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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Whatever happened to...



CARDINAL COUPLE recently received an e-mail from a reader asking whatever happened to former UofL Lady Cards guard Kiara Evans. Ask and ye shall be told...

Evans was one of the highly heraled recruits during Jeff Walz first year at the University of Louisville. She was a playmaking, high scoring guard out of Norcross, GA. Unfortunately, playing time never developed for her during her only year at Louisville and she saw an average of 7.4 minutes in 35 games for the Cards in the 2007-08 season.

Sometimes...freshmen look for opportunities to increase their playing time by transferring to a different school...and this was the case for Evans. She moved her skills to Long Island University and sat out the mandatory transfer year. She returned to the court for the 2009-10 season and saw about 30 minutes a game for the Blackbirds. Evans averaged 9.9 points per game for LIU, dished out 206 assists and nabbed 61 steals for Long Island. She has 2 years of elgibiliy left and is the returning 3rd leading scorer for the Northeast Conference team that went 22-10 last year.

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A furious fourth quarter rally helped the Atlanta Dream improve to 12-4 last night as they got by the Phoenix Mercury 94-88. The Dream defense looked pretty weak in the first half...but they got it together and used a 20-10 scoring advantage in the final stanza to get the "W".

Angel McCoughtry tossed in 18 points for the victors. Phoenix played without Diana Taurasi (back strain) but she still contributed in her own way...drawing a technical foul from the bench in the 3rd quarter for referee baiting.

Taurasi is debating whether to return to the WNBA after this season. She makes probably 10x the money playing in Europe that she does stateside and probably enjoys the thrill and excitement of playing EuroBall in Russia. I know I would...Her complaint is that playing in two leagues wears her and other dual league players down too much and causes injuries.

Way to "man up" and keep a stiff upper lip, "Di". Good luck in the land of borsch and vodka. Maybe you could just transfer your citizenship and play for them in the Olympics as well. It's hammer (and sickle) time...DT. Good luck, comrade...and be careful driving the ice coated roads over there after swilling too much Smirnoff.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

For Tia Gibbs...the wait is over



She was the 2008 Miss Kentucky Basketball. She helped lead the Louisville Butler Bearettes to the State Championship that year. She may have been the most talented girls high school basketball player to come out of Butler since Adrienne Johnson. She accepted the offer to play her college ball under Melanie Balcomb at prestigious Vanderbilt University. Some Cardinal fans wondered at the time how she got away from Jeff Walz and the Lady Cards.

The wondering and waiting is over. Gibbs is back at UofL and eager and ready to take the court and compete at guard for Louisville.

Transferring back home after an up and down season in Nashville and waiting out the mandatory transfer year, she'll have three years of elgibility after sitting out the 2009-10 season. At Vandy, she was one of two freshmen that joined a Commodore team full of experienced guards. Playing time was not easy to find for Gibbs...but she still managed to produce double figure scoring five times...including 12 points against Auburn in the SEC Championships. She produced 12 points against Pat Summitt's Lady Vols. If you've seen Vandy...you know of Coach Balcomb's preference for Louisville hoopsters (Meredith Marsh, Amber Norton and Jenni Benningfield). At 5'9"...Gibbs had talent but it wasn't being used properly.

So...there were the times mired deep on the bench for the Commodores. Gibbs came back to the Ville...and watched helplessly as an inexperienced and overmatched Louisville backcourt got schooled and picked upon by talented and deep BIG EAST opponents. Watched the Kentucky team as they swamped Louisville with defensive intensity and steals galore. Her time watching from the sidelines served her well, though...as she learned just exactly what was needed (and what was missing) from the Lady Cards guards.

She'll compete against 7-8 other hopefuls to try and win a starting role for the 2010-11 season. Much more importantly, though...she'll add depth and experience to a back court that had very little last season. Gibbs has proven she is the kind of hoopster that can contribue as a role player off the bench, but has to be considered as one of the early leading contenders to start in the backcourt.

While in high school, Gibbs was one of the top three players in the Jefferson County area...along with fellow Cardinal Monique Reid (Fern Creek) and Ceira Ricketts (Fairdale/Arkansas). She played varisty hoops for five years at Butler....scoring 2790 points....#1 in Bearette history. She was seleced 6th Region Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008...Gibbs also played for the AAU's Louisville Sting.

The long overdue wait for Gibbs to be a Cardinal is almost over. Sometimes, the shortest path isn't taken, the road chosen can be long and winding and setbacks happen. For Tia Gibbs, though...the travel has ended..she's reached base camp and the sun is shining once again.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sheridan joins Lady Cards lacrosse coaching staff



She's not to be confused with the Anne Sheridan that was the film star in the 1940's who was a pin-up girl for the soldiers in Europe and the Pacific...but she'll have an Academy Award impact on the young ladies on Kellie Young's UofL womens' lacrosse team.

Anne Sheridan has been hired as an assistant coach at UofL and the hire is a sound and sensible one. Sheridan heads to the 'Ville after three seasons at Boston University as the first assistant coach for the Terriers. She also played her college lacrosse at B.U...where she was selected to the All-American squad and was the player of the year in the America East Conference in 2005. A tough as nails goal keeper, Anne led the NCAA in save percentage in '05 and was named Goalkeeper of the Year by Inside Lacrosse.

Sheridan will be of great benefit to the UofL defense and goaltenders...particulary Danielle Pawliw. Danielle received several Big East Defensive Player of the Week honors The sophomore goaltender is one of several returning Cards that went 11-6 in the 2010 season.

Coach Young relayed the following statement on Sheridan:

"I am thrilled that Anne is coming to Louisville and joining our coaching staff. She brings a wealth of coaching and playing know-how from the America East and has NCAA Tournament experience that will bolster our continued success. Her energy for mentoring and passion for coaching will have an immediate effect and impact on our student-athletes and their overall success on and off the field.

Welcome to the Ville, Anne. The old adage that offense draws the fans but defense wins games looks to be a potential theme for the lacrosse team in the upcoming season. Charlie Strong would definitely approve.

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Angel soared high above the nets Sunday afternoon against the L.A. Sparks...helping improve the Atlanta Dream's record to 11-4 with a 89-81 win. McCoughtry scored 19 points, grabbed 8 boards and dished out 5 assists in the come from behind win for the Eastern division leading Dream.

Iziane Castro Marquez tossed in 25 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter to lead the Dream offensively. L.A. has struggled all season and even more so lately with the loss of star Candace Parker for the season.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Remember the name...Shoni Schimmel


She was the last of the six freshmen Lady Cards to commit to Jeff Walz and the University of Louisville's womens basketball team...but her impact may be the first thing you notice when the Red and Black takes the court at the YUM KFC Center this late fall. Shoni Schimmel is a playmaker. Period.

For four years in Oregon, she dazzled fans and opponents and filled gymnasiums with her skills. No shot was too difficult. No pass unthinkable. No opponent foolish enough not to double or triple team her. First at Class 5A power Hermiston and for two years at Franklin...Schimmel found her way to the hoop for 2120 career points. When you consider she sat out 13 games her junior year with a ankle injury...the stat is even more impressive. She scored 805 of those in her senior year.

The 2009-10 Oregon Player of the Year had listed Louisville as one of several colleges she was considering. Many considered Louisville the slight leader for her services...but UCLA, Rutgers, South Carolina and Oregon were in the mix. The signing period came and went and no signature...no indication. The Schimmel camp wasn't commenting and rumors were abound that Schimmel wasn't academically qualified, that Stanford had climbed into the mix. Baylor was calling, Schimmel was considering UConn...every day something new surfaced. We all know how wild and unfounded internet speculation and innuendo can be...here at CARDINAL COUPLE...we eventually adopted the "watched pot never boils" philosophy and knew that she would make the choice...make it happen...when the time was right.

Finally, on the day of her high school graduation...word started to surface that there might be an announcement. The Quakers football stands were packed on that Tuesday night. Relatives, friends, Louisville head coach Jeff Walz and assistant Stephanie Norman all watching and waiting. The plan was for long time family friend Fred Hill to make the announcement after performing a song in Schimmel's native language...from the Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Fred performed..but forgot the announcement. Finally, a quickly scribbled note made its way to Fred from Schimmel. He announced that Shoni Schimmel had chosen Louisville and the crowd erupted. She then accepted her diploma. The record books won't show it...but it was Schimmel's final assist of her high school career.

Where will she fit into the scheme of the 2010-11 Lady Cards? Schimmel is the complete ball player and can handle either position in the back court. Speculation would have her seeing time at one of the wing spots and doing whatever the defense isn't watching. She can shoot, penetrate, pass, and post up. Double team her and she'll find the open player every time. Leave her alone and she'll score at will.
Louisville has their version of Maya Moore...Sue Bird...Diana Taurasi...and maybe the next Angel McCoughtry...if the past is any indication of what the future holds.

Remember the name. We here at CARDINAL COUPLE think that you'll be hearing it quite often over the next four years.

