base on an illegal pitch. She was thrown out on a Esteban fielder's choice...but Esteban advanced to second with a steal while Chelsea Bemis was at bat. The game ended, though on a double play when Bemis drilled one down the first base line that the Syracuse first baseman made an incredible catch on and tossed the ball to second to double up Esteban who thought the ball got thru for a hit.

Jenna Caira got the win for the gusty Syracuse team but she needs to restudy the rulebook about what and what not a pitcher can do while on the mound. I know she got called for at least 10 illegal pitches during the game...the last one got Syracuse coach so mad that he stormed the field, argued the call with the umpires and got tossed from the game.

Syracuse gets the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships with the Big East tournament win. It is expected that Louisville, Notre Dame and DePaul will receive at large bids to the tournament. The selection show will be on ESPNU Sunday night at 10 p.m.

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Congratulations to LOOKIN AT LUCKY, Bob Baffert and new jockey Martin Garcia for their win in the Preakness Saturday. FIRST DUDE held on for second and JACKSON BEND got third. Took then a while to sort out the photo for second.

Best racing story of the day. Very good friend of ours sends Paul to the track with a couple of dollars for wagers. He plans on getting these bet and then off to Ulmer for softball. He uses one of the automatic wagering machines and keys in the information. Since the friend had slightly overpaid him for the amount of wagers she wanted...Paul adds a couple of horses to the bet on the bottom leg of the trifecta. He likes the bet the way he had created it and punches out a duplicate ticket of it for him.

You guessed it. He added JACKSON BEND in the third spot. They already had LOOKIN AT LUCKY on top with SUPER SAVER...and about 4 or 5 horses picked to run second...including FIRST DUDE. The trifecta paid $1385 for a $1 wager. They also hit the exacta which paid $94.30 on a dollar. He never made it to Ulmer...and yes, the IRS will get their share of it...

The best part is that she knows about the exacta but Paul hasn't told her yet about the addition to win the trifecta for both of them. We're having lunch this afternoon with her and he'll present her the winning ticket then.

By Sonja
5/17/10

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cards advance to final of Big East Tournament.




The Softball Cards advance to the finals with a 5-2 win over Notre Dame. Once again, a case of the Cards jumping on the opponent early and relying on pitching to seal the deal.

The game started out with a bang when Melissa Roth smashed the first pitch of the game over the right field fence to put the Cards up 1-0. Back to back singles by Jennifer Esteban and Alicja Wolny made it 2-0 and then a couple of Notre Dame fielding errors allowed Esteban to score a third run. Katelyn Mann's sacrifice fly got Wolny to home plate and the Cards had a 4-0 lead.

Cardinal pitcher Tori Collins kept Notre Dame in check for four innings..allowing the Irish a run in the third and one in the fourth. Kristen Wadwell tossed the final three innings and allowed no Irish hits or further scores. Louisville tacked on an insurance run in the 5th when Kristin Austin drove in Betty White.

In the first game of the day, #5 seed Syracuse pulled the upset on #1 DePaul with a 3-2 win. DePaul led the Orange 2-1 going into the sixth inning, thanks to a solo home run by Becca Hentiak but the Syracuse got run producing hits by Hallie Gibbs and Lacey Kohl to put the 'Cuse up 3-2 and they were able to hold the Blue Demons scoreless inthe final two innings.

Louisville and Syracuse will play in the title game Saturday at 5 p.m.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cards romp Pitt 9-1 in Big East Softball Quarterfinal


Kristen Wadwell picked up the win for the Cards...who allowed only three Panthers hits in the 9-1 win.

Another case of Louisville jumping on an opponent early during Thursday night's game in Ulmer Stadium. The Cards struck for one run in the first and three runs in the second to build a lead that Pitt couldn't catch up with.

Louisville struck first with a double steal in the first inning that scored a run on a wild throw and after Pitt tied the game in the top of the second on a passed ball, the #3 seeded Cards got busy in the bottom of the second with (4) straight singles by Jordan Trimble, Kristin Austin, Vanessa James and Jennifer Esteban to go up by three.

Louisville sealed the deal in the bottom of the sixth when Alicja Wolny singled, Trimble crushed a triple off the right center fence and Austin singled her home. A Melissa Roth's double brought in Austin to make it 8-1 and Roth scored the game ender on a Esteban single and wild throw by Pitt.

Wadwell recorded eight strikeouts in 5 innings on the mound. Louisville recorded 13 hits against the #6 seeded Pitt squad and Esteban and Trimble went a combined 7-7 at the plate.