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Angel McCoughtry leads 10-4 Atlanta Dream against L.A. today in WNBA action. The Sparks (3-9) are feeling the effects of having Candace Parker on the sidelines for the rest of the year. Angel leads Atlanta in scoring with 20.6 ppg.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cards not in "Dyer" straights with Shawnta inside




Shawnta' Dyer, a dynamic 6'2" power forward out of Harding High School in Marion, Ohio will have an immediate impact on the Lady Cards front line in the 2010-11 basketball season. Shawnta' is a player who can score easily and interchangibly under the hoop or from outside. Like fellow incoming freshman, Antonita Slaugther, Dyer seems to be everywhere on the floor and will fit in well with the style of full court, transition and pressure basketball that Jeff Walz teaches to his Lady Cards.

Dyer was ranked as the #12 small forward by ESPN and #56 best player overall for the class of 2010. Her versitality makes her a threat at each forward position and her aggressiveness and skill when attacking the basket will serve the Cards well on the offensive end of the court

Dyer chose Louisville over Ohio State, Oklahoma, Rutgers and Miami.

Her brother Shawn Dyer also played basketball at Marion Harding. Wouldn't you love to see those backyard battles?

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CARDINAL COUPLE thanks the many readers who have responded to these previews of the newest basketball Lady Cards. We try to point out to the reader the skills and abilities that each player has exhibited with their high school or former team. Keep in mind the brilliance involved when you think of Jeff Walz and the coaching staff at UofL. There is always the possibility of position changes and new roles for any of the current or incoming players and we aren't trying to "set" the Cardinal lineup for 2010-11...just give you a look at what the players have done well in the past.

We are fortunate to have good, quality and reliable sources within the Cardinal womens' athletic program...in basketball and many other of the women's sports programs at UofL. This gives us a decided advantage when we present topics and articles to you...the reader.

We will continue to be the "fan voice" for all womens' athletic programs at UofL..as well as occasionally providing up close and personal looks at other general interest topics. It's all about having fun and maybe learning a thing or two in the process.

We thank you for our continued growth and interest in our little blog. We also thank the many people at the University of Louisville who freely provide information and insights about these events. We also appreciate your tolerance on sidebars at this site that may not be solely concentrated on women's sports.

We always welcome your comments, e-mails and ideas about articles. Like us, you're fans also and we salute you.


Paul, Sonja, Scooter and Rodney.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Trout fishing with Charlie Ray



It is a sport I attempt once or twice a year. The field of competition is a clear, cold mountain stream. The opposition consists of rainbow and brown trout. There is no time limit except darkness. It is a solitary sport...this trout fishing...although I make a point of going with my long time buddy Charlie Ray when I am in Gatlinburg.

I made the arrangement phone call weeks in advance. We would spend a few hours walking "the spot"...casting, hip waders on and accompanied by his blue tick hound "Spotter."

It is good to see Charlie Ray again. I arrive at his cabin/farm around 4 p.m. I bring gifts from Louisville...his wife brings out sweetened iced tea and we sit on the veranda porch for a few moments, talking about the year that has passed since we last saw each other. Retirement seems to be treating both of them well. Charlie Ray has put on a few pounds since I last saw him...good pounds, though...and his craggy face is a dark brown. His wife has a full vegetable garden started...already red tomatoes on the vine and squash and green beans extending from the earth.

We load his pickup truck, Spotter hops in the truck bed and off we go. The drive is short and consists mostly of gravel road. To gain access to the stream, we have to walk about 1/4th of a mile. The first hundred yards or so are thru deep weeds and Spotter leads the way...dashing to and fro and letting all snakes and critters know that we are here. It is a spot that not many besides the locals know about. They keep the first 100 yards or so uncut...after that, the path is well marked and worn. There are wooden rails to help with the descent and climb to and from the creek.

We descend to the creek and spend the next three hours wading, casting, talking and watching Spotter run the banks. My casting is rusty at first but I eventually start hitting the pools and eddys I am aiming for and by the time darkness descends on us...I have caught 4 nice sized browns, a rainbow and numerous smaller trout. Charlie has done well also and since his freezer is full of previous trips..we are catching and releasing today. The time goes quickly...we discuss politics, religion and sports whle we fish. Charlie is a big UT Vols fan...he follows the Lady Vols avidly and might travel to Louisville to see them play the Cards this year. He reminds me that the Vols eliminated the Cards in softball this summer. I remind him that UT football hasn't been the same since Phil Fulmer left. We take a short break after a couple of hours to munch on turkey sandwiches his wife has prepared for us and sip cold water.

The trip back offers a few deer viewable from the road. We arrive, unpack and sip tea before I leave. Charlie is an accomplished mandolin player and he plays several songs as we sit on the porch and watch evening envelope us. I try to follow on guitar...but my playing is very rusty. I leave with the promise of getting together next year...and possibly this fall if I can work out the details. I drive back to the chalet...tired but satisfied with the day's activities. The moon is almost full and the sky bright with stars. It has been a fun and active last several hours.

All are asleep when I reach the chalet...and I spend some time on the porch...reflecting on a perfect afternoon and hearing the chirp of crickets, cicadias and other night creatures of the East Tennessee woods performing a lullabye that will have me sleeping soon. For tonight, there are no worries about bills, deadlines, commitments or issues. It is a good change.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Charmaine Tay gets the point




If fast break basketball with a point guard that gets a team into the transition game and distributes the rock is your thing...you're going to love Charmaine Tay. The incoming freshman, who finished her high school ball at Bloomfield Tech in New Jersey excels in all of the above and can go to the glass and put up the shot as well.

Tay is a true point guard, a position Louisville had their difficulties with last season. She can get the team into offensive sets, has no trouble handling one on one or zone press pressure and is more than willing to pass on a shot and set up a teammate for a score.

At 5'10", she rebounds surprisingly well and will adapt to "Walz" ball easily. Defensively, she's an agressive stopper that will get her share of steals and deflectons. Her range is a little suspect from beyond the arc...but this Louisville team will have 3-4 long range bombing specialists and can use a distributor of the orb.

Tay will challenge the redshirt Dez Byrd, Shelby Harper and Rachel Story for time directing the offense. Byrd, who was converted to point, might very well return to the "2" where she seems a little more comfortable and effective. One thing is for certain...the Cards won't have a lack of guards.

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29 points and 10 rebounds for Angel McCoughtry against Tulsa Tuesday as the Dream etch out a 96-90 win. Angel looks to be a lock for the WNBA All-Star game and if there is anybody playing better in the league right now...point her out to me.

Sure, she may turn it over occasionally or miss the open player now and then...but the good she does on the court far outweighs the occasional miscue. Remember, gang...she's only in her second WNBA season.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Catching up with Joe Hill



Longtime Cardinal fan Joe Hill recently got in touch with CARDINAL COUPLE and updated us on his status. Some readers may remember Joe as a frequent commenter on CARDINAL DOMINANCE and UOFL CARD GAME.

CC: So, How is retired life?

JOE: Things are going really well right now. We completed the sale of the tavern in January and I sold two of my chalets in Gatlinburg with it to the investors. I kept the third one for vacationing and such and I'm glad you and Sonja could join me and Connie here for a few days.

CC: Have you hooked up with a UofL fan club down in Florida yet?

JOE: No...we've been busy just trying to get things arraigned for our wedding in September and taking care of my Dad. I did follow the baseball team pretty closely thanks to the excellent coverage Shannon and Charlie provided on their sites...and thanks to you and Sonja...I stayed connected with Lady Cards basketball and softball.

CC: Will you be headed to Louisville for any football or basketball this year?

JOE: We hope to catch the UofL vs. UK game with my brother Howard and his wife and then back down to Naples for final minutes plans before we tie the knot. Hoops, I don't know...I'd love to see the Cards play USF if they are playing in Tampa.

CC: Thanks for the updates, Joe...and GO CARDS!


(Joe Hill was nice enough to invite CARDINAL COUPLE to visit him for several days in his chalet overlooking Gatlinburg. The nights are very pleasant here, we've had some great meals and a couple fun nights in Joe's old pub and gotten some hiking and sightseeing in also.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Softball looks ahead to another big year in Big East



Junior third baseman Chelsea Bemis is one of eight returning starters for UofL head softball coach Sandy Pearsall. "Chelsea should have a tremendous season for us." Pearsall says.

Although the Softball Cards are losing catcher Melissa Roth, pitcher Kristen Wadwell and right fielder Vanessa James to graduation..the cupboard is far from empty for next season.

Pitchers Tori Collins and Chelsea Leonard return to handle mound duties and beside Bemis...the Cards have Jordan Trimble (2B), Alicja Wolny (1B), Jennifer Esteban (LF), Kristen Mann (DH), Kristen Austin (CF) and Colby Wherry (SS). The benefits of a returning infield intact will pay huge dividends for the Softball Cards and the bat of Bemis (MVP of the Big East) gives Louisville a solid and dependable nucleus to face opponents.

Coach Pearsall signed five new Cards last fall and they should prove to add depth to the Louisville lineup. Maggie Ruckenbrod was the St. Louis Player of the year and led the state of Missouri in hits last year. She can catch or go to the infield. Pitcher/infielder Caralisa Connell comes in from Mufreesboro, TN. Tanner Fowler (infield/catcher - Morganfield, KY), Hannah Kiyohara (infield/outfield - Auburn, WA.) and Katie Keller ((infield - Livermore, CA.) round out the freshmen.

"Replacing Roth will be our biggest challenge. We do have two incoming catchers, though and Bemis is a good catcher too, if needed." Pearsall commented on the loss of Roth.

"I'm excited about next season. We have a great schedule again. The four freshmen who started for us should benefit a lot. We could start three or four freshmen again next season. I can't wait."

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In the continuing saga of the future prosecuting of Karen Sypher...a Louisville judge has decreed that members of the media cannot talk to or interview her. Finally...blessed relief from the wild and incoherant ramblings of the future jailbird. CARDINAL COUPLE does not condone the indiscretions or coverup that evoled around Pitino and Sypher's tryst several years ago...but accepts the apologies that Pitino offered to family and fans for the indiscretion. CARDINAL COUPLE is definitely not a fan of attempted extortion...and hopes that justice will be served when the case goes to trial in late July.

Just for the record...we had no plans to try and interview her whatsoever and wouldn't mind too much if the ground suddenly opened and swallowed her up.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jeff Walz previews the newest Lady Cards





CARDINAL COUPLE recently asked UofL head womens' basketball coach Jeff Walz for a little information on the newest Cardinals to join the team and he was kind enough to give us a great insight about the squad. Keeping in mind that he and the staff aren't able to watch, coach or have any on court contact with the players right now, Walz has provided us with a concise and enlightening preview of some things we can look forward to for UofL down the road. We appreciate Coach taking time out of his busy schedule to give us the following observations below:

"I am very excited to get the school year started so we can start to work with our team. We have a great group of freshmen who will compete for playing time from Day One. As a coach, competition is the best thing for your team. We have brought in size, quickness, shooting and ball handling.

Four of our six freshmen are here on campus already...working to get adjusted to college life and academics. I have been very impressed with what I've seen so far. They are not only talented basketball players, they are high character young ladies who will represent the University, Athletic Department and the city of Louisville in the highest regard.

Tia Gibbs is finally able to get back on the basketball court after recovering from shoulder rehab. She's transfered in from Vanderbilt last year and is going to be a great addition to our program. She is very excited to get back on the court. Tia brings a maturity level that will benefit all of our freshmen as we prepare for a very competitive Big East and non-conference schedule.

Cierra Warren, our transfer from UNC, is one of our most outgoing players. She has a delightful personality and I know that all of our fans will fall in love with her from Day One. She will have to sit out the upcoming season because of NCAA transfer rules, but will be a big addition to our program on the practice court. She's a very physical post player who loves to rebound and finish well around the basket.

Our goal is to give Louisville fans a quality and exciting product to watch as we play in the new KFC YUM CENTER and with your support, we hope to accomplish great things in the 2010-11 season and beyond."

Sounds to us like Coach Walz has set the wheels in motion for Cardinal Womens' Basketball to make a solid impact in the Big East. Recruiting experts and those in the know about the college womens' game rank the incoming class #2 in the nation...behind only Connecticut. Remember also that Walz is only beginning his fourth year as the leader of the UofL program. Along with his coaching staff and support people, he has taken the Lady Cards to never before reached levels of success. If you haven't gotten on the bandwagon to support the Lady Cards...why not give the Athletic Department Ticket Office a call at 502.852.5151 and get your season tickets for what has the potential to be a very sucessful season for Walz and the Lady Cards.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

No "Pollyanna" here..Harrington has hops





Pictured with her parents' on signing day, Polly Harrington commits to the Cards. Good things come in small packages sometimes and the 6'0" center/forward out of Hickman Mills, MO. is a bonafide paint player.

Don't let the height fool you. Polly Harrington is not a guard. The strong, athletic rebounder played center for Hickman Mills and was selelcted for the Class 4 Missouri first team. She averaged 18.8 points and 8 boards her senior year and fooled more than one opponent with her ability to get positioning and score underneath.

Part of Louisville's #2 ranked recruiting class nationally, Harrington may be the least lauded and heraled player of the group...but just might be the hardest worker coming to campus this fall. Those who have seen UK's Victoria Dunlap work the paint during her time with the Cats will be able to get a good idea of Harrington's game. Taller opponents with have trouble with her quickness and muscle underneath and she can get out and motor in the transition game...one of the Cardinal rules in "Walz ball."

She'll be an important addition to the front line of the Lady Cards lineup for the 2010-11 season and will most likely compete for playing time at the power forward position. Transitioning her to a wing position has been attempted before...and the Cards are already quite strong out in that area, so Harrington's most effective contribution will come in the paint. She'll be one of three incoming freshmen expected to provide depth there for Walz's Cards...and based on her high school performance and numbers...should log plenty of minutes on the hardwood.

Cardinal Couple is proud to give you these preseason progonostications on the newest Lady Cards and is happy to be your fan voice and source of Louisville Womens' Basketball.

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Angel McCoughtry flew into Indy last night and put 21 points on the Indiana Fever but her Atlanta Dream team fell just short of the win...falling 94-91. The Dream roared back from a 13 point late 3rd quarter deficit to climb within two at 91-89 with a little over a minute left in the game. Unfortunately, the lead never came their way and a three attempt to tie in at the buzzer by Shalee Lehning fell short.

Iziano Castro-Marquez added 21 point for the Dream and Sancho Lyttle produced 20 points and 20 grabs in the losing effort.

Atlanta is now 1/2 game back of Connecticut in the WNBA's Eastern Division. 8200 were in attendance for "UofL" Night in Conseco Fieldhouse.

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Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there. I miss my father each and every day and will be always grateful for the wisdom, advice and guidance he provided.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

BIG EAST releases Womens' Basketball Schedule



(Probably not a place you want to send the kiddos during their formative years...unless they've developed a knack for the guitar.)


The Big East has released the 2010-11 Womens' Basketball Schedule. For Louisville, the good news is that they've got home and away against Cincinnati. The bad news is that UConn is still in the conference. The matchups below:

HOME

DePaul, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, St. John, Seton Hall, Cincy, West Virginia.

AWAY

UConn, Marquette, Notre Dame. Providence, South Florida, Syracuse, Villanova, Cincy.

The Cards will open the season in the KFC YUM Center hosting Tennessee. Fellow SEC member Kentucky travels to Louisville this year. No finalization yet on the out of conference opponents.

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Angel McCoughtry lands in Indianapolis tonight to face Indiana in WNBA action. The Atlanta Dream are on a three game win streak and are 9-3 overall this season. Indiana has also won three in a row and sits at 7-4.

Angel is averaging 19.9 points a game. The last time the Fever and Heat matched up, Angel's head met Tamika Catchings elbow and McCoughtry received three stitches. She came back to finish the game though and scored 11 points in the 66-62 home win for the Dream.

It is "UofL" Night in Indy...plenty of good seats remain if you are up to the 90 minute drive to Conseco.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vails sails into the River City a winner..



(CARDINAL COUPLE continues a preseason look at the newest Lady Cards joining Jeff Walz's team. Today we introduce you to 6'4" forward Sherrone Vails from Arundel high school in Maryland.)

The first thing you notice about Sherrone Vails when you watch video of her is the length. An arm span perfectly suited for pass disruption, shot blocking and grabbing rebounds. The build to put back errant shots into the hoop. You almost wish she could have been born a year earlier...her around the rim skills would have been a distinct blessing to the short numbered Lady Cards front line last year. And, it is the inside the paint profitability that will have Vails logging major minutes for the Cards in 2010-11.

Vails led Arundel to the 4A Maryland State championship her senior year and tossed in 16 points, including nine in the final quarter to lead her team to a 13 point victory in the title match. Ranked #17 by All Star Girls Report, Vails is an intimidating force around the rim...skills the Lady Cards haven't had since Jazz Covington prowled the paint for the Red and Black.

Her game is taylor made for the full court frenzy that is Jeff Walz basketball. BIG EAST opponents will find out quickly that backing into the basket and trying to play pitch and catch off the backboard will result in the orange orb getting smacked into press row.

She joins a Louisville team that is thin in the front court. Only Asia Taylor and Keisha Hines return in this area for Louisville and Vails will bring much needed depth and an enforcer prescence to the "4 ". Sherrone will have her opportunity to spearhead the transition game Walz is so fond of because of her ability to position, secure missed shots and create the outlet pass to the guards.

She'll have assistance inside from several other of the newcomers down on campus...and we'll get to them down the road.

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Angel McCoughtry's path to WNBA Player of the Year just got a bit easier with news that Candice Parker is done for the year with a shoulder injury. Our friend Sue has the details for you over at They're Playing Basketball. Sue's got to be celebrating the come from behind win last night by Kobe and the Celtics. As Randy Newman penned several years back..."I Love L.A."