Other Big East quarterfinal action at Ulmer Stadium today:

(GAME 1)

SYRACUSE 4 - VILLANOVA 3

The 2010 Big East softball tournament started Thursday morning with a battle between #4 Syracuse and #5 Villanova. Under sunny skies and humid temperatures, the teams kicked off the 10 a.m. game with fireworks in the first inning. After Syracuse went down in order in the top of the first, Nova started with four straight hits, sent seven batters to the plate and jumped out 2-0 on the Orange.

They kept the lead until the top of the 3rd, when the 'Cuse responded with 3 runs, keyed by a Hallie Gibbs two run double. Syracuse would add an insurance run in the top of the seventh when center fielder Veronica Grant got to the plate on a fielders choice after drawing a walk to start the inning. Villanova mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh, opening the inning with two singles...but winning pitcher Jenna Caira retired the next three batters, allowing one run on a passed ball at the plate.

Gibbs went 2-4 for the winning Orange, driving in 2 runs and scoring once. Cara went the distance on the mound, giving up 9 hits and striking out 3.

(GAME 2)

DEPAUL 3 - RUTGERS 0

An hour and fifteen minute rain delay interrupted the bottom of the first inning in the Blue Demons vs. #8 seeded Scarlet Knights battle. When play resumed, DePaul scored the only run it turned out they would need when Alex Morocco scored on Brittany Yniguez's fly ball to left field. Becca Heteniak tossed six innings of two hit softball and Bree Brown came in for the final inning for the #1 seeded Blue Demons.

Katie Voss crashed a two run homer to left center in the fourth inning to complete the scoring for the Blue Demons.

(GAME 3)

NOTRE DAME 6 - PROVIDENCE 2

Christina Lux continued her love affair with Ulmer Stadium, driving in four runs for the Irish in the win. The first baseman slapped a 2 run single in the first to put the Irish ahead to stay. Sadie Ritzenberg rattled the fence in the second for a 2 RBI double in the second inning and Lux completed the #2 seeded Notre Dame run total in the 3rd with a 2 run homer.

#7 seeded Providence rallied for two runs in their final at bat in the seventh but Brittany O'Donnell saved the win for starter Jody Valdivia, who left the game in the 5th inning after taking a line drive off the leg.

Friday's action wiil have the Orange facing DePaul in the 2:30 opener and Louisville battling the Irish at 5 p.m.

Bemis named Player of the Year in Big East Softball




UofL third baseman Chelsea Bemis was voted Player of the Year in Big East softball for 2010. The award for the junior slugger was announced last night at the Big East Championship Banquet. Her selection was no surprise to Cardinal softball fans who have watched her safely swat almost everything that was tossed to her this year for Sandy Pearsall's softball Cards.

Bemis also was a unanimous selection to the 1st Team All-Big East squad. Cardinal pitcher Tori Collins and catcher Melissa Roth joined Bemis on the first team selections. First baseman Alicja Wolny was selected for the second team and Kristin Austin and Colby Wherry got third team honors.

Big East Tournament play begins Thursday morning with a 10 a.m. start pitting #4 Villanova against #5 Syracuse. The rest of the quarterfinal round is as follows:

12:30 p.m. #1 DePaul vs. #8 Rutgers
4:00 p.m. #2 Notre Dame vs. #7 Providence
6:30 p.m. #3 Louisville vs. #6 Pittsburgh

First round action will be available on Big East TV and the Thursday quarterfinal package can be purchased for $7.95 if you can't make the games. Go to BigEast.org and click on the link to register and purchase what looks to be an exciting first day of Big East softball action.

The Friday semifinals and Saturday final will be shown on CBS College Sports. A 5 p.m. first pitch is set for Saturday, which makes it tough on those wanting to see if Calvin Borel and SUPER SAVER can win the Preakness.

The winners of game 1 and game two start the action Friday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets for the Championship can be purchased at Ulmer Stadium for either single sessions or the full package.

Should Louisville defeat the Panthers in the single elimination tournament, they would face the winner of the Notre Dame vs. Providence game at 5 p.m. Friday. Louisville did not play their quarterfinal opponent Pittsburgh during the 2010 regular season. Ace hurler Cory Berliner will probably draw the starting assignment for Pittsburgh.

The Panthers did play a couple of non-Big East opponents that Louisville also faced...losing to Kentucky and splitting a two game set with Morehead State.

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Also on tap this evening is the 2010 Cardinal Caravan tour at Captain's Quarters. Louisville players and coaches will address the crowd and the cheerleaders and LadyBirds will be performing as well. Louie the Cardinal Bird may have to fly back and forth from the Caravan and Ulmer Stadium to ruffle his feathers for both events...and it is not known yet whether the UofL Pep Band will be playing at the diamond or down by the river.

The Caravan kicked of the 2010 tour in Owensboro Wednesday night.

CARDINAL COUPLE will recap all the quarterfinal action for you beginning Thursday night with a report on each of the four games.