Great effort by Pau Gasol, Ron Artest and the guys in the 4th quarter to take the title. And Kobe...he gets my vote for NBA MVP. Refuse to lose. Phil Jackson does it again. Sorry Celtics. A great run and if Perkins is healthy...who knows...but the trophy is sitting in the City of the Angels.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

For Slaughter, it's a family tradition...



Is Louisville womens' basketball signee ANTONITA SLAUGHER contemplating playing this stone wall one on one? If so, the wall doesn't stand a chance...

For Antonita Slaughter, going to college is a big acheivement but hardly anything new for the family.

Older sister Toni paved the way originally...leaving Shelby County for Cincinnati and playing two years for the Bearcats before transferring to Louisville and spending the 2006-07 playing for Louisville and Tom Collen. Toni played on the same team as Angel McCoughtry and Jazz Covington and averaged four points as a reserve guard.

Next was older brother A.J. He turned his Shelby County successes into a four year career at Western Kentucky University. A.J. was a star for the Hilltoppers and averaged 17.5 points his senior year. He's ranked the 13th. best guard available in the upcoming NBA draft...not a guarantee to be selected but definitely a strong candidiate for European basketball if the NBA doesn't come calling.

It is Antonita's time in the spotlight now. She began her high school career playing at Shelby County as an eight grader but enrolled in Louisville's Christian Academy in the ninth grade. She immediately became the "go to" player and committed to Louisville prior to her sophomore year.

Slaughter is a slashing 6'2" wing who can beat you from outside or take you to the hoop and score effectively. Her long arm span makes her dangerous in the lanes as a defender and she has the height and skills to go to the boards effectively. Where she'll fit into Jeff Walz's scheme of things can't be etched into stone yet but we wouldn't be surprised to see her spell Monique Reid at the "3" next year and help out on the front line if needed. She has an all over the court game presence...which will serve her well in Walz's frentic defense and fast break philosophies.

Anymore like her at home, Mom?

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Three Dog Night recorded the song "Never Been to Spain" back in the seventies, but UofL womens' golfer Laura Anderson probably wasn't singing it recently when she was in Malaga, Spain participating in the 2010 World University Games. She finished fifth overall in the event...helping the U.S. to a bronze metal finish. Anderson shot 304 over the four day event and finished strong with a final day 71. All this with a bad ankle, too.

Anderson is one of six returning players for the UofL womens' golf team next year. She'll be a senior, along with Sara-Maude Juneau. Maria Casellanos will be a junior, and the sophomore class features Candace Wiley, Anna-Karin Ljungstrom and Morgan McClure. Keep your head down and eye on the ball, ladies!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Nobody asked us...but



Memphis fans practice their "happy dance" in anticipation that the Big East might come calling. Elvis must be spinning in his tomb.

With all the conference mumbo-jumbo on the back burner for a brief respite, one wonders if the BIG EAST is thinking about adding a few members to its shaky football coalition? We've said it before and will say it again...Memphis and East Carolina would be quite acceptable additions to the fold. They wouldn't immediately add much to the already strong womens' basketball, softball and volleyball landscape but the potential for growth is very positive and we enjoy our trips to Memphis every two years. ECU fans are fanatical about their football and we can see that spreading to womens' sports when you're going up against the Connecticut's, Rutgers' and Louisville's of the sports world instead of Marshall, UAB or UTEP.

Is Ron Mann the hardest working coach down on the Belknap Campus? He coaches both the men and womens' track and field squads and both teams had their highest finishes ever in the recent NCAA Championships. You the man...Mann!

Why are they playing World Cup Soccer in winter conditions? We've always associated the sport with pleasant spring, summer or fall afternoons. Temperatures in the low 40's face the athletes on the biggest stage for what the rest of the world calls football? No wonder the fans keep blowing those annoying horns...they're trying to keep their lips from freezing.

How happy is Pam Bustin...UofL Field Hockey head coach...these days? Her returning goalie, Heather Bustanoby was named to the All-American 2nd squad in preseason voting. Offensive brings in the fans but defense wins games and the Cards have a solid stopper in the net with Bustanoby.

Isn't it time for Louisville to get a WNBA franchise? The "yummy" facility downtown is rapidly taking shape...no other competing events in the city during that time of year except minor league baseball and catholic picnics and we are the national hotbed of hoops here in Louisville, right? I'd even be OK with a couple of games being played in Rupp Arena...provided that Calipari is denied admission and UK fans are forced to leave their farm animals and implements back on the acreage for these events.

Don't look now...but the back court for Jeff Walz's UofL Lady Cards looks like the Watterson Expressway during rush hour. No less than nine players could compete for starting jobs and playing time. Competition is good...and much better to have multiple options than having to play Becky Burke and Shelby Harper 40 minutes a game. No offense to Becky or Shelby...but you know they had to be exhausted out there after 40 minutes against BIG EAST competition.

(Bonus points if you can name all nine potential participants for the spots.)

Finally, shouldn't something be done about the format for the Ky. State Softball Tournament? Is it really fair to have one team play five games in one day? Couldn't this thing be spread out to a three day affair instead of two? This isn't cart golf or throwing a few balls down the lanes...it's competitive softball in 90 degree heat.
A third day of action for, let's say the final four teams, would increase the attendance numbers, hotel lodging and revenue dollars for host city and give fans of the final four a chance to show up for the finals if they have to work on Saturday.
Start it on Friday and play it thru Sunday.

Sermon ended...go in peace and drink plenty of water...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Louisville womens' soccer announces 2010 opponents



The University of Louisville womens' soccer team will have a full and challenging schedule in 2010, hosting nine opponents in Cardinal Park and facing off against six teams that participated in the NCAA tournament last year.

The Cards start 2010 play with a couple of exhibition games...going to Dayton to begin things on Aug. 10th. and hosting Tennessee for another preseason match on Aug. 14th. The regular season kicks off Aug. 20th. against Eastern Kentucky on Aug. 20th at Cardinal Park.

Early on, they'll be tested at the Gamecock Courtyard Cup in Columbia S.C. with games against South Carolina and Bucknell on Aug. 27th. and 28th.

Other games have UK travelling to Louisville for a Sept. 9th. contest and the Cards will open Big East play on Sept. 20th. at home against Cincinnati.

Tough end of the regular season awaits Louisville...with road games vs. USF, Marquette, Seton Hall and Rutgers.

The BIG EAST championships will be held in Piscataway, N.J. beginning Oct. 28th. and the NCAA Championships will take place at Cary, N.C.

The Cards were 5-11-1 in the 2009 season...going 2-8-1 in BIG EAST competition. Giselle Mangal, co-leading scorer from last year returns to midfielder position and sophomore goalkeeper Taylor Vancil handles net duties for UofL. She allowed 24 goals in 17 games last year and was credited with 38 saves.

Coach Karen Ferguson has seven recruits coming to campus this fall...includung 3 girls from Ontario, Canada.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Big East waits out the shuffle





It's only fitting that on a stormy, thundering morning in Louisville, KY the news about the storm brewing in college conference alignments rains down on the sports enthusiast.

Texas A&M to the SEC. Colorado to the PAC-10. Nebraska to the Big 10. Suddenly, the Big 12 is starting to look like a horse drawn buggy at the Indy 500. The dice are rolling, logos changing and Louisville and the rest of the Big East sit in the balcony and watch...waiting, wondering and maybe a bit worried.

We report and write on women's sports here at CARDINAL COUPLE...unless Paul goes off on one of his horse racing jags. This is a scenario where stakes runners have lined up to have a heated battle down the stretch and the Big East is a $5,000 claimer in non-winners of one at 99-1 odds....far behind the leaders and lop-legged in the final furlong.

Paul has box of old sporting event programs from UofL games. There are Missouri Valley Conference, Metro, Conference USA and Big East logos on these. Yes, we've been thru change over the last 40 years. Maybe not as big as the potential impending one...but UofL athletics has always managed to survive and prosper.

What will happen is anyone's guess...but don't get your hopes up that the Big East is going to get out of this thing unaffected. Currently on the chopping block...Syracuse, Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. Whether they'll become part of the mega Big 10, 16...whatever name they come up with remains to be seen. Whether the non-football playing schools in the Big East follow thru with their threat to disband the conference if two of the football playing schools leave is anyone's guess. The catholic coalition against the state schools.

The Big East doesn't have a lot of options. Will they scoop up the remnants of the doomed Big 12? Do they raid Conference USA? Do they even continue to exist if they get raided by the big dogs? Can I substitute if I don't like the sides on the daily special?

One thing is for sure. Womens' sports are taking a seat at the back of the bus because of the power and profitablity of football and men's basketball. Would I mind seeing a conference where Jeff Walz got the chance to play Baylor or K-State? Would I groan if the Lady Cards had East Carolina and Southern Miss in their division? Will I have any say in the matter?

UofL athletic director Tom Jurich continues to say that the Big East is where he is comfortable and where Louisville needs to be. But, if the raiding continues...could the Cards receive an invite to an expanded ACC? Just how comfortable are those of us who aren't making a handsome athletic directors salary?

Close your eyes, hold your nose...grab your ankles and down it goes. Louisville recently lost amusement park Six Flags at Kentucky Kingdom. The rollar coaster ride, though...is far from over.

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss. As Randy Newman wrote many years ago:

"It's money that matters."

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ZENYATTA roared down the Hollywood stretch from last place yesterday to win the Vanity Handicap yeserday by half a length over impressive ST. TRINIANS. A typical Mike Smith ride...hold the powerhouse back far behind the early speed and come roaring down the stretch like a runaway diesel locomotive. The big girl gets her 17th straight win.

Don't fool yourself. RACHEL ALEXANDRA is a fine filly...probably the second best in horse racing but ZENYATTA is the gold standard, the prime cut and the best that is out there today. I hope they get a chance to meet in the Breeders Cup. I hope RACHEL doesn't get whipped too badly. The question has been raised if ZENYATTA will adapt to a dirt surface instead of the synthetic.

Believe me. This horse could run in quicksand and still threaten the track record.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kentucky defeats Indiana in Girls All-Star Game 94-87




University of Louisville signee Antonita Slaughter had 20 points, six steals and three threes against the Hoosiers in Conseco Fieldhouse in the come from behind overtime win for Kentucky Saturday night. Slaughter's layup with 13 seconds remaining tied the score in regulation.

"This means a lot," Slaughter commented after the game. Every shot counts. Last night's game (a 93-83 loss to Indiana at Bellarmine)gave us fire to come out here and beat Indiana on their home court."

The Kentucky team got a big boost from Bellarmine signee and Mercy grad Therese Montano in the extra session. She hit four free throws in the final 13 seconds to preserve the win afer Indiana had fought back to get within three at 90-87. The Kentucky squad forced Indiana into 29 turnovers Saturday.

UK signees Samantha Drake and Sarah Beth Barnette helped the cause for the Commonwealth. Drake totalled 16 points and 11 boards. Barnette added 12 points and seven carombs. The Kentucky squad was led by Middle Tennessee signee Ebony Rowe with 26 points and 13 rebounds.

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Marion County sophomore-to-be Kyvin Goodin-Rogers is a long way from hitting college but she already has a leading choice on where she's thinking about matriculation.

Louisville.

"I'm liking Louisville a lot right now. They would be the leader. I like Jeff Walz a lot." Goodin-Rogers recently told the Courier-Journal. She and fellow sophomore Makalya Epps are considered to be two of the top 100 players in the Class of 2013 nationwide.

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Louisville's Mercy Academy made it to the final game in the Kentucky State Girls Softball Tournament in Owensboro yesterday but fell to Reidland 8-6 in the championship. The Jags came out of the losers bracket in the double elimination format...defeating Green County 3-2 , knocking off Christian County 3-1 and sending Allen County-Scottsville home 4-1.

They advanced to the championships and had to beat Reidland twice for the title. After knocking off Reidland in the first game 8-4...they lost the nightcap.They didn't go down without a fight, though. Down 8-5 in their last at bat, they led off the inning with four straight singles and had the bases loaded with no outs. A line out to the Reidland pitcher Cassee Layne led to a double play and Layne struck out the final Mercy batter to get out of the jam. Layne was selected tournament MVP.

If Mercy had prevailed, they would have become the first school in Kentucky history to win the state basketball, volleyball and softball championships in the same year.


Five games in 90 degree weather. Hats off to the Jags for the effort.

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RACHEL ALEXANDRA destroyed four competitors yesterday in the Fluer De Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs. She dusted the rivals by 10 lengths in the 1 1/8 mile contest...coming within one second of the track record. RACHEL engaged JESSICA IS BACK for seven furlongs on the lead, put that one away as they turned into the stretch and romped home with Calvin Borel aboard to a roaring grandstand and clubhouse crowd.

Welcome back, oh ye Queen of Churchill Downs...

Not going to brag about it...but if you had followed our advice in Saturday's blog about the Stephen Foster Handicap...you would have made a handsome profit. BLAME put away BATTLE PLAN in the stretch to win by about a length and GENERAL QUARTERS held on for third.

How great it was yesterday to hear Churchill Downs bugler Steve Buttelman play the Stephen Foster classic songs like "Camptown Races", "Oh, Susannah" and "Sewannee River". He also does a fine job on "My Old Kentucky Home."

ZENYATTA, the other top female thoroughobred in the nation runs today in the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park. ZENYATTA has won her last 16 races in a row and with a win today would claim the modern day record for victories by a thoroughbred in non-restricted races.

Good luck, big girl. Hope to see you at the Breeders Cup at Churchill Downs this November. Everyone is wanting a RACHEL vs. ZENYATTA matchup and let's hope it will happen this fall at Churchill.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mercy survives in State Softball Tournament


Louisville Mercy went 2-1 yesterday in the State Softball Tournament in Owensboro...beating Scott County 7-1 and Clark County 11-1. They reached the winners' bracket semifinals but lost to Reidland 11-6 to drop back down to the losers bracket in the double elimination format. They face Green County today.

For PRP, the results weren't as good. They won their first game of the day 13-9 over Ryle but lost to Christian County 6-1 and Green County 4-0 to be eliminated from the tournament.

If Mercy advances, they'd play winner of the North Laurel vs. Christian County losers braacket game. A win there would put them against the loser of the Reidland vs. Allen County-Scottsville winners bracket game. Then, they'd have to beat the winner of that game twice to claim the title.

Sounds like a long afternoon of softball for the Jags if they want to bring the trophy and title back to Fegenbush Lane.


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Kentucky All-Star High School girls with a tough loss Friday night to Indiana at Bellarmine. The Hoosier prevail 93-83 despite 18 points from UofL signee Antonita Slaughter. UK signee Samantha Drake led the Kentucky squad with 21. They'll try again Saturday night up in Indy at the Conseco Fieldhouse.

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RACHEL ALEXANDRA returns to the track today at Churchill Downs...facing four competitors in the $200,000 Fleur de Lis handicap. Track the track conditions today...if it's raining and the going is sloppy...she could be vunerable to JESSICA IS BACK. If it's dry and fast....they're not gonna get her today.

The $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap is the main event on the card today. 11 runners will try the 1 1/8 mile race. CARDINAL COUPLE is hearing very, very good things about BATTLE PLAN...the Todd Pletcher trained stud. He'll probably go off as the favorite and there is a whole lot to like about this one. Javier Castellano gets the ride. Our buddy Paul McGee has DEMARCATION entered...30-1 morning line but those odds will mean nothing if the conditions are sloppy. Be forewarned...they scratched this horse out of the Opening Verse Stakes last night to run him today. A very live longshot. Paco Lopez flies in to ride Richard Dutrow's ARSON SQUAD. BLAME gets a horrible post draw but has the services of Garrett Gomez. I'll use these four in an exacta. We'll also try a tri wheel with BLAME and BATTLE PLAN on top, add the four above in second and toss in GENERAL QUARTERS and MACHO AGAIN with these for the 3rd spot.

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Last night's Friday Under the Lights at Churchill Downs was a 70's theme and it was wall to wall people. I heard at least 25,000 in attendance...and the music was just as good the racing. Boogie fever...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summers gets third in Hammer throw



Senior Jere' Summers finished third in the hammer throw Thursday at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, OR. She was one of three Cardinals to participate in the event. Junior D'Ana McCarty finished 10th and senior Lindsay Cook ended up 11th.
Both Summers and McCarty received All-American honors for their efforts, since they finished in the top ten.

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It's on. With Colorado leaving the Big 12 and joining the Pac 10, get ready for sizeable earthquakes in the conference alignments. Nebraska, Missouri, Texas, Notre Dame are all candidates to fill out forwarding address cards in this rebuild of the college conference landscape.

The Colorado move makes sense from a geographical standpoint. No big stretch to go to Los Angeles or Phoenix for games than it was to hit Columbia, MO or Austin, TX.
The dollars were there, the invitation on the porch step and they took it.

The next moves could be quite interesting. The ripple effect of four or five teams going from their previous alignments to new pastures will affect all the BCS conferences.

I guess Ralphie the Buffalo will need to sport some shades for his L.A. visits and get ready for rainy Seattle down the road. I wonder if he and Bevo text each other?

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Friday Night Racing at Churchill Downs. Post time at 6 p.m. and it's disco theme night. If you go, expect big crowds and a lot of polyester. They're tossing in a happy hour as well from 4-6 p.m. with reduced prices on Budweiser products, frozen drinks and hot dogs.

I'm going to pass on the bell bottoms, flowered shirt and heels with the goldfish in them. It's gonna be 90 degrees out there and shorts, t-shirt and sandals will do just fine.