Written by Sonja
5/13/10

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

She's back...


Be on standby and alert...all you air traffic controllers in Atlanta. There is an Angel flying high around the Peach state airspace and she's ready to take her Atlanta Dream team to new heights in the upcoming WNBA season.

McCoughtry, the rookie of the year last season in the WNBA, is going thru preseason drills along with her Atlanta Dream teammates. Spending several months in the EuroLeague, Angel and Candice Dupree led the Good Angels Kosice team to the league to the playoffs...the first appereance ever in post-season play for the Slovakian team. The experience gained there and performance by McCoughtry indicates that the UofL grad is fully comfortable playing at the next level and that should be a cause of concern for the rest of the league.

The Dream made it to the WNBA playoffs last year, thanks to McCoughtry's efforts. Headed into their third year of existance, Atlanta returns plenty of talent beside McCoughtry. Chamique Holdsclaw, Sancho Lyttle, Iziane Castro Marquez, Erica de Souza and twins Coco and Kelly Miller are on the preseason roster. 6'7" Duke standout Alison Bales is vying for a spot, also...along with fellow rookies Brittiany Raven (Texas) and Shawn Goff (Mississippi).

Fly high this WNBA season, Angel. Wouldn't it be nice to see a WNBA franchise develop in the new Yummy Center downtown?

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Cardinal Caravan kicks off the 2010 tour with a visit to Owensboro Wednesday afternoon. They'll be in Louisville Thursday. The Cardinal coaches event returns after a one year hiatus and will also make stops in southern Indiana, northern Kentucky and Shelbyville.

Missed the event last year, as I'm sure many of you did. Good things come to those who wait, though. Hearing Charlie Strong instead of Steve Kragthorpe. Oh, yeah...that's the ticket. Hopefully Cardinal women's basketball coach Jeff Walz will have a few of the Lady Cards there this year as he did last time the Caravan set down at Captain's Quarters. It was there just two years ago that a cocky and confident young guard named Dez Byrd told me the she would, without a doubt, be the Cards starting point guard and Angel McCoughtry assured me that it was her senior year wish to take the Cards deep in the NCAA Tournament. Both comments turned out to be right on line.

Written by Paul
5/12/10

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bemis earns Big East Player of the Week honors



Louisville's hard hitting junior third baseman has been selected as the Big East Player of the Week for her efforts against the Huskies. She ended the final week of the regular season going 5 for 8 (.625) and drove home eight runs. Her torrid hitting included two double and two home runs. She also crossed the plate four times.

Bemis led the Big East during the regular season in slugging percentage.

She and the rest of the Softball Cards will play 6:30 p.m. in the opening round of the Big East Tournament Thursday night here at Ulmer Stadium. Louisville finished in third place for the regular season standings.

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I absolutely hate the conflict that has developed here between the Cards softball tournament opener and the Cardinal Caravan Thursday night at Captain's Quarters. Originally, I swear I saw the the 3rd ranked team in the Big East final regular season standings would face the 6th ranked team to begin the tournament at 10 a.m. Thursday when I checked out the bracket pairings and times earlier in the week over at a Big East site. This worked out well for fans who wanted to attend both softball and the showcase of Louisville players and coaches. The official tournament draw that was released Sunday night, though...had the #3 vs. #6 at 6:30 p.m.

I can understand moving the UofL game to a later time and hoping to get a larger attendance...since more people will be home from work and able to attend and bring the kids. Putting it up against the popular Cardinal Caravan, though...which returns after a one year absence...makes no sense. Perhaps the Big East tournament officials didn't know about the gathering by the river.

Maybe the rains will delay one or both of the activities. The long range weather forecast for Louisville on Thursday doesn't look all that great. As if all this wasn't bad enough, yours truly also has a regularly scheduled monthly club meeting that same night.

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We all appreciate a little humor on the golf course. Usually. Who could forget Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray in CADDYSHACK? Adam Sandler and his golf antics in HAPPY GILMORE? Even Kevin Costner's tribulations in TIN CUP. The NCAA frowns on such nonsense, though and disqualified Norte Dame golfer Annie Brophy for joking around about her scores during the final round of the Central Regional Saturday at Otter Creek Golf Course. Brophy was keeping an accurate scorecard during the 18 holes but was telling people in charge of driving around the course and keeping track of the scores for the leaderboard that she was 6 under par after the first nine holes.

Brophy intended on turning in her actual scores at the end of her round...explaining that she wasn't lying or cheating on her score and actually keeping an accurate record of her strokes..but the NCAA got wise to her antics and disqualified her after 14 holes.

The problem? Seems that the scores Brophy was reporting had the teams from Florida State, Oregon and Kent State waiting around to see if they might be bumped by the Irish from finishing in the top eight and advancing to the NCAA Championships.

Brophy later admitted that her actions were not funny and she wasn't considering the long term effects of her kidding around. I wonder if she's majoring in Theatre or Political Science at Notre Dame.

(And people used to have problems with me replacing their golf ball with a hollowed out plastic one when they weren't looking. I submit the crown and title to you, Annie.) MANANANANAAAAAAAAA...NOONAN!

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You may have noticed a new link in the "Sites We Recommend" at the top left of our site. THEY'RE PLAYING BASKETBALL is a great site that has a lot of articles about women's basketball and other related topics. Be sure to check out the article about Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant juggling her responsibilities as a head coach and mother. This was a great find by Sonja and I've made this site a "must read". Thanks to Sue for allowing us to post her link and spread the word.

Written by Paul (Happy bithday...Boats!)
5/11/10

Monday, May 10, 2010

Softball Cards sweep UConn series with 7-3 win



Louisville ended the regular season on a high note with a 7-3 win at UConn. The Cards swept the series and goes into the Big East Tournament as the third seed.

The Cards pounced on UConn early in Sunday's game...scoring three runs in the top of the first. Melissa Roth led off with a single and advanced when Jennifer Esteban's fielder's choice was mishandled...leaving both runners safe. Chelsea Bemis continued with her torrid hitting streak and singled in Roth. Esteban scored on a throwing error when Bemis stole second and Colby Wherry's single got Bemis to the plate for an early 3-0 lead.

The Cards continued the scoring in the second inning when Kristin Austin single and advanced to third on a Roth double. Esteban reached on a fielder's choice that left all runners safe. Austin scored on a Bemis sacrifice fly and the Cards tacked on another run when Roth made it to the plate on a passed ball...giving Louisville a 5-0 advantage.

UConn got two runs back in the fourth on a home run blast from Amy Vaughn but countered with a run in sixth when Alicja Wolny's double scored Esteban. The final Cardinal score came in the seventh when Katelyn Mann drew a walk and touched the plate on a Vanessa James double. UConn tacked on a meaningless run in the bottom of the seventh to make the final 7-3.

Kristen Wadwell picked up her 17th win of the year. She struck out three and allowed seven hits in six innings.

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The field has been set for the Big East tournament which will begin Thursday in Louisville. The Cards finished in third place with a 16-6 record. Notre Dame and DePaul tied for first. Louisville will start against 6th seed Pittsburgh Thursday morning. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. The full rankings are:

#1 DePaul
#2 Notre Dame
#3 Louisville
#4 Villanova
#5 Syracuse
#6 Pittsburgh
#7 Providence
#8 Rutgers

Written by Paul
5/10/10

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Softball Cards take two at UConn



Tori Collins and Kristen Wadwell combined to hold the Huskies to just one run in two games Saturday. Louisville swept the double header 5-0 and 10-1.

Louisville (36-16, 15-6) weathered a hour long rain delay that postponed the start of the first game and, at first, it looked like the Cards' bats might be a little waterlogged as well. The teams remained scorless after four innings and just had three hits between them. The Cards finally got the base paths busy in the top of the fifth inning when Melissa Roth and Jennifer Esteban drew walks and Chelsea Bemis sent them home with her deep home run to centerfield...her 11th of the year.

Alicja Wolny started off the Cards half of the sixth inning with a fence clearer to right and the Cards tacked on the final run of the game later in the inning when Kristin Austin came home on a bases loaded Esteban walk.

Collins got the win, going 4 innings and allowing just the one hit. Kristen Wadwell finished the final three innings and preserved the one hitter for Louisville.

Game Two saw the Cards hit the board first when Wolny and Katelyn Mann started the inning with singles and reached home plate on a triple by Austin. Vanessa James' single scored Austin and the Cards built a 3-0 lead.

Louisville tacked on 3 more runs in the 4th inning when Roth singled, Esteban reached on an error and Bemis banged another one into the parking lot...putting Louisville up 6-1.

The Cards were just getting warmed up. In the sixth, Roth doubled and Esteban drew a walk that allowed Colby Wherry to connect for a three run blast down the left field line to give the Cards a 9-1 advantage. They closed out the scoring later in the inning when Wolny singled and raced home on a Jordan Trimble single.

Wadwell was credited with the win. She pitched three innings of shutout softball for Louisville and Collins allowed just one run and three hits in three innings.

The teams conclude the series and the regular season for each on Sunday. Louisville hosts the Big East tournament beginning Thursday. Let's hope the weather holds up...the long range weather forecast is for rain in the Louisville area beginning Tuesday and continuing until Friday.