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Kentucky High School Girls' Softball Tournament begins today in Owensboro, KY. Sixteen teams will go thru the double elimination format over the next two days to determine the state champ. Local schools PRP and Mercy are involved, so best of luck to the Panthers and Jaguars! We'll have a full recap of the first day of action here at CARDINAL COUPLE tomorrow.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cards represented in NCAA Track and Field Championships



(Thanks to Karen for the great picture of this cardinal couple)

Day One of the NCAA Track and Field Championships in Eugene, OR has come to a close and one UofL womens' participant has already made her mark. D'Ana McCarty finished ninth in the discus throw. She'll also take part in the hammer throw Thursday with Cardinal teammates Jere' Summers and Lindsey Cook.

Charachesica Lockhart will compete in the long jump for UofL Thursday also.

For the men, senior Andre Black took fourth place honors in the triple jump. Steeplechase star Matt Hughes will run in the 3,000 meter finals after winning his preliminary heat yesterday. Hughes has the nation's best time in the event with a smoking 8:34:37.

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Much excitement about RACHEL ALEXANDRA's entry in the Fluer De Lis Handicap race this Saturday at Churchill Downs. The 4 yr. old mare will face 4 challengers and is expected to go off at 2/5 odds. Rachel has been training beautifully for her race and will draw the services of Churchill favorite Calvin Borel as jockey.

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Churchill is presenting the first Friday night of racing this Spring Meet tomorrow.
These events were attended quite well last year...with over 30,000 in attendance for each night of racing. Seeing the Downs under the lights is a great experience if you've never been. There will be plenty of live entertainment, drink specials and good fields for the Friday night card. First post is 6 p.m.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Guess who's coming to Louisville?



OREGON STANDOUT GUARD SHONI SCHIMMEL HEADED TO LOUSIVILLE.

Jeff Walz has done it again.

Schimmel was the last unsigned top ten high school player in the class of 2010. Rumors had been flying that she was going to sign at any time..but where was the main question?

It's Louisville.

Schimmel will immediately help a Cardinal backcourt that was woefully understaffed last season. Her game is exciting, awesome and skilled. She shoots, distributes and handles the ball at a much higher level skill set of your typical incoming college women's basketball freshman. Some players just have a natural born knack for the game. Schimmel is one of these. They don't call her 'Sho'time for nothing.

Schimmel was the subject of debate on several women's basketball blogs. Rumors of family indecision on where she should attend were reported and she didn't announce her decision during the spring signing dates...leading to speculation that Pac-10 schools Stanford and Oregon had risen on her selection chart and made her decide to delay her announcement.

Schimmel joins a highly ranked 2010 UofL womens' basketball recruiting class that includes Charmaine Tay, Shawnta' Dyer, Polly Harrington, Antonita Slaughter and Sherrone Vails. Transfer from Vandy Tia Gibbs will be elgible this year also. Transfer Cierra Warren from North Carolina is the sixth newest Cardinal and will join the team for the 2010-11 season.

Tay is another highly ranked guard that Walz has in the stable. Her point guard skills are among the best in the nation and she led Bloomfield Tech (NJ) deep into the state finals in 2010.

Shoni wowed fans in the Pacific Northwest for four years in high school with her flashy showmanship on the hardwood. Sold out crowds at home and on the road greeted her wherever she went. Her younger sister Jude will be a senior this year and many believe that she is leaning toward playing college ball with her sister.

Her father and assistant high school coach Rick Schimmel believes that Shoni's game will only improve in college...since the double and triple teams she's faced the last several years will be less frequent..given the talent level in college.

Get ready, Louisville. The 'Sho' is headed to town and it's going to be a good performance

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UofL head coach Jeff Walz and Schimmel have comments on her decision to come to Louisville. You can get the details over at the official site for UofL Athletics:

www.uoflsports.com

You can click onto the site under "Sites we Recommend" here on the homepage.

Pop quiz time



Just because it is summer break time doesn't mean we at CARDINAL COUPLE are going to let your knowledge of womens' sports at UofL go on vacation. Put your books in your desk, turn off the Van Morrison CD and get ready for this pop quiz. No cheating or Googling the answers! Ready? Here we go. (Answers at the bottom of today's column.)

1) Which of these people do not coach a womens' sport at UofL?

a) Leonard Yelin
b) Adrienne Johnson
c) Pam Bustin
d) Jeff Walz

2) Which of the following sports does not have at team at UofL?

a) Rowing
b) Lacrosse
c) Alpine skiing
d) Soccer

3) Which athelete below does not participate in womens' sports at UofL?

a) Becky Burke
b) Katie Oliverio
c) Sara Maude Juneau
d) Candace Parker

4) Which of the venues does not host womens' sports at UofL?

a) Cardinal Park
b) MacArthur Park
c) Ulmer Stadium
d) Bass-Rudd Center

5) Which person below is associated with womens' basketball at UofL?

a) Sandy Pearsall
b) Bethann Ord
c) Kia Vaughn
d) Jordan Trimble

6) Sean Moth does the following at UofL?

a) Takes out the garbage at the YUM center
b) Handles public address duties for basketball
c) Previews Lori Korte's mail
d) Runs the strength and conditioning program for soccer

7) Which of the following did not play softball for UofL?

a) Connie Neal
b) Melissa Roth
c) Patrika Barlow
d) Chelsea Leonard

8) Trager Stadium hosts which Cardinal womens' athletic team?

a) Softball
b) Field Hockey
c) Track
d) Tennis

9) Which of these sports does not have a "forward"?

a) Field hockey
b) Basketball
c) Rowing
d) Soccer

10) Which athlete below participates in track and field?

a) Haley Jurich
b) Jere' Summers
c) Gwen Rucker
d) Shelby Harper

(Remember...answers at bottom of column)

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Tough way for the baseball team to end the season last night. Rallied twice to tie the game against Vandy and then lose in the bottom of the 10th on a misfielded bunt.
Still, a good year for UofL baseball and plenty of returning players next year should give Dan McDonnell another Big East title contending team.

The "batter interference" call hardly ever gets called in baseball anymore..but it cost the Cards a great scoring opportunity late in last night's game. A terrible decision by the home plate umpire...the throw was high, not in time and the batter did nothing to impede the Vandy catcher's attempt to throw out the runner attempting to steal second.

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OK! To the answers...

1) B. Adrienne Johnson works with UofL marketing and is the color commentator for women's basketball

2) C. Alpine skiing. Plenty of slipping and sliding down on campus in the winter months, though

3) D. Candace Parker played for Tennessee and is in the WNBA now.

4) B. MacArthur Park. A great song by Richard Harris!

5) B. Bethann is an assistant basketball coach for the Lady Cards.

6) B. Sean Moth does the P.A. work for the Lady Cards and also calls a great baseball game on the radio.

7) A. Connie was a rapid fire guard for the UofL basketball team.

8) B. Field Hockey. The state of the art facility is the best in the nation for field hockey.

9) C. Rowing. Hopefully, they do move forward in the water.

10) B. Summers is one of the nation's best in the discus, hammer and shot put.

How did you do?

9-10 Correct. You could be Julie Hermann's assistant!
7-8 Correct. Very good! You've been to more than one Uofl womens' sporting event.
5-6 Correct. Not bad. Try to get out to a few events besides basketball this year.
3-4 Correct. (Sigh) You didn't have your coffee this morning did you?
1-2 Correct. Sorry. You must be a visitor from UK...or Mars.
0 Correct. How did you stumble onto this blog? We suggest you come back daily to improve your skills.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ky. Softball Sweet Sixteen set



(Your co-owner and managing editor of CARDINAL COUPLE enjoys a photo op recently. Not sure what the photog told her...maybe that Paul had learned to load the dishwasher by himself or weather was going to be in the low eighties in Louisville today)

The field has been set for the 2010 Kentucky State Softball Sweet Sixteen. Double elimination actions begins Friday, June 11th. in Owensboro, KY.

Two Louisville area teams made the cut. 7th region champ Mercy will face Scott County in first round play and 6th region winner Pleasure Ridge Park gets Ryle to face off against. Other first round matchups:

Lawrence County vs. Shelby County
Green County vs. Reidland
Ashland Blazer vs. Clark County.
North Laurel vs. Allen County-Scottsville
Jenkins vs. Somerset
Christian County vs. Owensboro Catholic

The championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.

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Looks like an all Pac-10 final for the NCAA Division 1 Womens' Softball World Series. UCLA eliminated Georgia by winning 5-2 yesterday and Arizona defeated Tennessee twice to make the finals 8-0 and 5-2. This is the seventh time that these two teams have faced each other in the championships. Arizona has won four of the previous six.

The best of three series starts next Monday in Oklahoma City.

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We'll root on the home team this evening out at Jim Patterson Stadium and Louisville and Vanderbilt square off in the deciding game of the NCAA Baseball Regional. The Cards could have eliminated the Commodores yeserday with a win...but fell 7-0 to the two hit pitching of seldom used Richie Goodenow.