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Louisville women's golf finished the third and final day of the NCAA Central Regional in 14th place....missing the cut for the NCAA Championships. The Cards were led by Laura Anderson's 74 on the final day. Anderson returns for her final season next year along with junior Sara-Maude Juneau and freshmen Candice Wiley and Anna-Karin Ljungstrom....giving the 9-iron Cards and strong nucleus for 2011.They lose only graduating senior Daphine Parker from their starting fivesome.

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Finally, a Happy Mother Day to all readers! Whether your a mother, father, daughter or son...make sure and let Mom know how much you appreciate her and love her. I miss my Mom but I'm very thankful of the wise guidance and unconditional love she showed me and my family while she was with us.

Written by Paul HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL!
5/9/10

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Women's golf 14th after two rounds in Columbus



Sara-Maude Juneau fired an 80 on windy Otter Creek golf course to remain in the top twenty golfers as Day 2 competition concluded in the NCAA Central Regionals in Columbus, IN. Juneau has a two day total of 154 and is in 17th place headed into the final round Saturday.

Freshman Anna-Karin Ljungstrom had the best round of the day for the Cards with a 77. She has a two day total of 158. She is tied for 38th with Laura Anderson..who finished the day with an 84. Daphine Parker and Candice Wiley are further back with two day scores of 170. Wiley toured the eighteen with an 83 Friday and Parker shot an 84.

Louisville needs low scores in today's final round from their top four golfers if they are to climb to 8th place and qualify for the NCAA Championships in Wilmington, NC. The Cards will tee it up at 12:30 Saturday afternoon.

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Much has been said lately about the involvement of basketball AAU coaches and the "brokering" of their performers to college coaches and the handling of certain things for the recruits families. The issue concerns mostly men's college basketball but sometimes it drifts into the women's game. Maya Moore and UConn drew a little press a few years back when it was alleged that Moore received improper benefits while being recruited by the Huskies...including a tour of the ESPN studios in Bristol, CT.

It is a dubious relationship for these AAU coaches...who probably work more with the kids on Select and other all-star teams than their high school coaches do. I recently spoke with a former high school assistant coach who flat out told me...

"We only get these players 5 months a year at best. A lot of them play all year round and their AAU coaches don't have nearly the restrictions or limitations enforced upon them that we do as academic institutions. I've been involved in situations where we are coaching our tails off in the huddle during timeouts at games and the AAU coach of a kid is up there in the stands shouting out to the kid to do something different when we break from the huddle. The relationship with some of these kids and AAU ball starts way before they become freshmen in high school. I can guarantee you that a former UofL men's basketball recruit was basically shopped around thru the AAU guys and the kid's parents to several institutions before they got the deal they wanted from one of the schools. The kid ended up going there, and it wasn't Louisville... and having a pretty good four years. Pure coincidence, I'm sure...but the kid's dad ended up with a new job at probably twice the pay he was making before the kid went to college."

So, parents...in addition to encouraging your son or daughter to hone their sport skills...you might also want to brush up on your collective bargaining skills and buy a trench coat and wide brimmed hat. The good thing is that it will probably never infiltrate women's sports to any major degree. The bad thing is that it will probably continue to grow in men's athletics until the NCAA comes down with great vengance on the snake oil salesmen and dream weavers out there in the bushes posing as AAU handlers and coaches.

Written by Paul
5/8/10

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cardinal women's golf in Central Regional


Anna-Karin Ljungstrom carded an 81 during the first round of the NCAA Central Regionals at Otter Creek Golf Course in Columbus, IN. She overcame a rough front nine to finish with 7 straight pars.

The Cards are in 13th position out of 24 teams participating in the regional tournament, They totaled a 315...led by Laura Anderson and Sara-Maude Juneau, who fired 74's to finish 2 over par for the 18 holes. Daphine Parker made the tour with a 86 and Candace Wiley finished with an 87.

Louisvile is vying to finish in the top eight and advanace to the NCAA Championship. Play continues Friday for the Cards, who are 18 strokes behind front runner Arizona State.

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Cardinal softball ends the regular season with a weekend series at Connecticut. The Cards are in third place in the Big East and will face a Husky squad currently tied for eight and needing to beat the Cards to gain a spot in the Big East tournament.

Louisville will host the three day Big East showdown beginning next Thursday.

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Mum is still the word on Portland, OR. combo guard Shoni Schimmel's college selection. Schimmel was expected to make her announcement in early May and it was believed that she might break the news Wednesday but, so far...no word out of the Franklin High School standout.

CARDINAL COUPLE is monitoring the situation and will break into your regularly scheduled internet surfing with any updates. Things always seem to come in twos or three around the late signing period and we're also monitoring any other news that may affect the Lady Cards.