Game time is 6 p.m. Tickets are available on a walk up basis at Patterson. If you can't make the action...the broadcast can be heard locally on 1570 AM WNDA. Good luck with that...we listened as best we could yesterday for awhile and the feed sounded like a room full of sewing machines outside a Indy qualifying heat in a thunderstorm. Play by play announcer Sean Moth deserves better than that.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Four remain in College Softball World Series



Tennessee, Arizona, Georgia and UCLA play in the semifinal Sunday in Oklahoma City for the chance to advance to the championship bracket in the 2010 NCAA Softball Championships

The Vols, who eliminated Louisville from the tournament in Knoxville, take on Arizona in one of the semifinal matches. They beat Arizona 9-0 earlier in the double elimination format and if they win they secure one of the final two spots. A loss to the Wildcats would force a deciding second game today.

UCLA goes against the Georgia Bulldogs in the other semifinal contest. Georgia sent Florida to the sidelines last night with a 3-2 win. The Bulldogs also will need to win twice today if they are going to play in the championship series. Arizona ended Hawaii's season yesterday with a 5-1 beating.

Action starts at 3:30 and will be on the four letter network.

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DROSSELMEYER came flying down the Belmont stretch to win the Belmont Stakes yesterday at 13-1 odds...catching FIRST DUDE and holding off FLY DOWN for win.
A nice win for veteran trainer Bill Mott, a Churchill regular who had never won a Triple Crown race until yesterday. DROSSELMEYER got the win with Mike Smith aboard..a jockey change from Kent "Superman" Desormeaux.

A key factor? Definitely...Mike Smith is a veteran, cagey jockey who knows the New York strip well and is one of the most paitent riders out there. Smith let FIRST DUDE dictate the pace and waited for the midstretch before making the sweeping move to grab the lead.

Another factor that didn't hurt. DROSSELMEYER trained in aluminum pads on his feet at Belmont...which protected his feet from the abrasive Belmont surface. The win for DROSSELMEYER was his third in nine lifetime starts.

Trivia question...Who is Drosselmeyer?

He is one of the characters in the ballet "Nutcracker." Having sat thru yearly performances of the Nutcracker at the Louisville ballet when I was younger..I remembered the name and we featured DROSSELMEYER here in a column in CARDINAL COUPLE as one of our live longshots a couple of days ago.

We were rewarded with a $47 across the board return for our $2 win/place/show wager. We also put him in a $1 exacta box with ICE BOX, FLY DOWN, FIRST DUDE and STAY PUT..and that $20 investment brought back $72. Unfortunately, our $1 trifecta wheel did not have DROSSELMEYER on top and we donated $56 to the mutuals on that one.
Across the board on FIRST DUDE got us back a little show money.

An across the board on MAKE MUSIC FOR ME ended up in the recycling bin. So did an inexpensive .10 cent superfecta that had all the right horses but no DROSSELMEYER on top. Paul got the entire table with us at the Turf Club mad at him when he proudly displayed a $2 win/place/show ticket in the previous race at Belmont on WINCHESTER. This one went off at 21-1 and upset GIO PONTI in the Manhatten Handicap to give him $67 back for $6 wagered.

The card at Churchill wasn't as kind to us Saturday...we were pretty far down before hitting the late Pick 4 to get us back to close to even there.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

"Coach" passes on



The legendary basketball coach John Wooden has gone to the big fieldhouse in the sky. "The Wizard of Westwood" was 99 and died Friday night.

John Wooden changed the game of basketball. He had three basic rules. Don't be late, don't use profanity and don't disrespect you teammates. He was a man who acheived his great success at UCLA while making $35,000 a year.

I was lucky enough to meet Coach many years ago. He seemed so small, so fragile up close when you spoke with him. He spoke with a gentle confidence...no bragging, just a matter of fact acknowlegement about his successes and his life.

It took Wooden 14 years at UCLA before he won the first of 10 NCAA Championships. In today's "what have you done for me lately" coaching circus...this seems incredible.

We cover University of Louisville women's sports here at CARDINAL COUPLE...but sports as we know them...male or female...were changed by Wooden. He created a dynasty in college basketball...one that will never be equalled again in the game. You can talk about the UConn Huskies and Geno's reign over women's hoops...but his great accomplishments pale against what Wooden did.

Wooden was an Indiana farmboy. He coached in Kentucky briefly at Dayton High School. A small northern Kentucky school..right outside Covington. I played basketball in the tiny gym at Dayton back in the early seventies. A small, nondescript gym...bleachers right up against the court and deadspots in the wood. A plaque in the gym honored Wooden, unfortunately the players at Dayton that year were far removed from the skills of Wooden's UCLA teams.

As we prepared to get back on the bus to return to Louisville after drubbing Dayton by 30+ points, our coach led us out to see the plaque one more time. I don't recall exactly what he said, but he talked about Wooden's ideals. Never giving up, pride and respect for the sport and those who participate in it. Hard work and dedication.

I don't know if that small school and that small gym still exist. I do know, though the the large legacy of the coach who once patrolled those floors will live forever.

Rest ye easy, Coach. Thank you.

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Don't freak out because of all the fire engines and sirens the rest of the weekend here in Louisville. It's Crusade for Children time. Carry a little extra change around with you today and tomorrow and donate to this very worthy cause. The Crusade was my late father's favorite charity and all the volunteers that work the intersections, ride the fire trucks and walk the streets collecting money get a big tip of the hat and sincere thank you from CARDINAL COUPLE.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Belmont preview



As we are known for doing occasionally here at CARDINAL COUPLE...horse racing prognostication and bold predictions below for the Belmont. Today's offerings come from our senior columnist and guy who has been setting Churchill Downs on fire with his Spring Meet success so far. Take it away, Paul!

The horse pictured here is FIRST DUDE. He ran a strong second in the Preakness to LOOKIN AT LUCKY. Since LUCKY isn't entered in the Belmont, logic would dictate that FIRST DUDE just might go off as one of the favorites and win this thing.

I ask you, though...when did logic have anything to do with horse racing?

Trainer Nick Zito prepares his horses well for the Belmont and he offers two of them for the starting gate Saturday in the third leg of the Triple Crown. ICE BOX and FLY DOWN cannot be ignored and should be included in any "gimmick" wagering you attempt.

I also like STATELY VICTOR for this race. Can't exactly put my finger on it...but I think he'll show up big.

I'm putiing FIRST DUDE, ICE BOX, FLY DOWN, STATELY VICTOR and STAY PUT in an exacta box. I'll also work them into a trifecta..with ICEBOX and FIRST DUDE on top, the rest wheeled down in second with them and add a couple more to the bottom part of the wheel.

FIRST DUDE treated me very well on Preakness Day...so I'll put a small across the board wager down on him, too.

You want a live longshot? Consider DROSSELMEYER. Don't go crazy on him..though. MAKE MUSIC FOR ME, the talented filly, tries the boys Saturday also. She could shock at a nice price.

Remember, all comments here and selections are for entertainment porpoises only (certainly!) and CARDINAL COUPLE does not make any claims of supernatural powers, psychic revelations or a decent crossover and 15 foot jumper.

Good luck, enjoy the Belmont and God Save the Queen.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

UofL Field Hockey Preseaon Preview



As we mentioned yesterday, we are excited about the 2010 UofL field Hockey season and Pam Bustin has given CARDINAL COUPLE the lowdown on Cardinal Field Hockey. Seven words for ya...Gotta go see these girls this year!!!

Pam reports:

The UofL field hockey team for fall 2010 is already gearing up. Many of the players are participating in the USA High Performance Womens' National Championships this month. There are nine regions nationally that offer U.S. High Performance training sites and Louisville is the host of the Midwest site. UofL has players representing the Midwest, Pennsylvania and Mid Atlantic regions. Pam is the head coach for the Midwest and is looking forward to coaching this team which is comprised of the regions best collegiate and future stars. U.S. squad members are also part of the regional teams and the Midwest has four of these players...including 2008 Olympian Carrie Lingo. Representing Louisville will be Karah Hall, Tuli Lim, Rachel Hollenbach and Erin Conrad. This upcoming tournament helps select the various National teams. For more info on the championships, go to:

www.usfieldhockey.com

The 2010 UofL field hockey team welcomes back nine starters and will introduce ten freshmen to Cardinal fans. This mix of returning determination and youthful enthusiasm could lead to the best season in program history. After a self-confessed underacheiving 2009 campaign, the team has re-evaluated and looked within. With their honest assessments and taking personal responsibility for the performance of the team, the 2010 spring was extremely focused and productive.

Leading the charge this fall will be field captain Nicole Youmam (AUS) and vice-captains Jenna Ahern (PA) and Hayley Turner (AUS). The three will work together to lead by example and to guide this strong group toward a championship. Both Nicole and Hayley will be coming off play in Austrailia...and Jenna has been keeping the pace throughout her summer training here in Louisville.

Jenna will be joined in the backfield by Karah Wall (KY), Cait Collins (NY) and Natasha Leickly (OH). They'll be joined by redshirt sophomore Erin Conrad (PA), who will be in the goalcage. Erin has prepared over the last two years for this responsibility and has gained valuable experience through the team's recent matches in Argentina this March and in the USA High Performance competition.