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We are the proud hosts of a cardinal bird nest in our front hedges at the house. It's quite fun to sit in the den where our computer is and look out the front window early in the morning to watch the hustle and bustle of mama and papa cardinal flitting around the yard. They keep a lively duel going with the mockingbirds that have a nest in one of our blue spruces. Throw in a couple of energetic squirrels and two territory protecting Yorkies and you have "Sonja Zoo." Free admission and fun for all. Just be careful when walking the premises... mockingbirds love to swoop down upon unsuspecting visitors and remind them that this is their turf and they will protect their house.

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Have you been to the Cardinal Couple-Cardinal Dominance message boards lately? Shannon has done a wonderful job creating a place for all fans to talk UofL women's sports, baseball, football and whatever topic you are interested in. Follow the link for Cardinal Dominance at the top of our home page or go to www.cardinaldominance.net



Written by Sonja
5/6/10

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Your favorite Cardinal women's sports moment?









The University of Louisville's win over Rutgers in the Big East tournament ranks as one of my favorite Cardinal women's sports moments. There have been plenty to celebrate over the years. I can still play back in my mind those final seconds...seeing Laura Terry race downcourt to prevent Rutgers from getting the loose ball with seconds remaining. Angel's dump off pass in the paint to a wide open Candyce Bingham who scored the go ahead goal...me jumping into the air and screaming at the top of my lungs when the buzzer sounded and Patrika Barlow leading a charge of Cardinal players onto the court to celebrate the upset win. The look of disappointment on Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer's face and the phone ringing off the hook for the next thirty minutes...calls from friends raving about the win.

The Lady Cards march to the NCAA Championship game in 2009 had plenty of great McCoughtry moments. Louisville softball's Chelsea Bemis and Melissa Roth have created a few big time Cardinal highlights and the success of field hockey, track and field...there are plenty to choose from. How about Aja Sherman's dominance on the mound when she pitched for the Cards?

Being in Rupp arena two years ago and watching Louisville beat the Lady Cats by 15 in a game where Angel took a shot to the eye, left for stitiches and came back to play the final eight minutes of the game ranks up there also. We'll forget about the game up there in Memorial this year...

My friend Christy reminded me recently of the trip we made to Chattanooga a couple of years ago to watch the women's basketball team compete in the Panera Bread tournament. Louisville looked dominating in those two games and we had a great weekend in Chattanooga...watching hoops, touring the city and making a side trip to the Jack Daniels distillery. It was then we knew that Walz had something very special with this group of Cardinals and Angel had put her stamp on this team and on women's college basketball.

Paul recalls the night Angel lit up DePaul for 41 points during her junior year. She was unstoppable in that game and the Blue Demons had no answer for her.

Maybe you remember how Lola Arslanbekova dominated opposing volleyball teams front lines with 513 kill shots last season. She'll be back to do the same this upcoming season and Leonard Yelin's squad is a serious threat to win the Big East.

Feel free to send any favorite Cardinal women's athletics memories to us at Cardinal Couple or comment on the ones we've listed above.

And don't stop believing...tons more of those big play moments are out there in the future for the women who participate in the Red and Black.

Written by Sonja
5/6/10

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Softball a solid 3rd in Big East standings


John Belushi contemplates where he wants sit at the upcoming Big East softball tournament that will be held at UofL's Ulmer Stadium May 13th-15th. As the 3rd seed, Louisville will begin play at 10 AM Thursday morning and face either Pittsburgh, Providence or Villanova. Tickets are available thru the University of Louisville ticket office or can be purchase at the gate. Although the late, great comedian won't be there...he'd be excited to watch the Softball Cards and their impressive lineup. Makes me want to have a "cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger...Pepsi."

Sandy Pearsall's Softball Cards sit in 3rd place in the Big East standings, behind DePaul and Notre Dame. Louisville will host the 2010 Big East softball tournament again this year and if there is a better venue than Ulmer Stadium to watch the game, you'll have to prove it to me.

Pearsall came to Louisville in 2000 after coaching at Miami, OH for six years. Softball was a new entity on the Belknap Campus and Pearsall wasted no time in pushing the program to prominence...gathering the C-USA Coach of the Year honors during her first season as the Cards skipper. Her teams have won over 400 games and this year's team is a solid contender for one of her best ever. Another example of Tom Jurich making a quality coaching hire decision and seeing it come to a sucessful outcome.

The softball stars are many and senior catcher Melissa Roth leads a talented group of diamond performers that love to pounce on opponents early and seal the deal with outstanding pitching. Kristen Wadwell and Tori Collins are Big East All-Star candidates and Collins has really stepped up and been very effective lately after Chelsea Leonard's season ended with a knee injury.

Roth isn't alone as a Cardinal slugger. Chelsea Bemis recently was named national player of the Week for her at plate efforts and Jordan Trimble, Vanessa James, Alicja Wolny and a multitude of others have made the Cardinal squad a nightmare for opposing pitchers.

CARDINAL COUPLE will provide full coverage of the Big East tournament and if you can't make it to Louisville for the 3 day affair, you can watch the action on Big East TV. Isn't it about time that the Cards get a little live game radio coverage? After all, how many classic rock stations does this city really need?

I'm guessing that if you gave Vanetti unlimited trips thru the media buffet, he'd do it in a heartbeat and I'd gladly do color commentary gratis.

On second thought...maybe it's a bad idea after all...

Written by Sonja
5/5/10 HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Teena Murray receives honor


You see her on the sidelines at University of Louisville women's basketball games. Sitting at the end of the bench, joining the huddles during time outs...occasionally chatting with one of the players or assistant coaches. She is at softball games also, working with players before and during games. What you don't see is the hours she and her staff put in helping strengthen, condition and build stamina with all the UofL women's athletes.

She has finally received national recognition. Teena Murray is now a master strength and conditioning coach and will be presented the award Thursday, May 6th in Orlando, FL.

There are only 92 such titles in college sports. The honor is comparable to being selected to the Hall of Fame for a basketball coach.

Murray has had a dramatic effect on the way UofL women student athletes train and prepare for their contests. Her methods have definitely produced results. A third Big East title for the women's track and field squad. A run toward the national title for the University of Louisville women's basketball team in 2009. Softball near the top of the leaderboard year after year. Look at the records of Cardinal softball and basketball and if you research it, you'll see improvement in the standings and performance of the athletes since Murray arrived on the UofL campus in 2004 after serving as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at UConn. I'm not saying she is the sole reason for the across the board improvement but no one can argue with the fact that better trained and conditioned performers acheive better results.

Watch for her the next time you attend a UofL softball, basketball or soccer game. Quietly advising and observing her players, Murray does not seek or grab the spotlight...content to offer a few choice words...but she's constantly reviewing and rating performances, strengths, areas of needed improvement and overall conditioning of the women who don the red and black.

The next time you see Melissa Roth slug one over the wall or Monique Reid blow past an opponent for two...keep in the back of your mind that the assist goes to the way Murray and her staff keep the Cardinal women at peak performance and optimal skills.

I wonder if she could work wonders on a couple of old ex-jocks whose bones sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies each morning when they wake up?

Written by Paul
5/4/10

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cards, Collins corral Bulls 5-0


(One last look at the 136th Kentucky Derby...a great shot from above the starting gate.)

Tori Collins pitched her second shoutout in as many days Sunday...blanking the USF Bulls in Tampa. Collins tossed a no-hitter for the first six innings of the game and finished allowing only two hits and striking out six. The win for Louisville (34-16, 13-6) cements a 3rd place standing in the Big East as they travel to UConn later this week to end the regular season.

For the Cards, another scenario of pouncing the opponent early. They started the top of the second with 4 straight singles by Colby Wherry, Jennifer Esteban, Alicja Wolny and Katelyn Mann to take a 1-0 lead, got another run on a dropped ball and used a Melissa Roth single to make it 3-0. The final run of the inning came when Vanessa James scored on a wild pitch.

The Cards tacked on an insurance run in the fifth when an Esteban single got home Mann who had earlier singled.

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Louisville lacrosse got a win on the road at Villanova on Sunday. Bergan Foley netted 7 goals and Katie Oliverio contributed 5 assists in the Cards 19-6 win over the Wildcats to end the season.

Louisville scored the first 4 goals of the game and never trailed the Wildcats. The Cards end the year with a 11-6 record and 4-4 in the Big East. The Cards lose only four seniors and have a strong nucleus returning next season with Oliverio, Foley, Liz Lovejoy, Emily Dashiell and Danielle Pawliw all returning for Kellie Young's squad.

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The UofL women's track and field team won their third straight Big East Championship in Cincinnati on Sunday. Jere Summers won the discus and hammer throws and was selected field MOP of the championship. The Cards finished 1-2-3 in the discus...D'Ana McCarty earning second spot and Lindsey Cook third. Theresa Lewis got third in the 100 meter hurdles and Chelsea Brown fourth in the 400 meter hurdles.

Written by Sonja
5/3/10

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cards split with Bulls in softball



Tori Collins pitched a two hit shutout in the first game for Louisville. The Cards (33-16, 12-6) prevailed 4-0 but narrowly lost the second 2-1 to USF.

Sophomore pitcher Tori Collins is making the most of the opportunity to be the second pitcher in Louisville's rotation with the injury to Chelsea Leonard. She blanked the Bulls yesterday in Tampa. Collins (14-4) tossed the complete game shut out...her 4th whitewash of the year and struck out six USF batters.