Tull Lim (NC), Rachel Hollenbach (PA) and Turner return to midfield...which creates one of the toughest midfield threesomes in the country. The forward line features Youman, Nikki Auker (PA), Amber Thomas (CAN), Simone Attles (OH), Haley and Lacey Jurich (KY) and Heather Stevens (DE). They'll give the Cards the punch and versatility needed to be dangerous.

The 10 new Cardinals bring a wealth of talent, athleticism and a great competitive spirit to the program. Meghan Ziobro (VA) steps in to challenge Conrad for goalie. Dominique Pasqualichio (PA), Katie Flannery (PA), Sophie Engelkes (HOL) and Nikki Barry (PA) will most likely contribute and develop into key backfield players. Michelle Amon (KY) and Kelsey Rosenmeier (VA) will bolster the midfield and forward spots. Jacque Gerrick (PA), Elizabeth Vance (TX), and Erin Schneidtmiller (KY) will lend their goal scoring talents to the forward positions.

The upcoming schedule this fall is a challenging one. 10 out of the 19 opponents finished the in NCAA top 20. Princeton and Maryland were in the Final Four. The Big East is always a challenge and and Team Cardinal is looking forward to competing at a National Championship level every time they step on the turf.

We'll relay The Flock's schedule and full results in the upcoming months here at CARDINAL COUPLE. A special thanks to Pam for her comprehensive preseason report and amazing accomplishments as the head coach of the UofL Field Hockey program!

If you've never witnesses a field hockey match, you need to go watch the Cards play at state of the art Trager Field on campus. You'll be hooked.

Mail Call




Been awhile since we've loked at the ol' mail box...so on this stormy Thursday morning, let's see what you saying. Feel free to put on a little Allman Brothers "Stormy Monday" while you read along.

http://www.last.fm/music/The+Allman+Brothers+Band/_/Stormy+Monday.com

(From Charlie in Hazard:)

Hi, CARDINAL COUPLE! I really like your updates on women's sports at UofL. My wife does too. We are big UofL basketball fans and wondered if you have any thoughts on a starting lineup for Jeff Walz's team this season?

CARDINAL COUPLE:

UofL women's basketball fans in Hazard? That's as rare as the steaks Paul cooked on the grill Sunday! Just a prognostication here and in no way would I ever try to influence what Walz thinks.

PG-Dez Byrd
SG-Becky Burke
C-Keisha Hines
PF-Asia Taylor
SF-Monique Reid

With 10 other players on the expected roster...expect to see a lot of substitutions and if someone's game is off...there will be plenty of girls waiting to fill in.
And, if Shoni Schimmel shows up...you gotta believe she'll crack the top five...probably at one of the guard spots.

(DEAR CARDINAL COUPLE:)

How does the Cardinal field hockey team look this year? My daughter loves the game and will be trying to make her high school team this year.

-Curt

HI, CURT!

We're big fans of field hockey here at CARDINAL COUPLE. It was Sonja's sport of choice during her collegiate days and games at Trager Field are exciting affairs.
We plan on getting a preview of 2010 UofL Field Hockey soon from head coach Pam Bustin...so stay tuned and put on your shin guards!

(Where did former UofL center Chauntise Wright go after graduation? I always liked watching her play?)

-Bob in the Ville

HOLA, BOB!

Tise graduated with her degree and is currently working here in the Louisville area. She was one of Paul's favorite Lady Cards, too and if you got her the ball in the paint...she was deadly.

OK, that'll do it for this Thursday.

REMEMBER, You can send your questions and comments to us at:

cardinalcouple@insightbb.com

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Straying briefly from our coverage of women's sports...we have to express our outrage that the budget for The Center for Women and Families got slashed by 69% in the Mayor's lastest budget offering. Although they do receive funds from other sources...this cutback makes no sense whatsoever...given the outstanding work they do for the community and at risk mothers and children

Denise Vasquez Troutman and her staff are saviors. Please join me in letting the Metro Council know that this is a bunch of nonsense and join The Center for Women and Children on Facebook.

You can learn more about donations and volunteering at:

www.thecenteronline.org

If there is any deserved compassion and care to be extended in this sometimes cruel world...surely it needs to go to the abused women and children in our community.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Roth named to All-American team



Senior catcher for the University of Louisville Melissa Roth has been selected to the 2010 Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America second team. Roth made the squad last year also and is the first Softball Card to ever receive the honor twice.

Roth finished her senior year with a .389 batting average and pounded 16
home runs. She also had 49 RBI's and scored 59 runs. She was the lead off batter for the Cards and stole 15 bases this year...not something you normally associate with a catcher.

Melissa had quite the career here at UofL playing for Sandy Pearsall. She was a four year starter...playing in 235 games... and take a look at the career records she holds:

-Batting average (.379)
-Runs Scored (204)
-Doubles (68)
-Hit by pitch (77)
-Slugging percentage (.665)
-On-base percentage (.503)

It's going to be tough to replace the California native behind the plate. Thanks, Melissa for the always sunny attitude and wonderful things you've done as a Cardinal.

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So, you say you don't know the difference between a linebacker and a lineman? Get confused when the ref announces that there was illegal participation on the preceding play? Have no idea what a weak side blitz is all about?

Charlie Strong wants to clear all that up for you. So, he's having a Women's Football Clinic on Saturday, June 19th.

It's for girls only...you guys will have to go fishing, get the oil changed or maybe
hit golf balls in the woods. Certainly couldn't expect you to do a little yard work.

Registration start around 8 a.m. and the clinic runs from 9 a.m. till 4 p.m.
Lunch will be served and you get a t-shirt as well. Cost is $50.

Sign up ends on June 9th...so call (502)852-6325 and get in the know.

Don't worry..I don't think he's going to make you do windsprints or put you in helmets. A good friend of CARDINAL COUPLE did one of these a few years back and had a great time.

Now, she thinks she's John Madden, Vince Lombardi and Brett Favre all rolled into one...(Thank goodness she doesn't look like any of them...)

Storm reigns over Dream 90-72



A candid shot of the newest Big East womens' basketball referees to start out Wednesday morning. Or, it could be an example of the defense the Seattle Storm was employing on Angel Tuesday night in Seattle. You decide...it's "hump day" and the Three Stooges make about as much sense to me today as anything else. Why does grass have to grow so darn fast this time of year?

Too much Lauren Jackson last night for the Atlanta Dream in Seatlle. The 6'5" post veteran from Australia lit Angel and company up for 32 points last night in the Key Arena in a game that simply wasn't close after the half.

Who knew a mammoth like that could shoot threes like Kobe?

Angel, swarmed by double teams most of the evening...managed 18 points in the loss...but it wasn't one of those stellar McCoughtry performances. A bit of the old,
stubborn Angel last night..failure to pass out of the traps and weaving down the lane like Otis Campbell on a Saturday night in Mayberry. At least her three looked good last night.

The Dream goes to 6-1. Fourth road game in a row and the bluest skies you've ever
seen definitely weren't shining on the Atlanta bench Tuesday. (Sorry, Andy
Williams).

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CARDINAL COUPLE thinks that college womens' golf should extend into the summer months
instead of ending around graduation time. It just makes sense, right?

After all this is the time of the year when a lot of you are out there walking thru knee high rough looking for that steamer off the tee. The UofL womens' golf team looks absolutely fabulous for 2010-11 and I'm sure they're getting in a lot of rounds during the summer break. We've been trying to get an interview with someone over there connected with golf but the only takers we've had so far is one of the security cops that drives a golf cart around campus at night.

***********************************************************************************

So, let's say you have this radio station in town...let's call it CARDS RADIO... but
UofL athletics are rarely ever heard on it. You get Cincinnati Reds baseball, some yapping flamer called Jim Rome, loveable Joe B. and Denny and that disc jockey turned sports host named Vanetti (who needs a tag team partner on AFTERNOON UNDERDOGS).

No UofL baseball, softball, volleyball or even Tom Jurich singing his favorite Doobie Brothers songs.

Clear Channel Communications at it's finest.

I wonder how many communication majors at UofL would love to get a little on the job practical experience by announcing games, hosting talk shows, writing copy or even interviewing on campus athletes?

Oh, for the days when WXVW and WTMT were on the air. Local programming, crazy sports talk shows hosts with local ties and opinions and zero coverage of the Stanley Cup.

Sure, there will be football, men and women's basketball later this year. Why can't there be other sports? Is UofL so far up Nelligan Sports waste eliminator that they can't devote a little air time to Leonard Yelin, Pam Bustin, Sandy Pearsall or Dan McDonnell?

Turn the whole mess over to Bisig Impact, Cox Radio or Bill and Ted's Excellent Communications (dude) and let's give a little air time to "the best college sports town in America". I could care less about mixed martial arts, Ben Rottenburger or Rampage Jackson.

Ooops, I forgot. It's all about the 'benjamins" these days. Oh, well. It was a nice dream while it lasted. Maybe I'll take a couple of tin cans, a lot of string and do my own play by play of softball, volleyball and field hockey this year.

Let me know if you want info on a "premium subscription". Commercial free, unless Paul staggers in and starts talking about Bud Select.

End of sermon...go in peace.