Louisville jumped out early against the Bulls. Vanessa James stroked a two out RBI single in the second inning with the bases full to put the Cards up 1-0.

Chelsea Bemis kept her hot bat going in the fifth with a double and Colby Wherry delivered an RBI single to increase the lead to 2-0. The Cards would finish the scoring in the 7th when Melissa Roth pounded a double, Bemis was intentionally walked and Wherry delivered another RBI single. Bemis would score the final run when Brittany York drew a walk with the bases loaded.

In game two, a pitcher's duel kept the scoreboard at zeros for 4 innings. The Bulls plated two runs when Kristen Wadwell surrendered three hits in the bottom of the 5th inning and two Cardinal throwing errors allowed USF's Cat Olnick to score the final Bulls run at the plate on a close call that Louisville head coach Sandy Pearsall charged the field to protest. Pearsall was unsuccessful on the protest and was tossed from the game by the home plate ref for arguing her case a bit too strenously.

Jennifer Estenban scored the lone Cardinal run in the top of the sixth, getting to the plate on a Jordan Trimble single.

Wadwell pitched well for Louisville in the defeat, allowing only three hits in six innings...one earned run and fanning four.

The teams play the final game of the series Sunday.

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Louisville Lacrosse visits Villanova today for their final regular season and Big East conference game. Louisville (10-6, 3-4) is 2-0 all time in games against the Wildcats and is coming off a convincing road win Friday against #19 Rutgers. Villanova picked up their first Big East win of the season Friday at home against Cincy.

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Finally, maybe Calvin Borel checked out CARDINAL COUPLE and saw his picture atop Thursday's column. Maybe we're psychic...but he guided SUPER SAVER thru the sloppy stretch to win the Kentucky Derby Saturday in front of over 150,000 soaked spectators.

Calvin, on the rail, at Churchill. A scene played out so many times in the last 15 years and the same way he won it last year with MINE THAT BIRD.

Our pick, NOBLE PROMISE gained the lead at the top of the stretch and looked to be on his way to the win when the horse stopped badly and faded to fifth.

Trainer Kenny McPeek said he would have the horse fully inspected and "scoped" (a look into the lungs to determine congestion). Jockey Willie Martinez gave NOBLE'S PROMISE an excellent ride, looked to be the one to beat but couldn't hold on despite furious urging from Martinez. Hoping that NOBLE is OK and for just a few seconds there, that one shining moment looked very attainable for McPeek and Willie.

Sonja couldn't come up with ICE BOX to complete the exacta or trifecta...but I know how trainer Nick Zito always seems to get his horses ready for the big events and included SUPER SAVER, ICE BOX, NOBLE'S PROMISE, LOOKIN AT LUCKY and DEVIL MAY CARE in an exacta box for a quite nice payout. Consequently, I am in the "doghouse" today for not sharing my knowledge with her.

Maybe cash will get me out of this one...

Written by Paul
5/2/10

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lacrosse rocks Rutgers 14-9



Louisville broke loose from a 5-5 halftime tie to take down the home standing Scarlet Knights yesterday. Liz Lovejoy aided the Cards with 4 scores.

#19 Rutgers needed a win to stay elgible for Big East tournament inclusion. Since the tournament is being played at Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights came out ready to roll and actually scored on the Cards with only a few second elapsed in the game. Louisville countered with two Emily Dashiell scores and the teams went back and forth in a tough defensive battle that left them even halfway through the contest.


Liz Lovejoy caught on fire in the second half, scoring all her points after the break and Katie Oliverio finished with four goals also and three assists. The Cards jumped out early and led 9-5 and Rutgers got no closer than 2 goals the rest of the way.

The lacrosse team ends the regular season Sunday at Villanova.

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We gave you BLIND LUCK in the Oaks yesterday and she did not disappoint...winning by a narrow nose over EVENING JEWEL in the feature race of the day at Churchill. Unforunately, my exacta and trifectas didn't work out as planned...but Paul continued his hot hand out at Churchill...using BLIND LUCK on top, EVENING JEWEL in second place with a couple of other horses and putting the entire field to come in third for his trifecta. He got paid well for his efforts and also hit (2) pick threes on the day plus the late daily double. As for me, BLIND LUCK saved what had been a trying day of handicapping and close but no cigar selections.

After a wonderful sun filled, fun filled day in the infield...we met up with old friends for a leisurely dinner and I was asleep by 10 p.m.

It's rainy...thunder and lightning awoke me early and more is on the way as I write this Derby morning. Have a great day and good luck to the Lady Cards softball team, that starts a three game series against USF today. Keep swinging, Chelsea!

HAPPY DERBY DAY ALL!

Wriiten by Sonja
5/1/10