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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cards and Cats Softball





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Follow us live!
as Louisville and Kentucky play in the Battle of the Bluegrass softball tilt!
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CARDS BLANK CATS 6-0 BEHIND COLLINS FIVE HIT MOUND PERFORMANCE
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Bright skies and a stiff wind blowing out of Ulmer Stadium greeted the teams as pre-game introductions at 5:50 p.m. Jerry Newby, pictured here, did a bang-up job on the National Anthem (without Sonja beside him).
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Cardinal pitcher Tori Collins (pictured right) sent UK to the dugout in the top of the first in order...fanning Megan Yocke and Kara Dill and getting Meagan Aull on a long fly to right-center that speedy center fielder Kristin Austin ran down. A near capacity Ulmer Stadium crowd greeted the Cards to bat in the bottom of the first.
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UK pitcher Chanda Bell got Katie Keller to pop out to the catcher and Jennifer Esteban popped out to first to begin the inning and Bell got Chelsea Bemis on a called third strike to end the Cardinals' bottom of the first.
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UK's Brittany Cervantes started the top of the second looking at a called third strike. Rachel Riley waited Collins out to draw a walk and Ginny Carroll came in to run for her. Alice O'Brien went down swinging for the second Wildcat out but Samantha DeMartine got hit by Collins pitch. The Cards trapped Carroll on a pick-off play, though, at second to end the top of the second.
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Colby Wherry grounded out to short to begin the Cardinal second but Alicja Wolny smacked a homer over the right field fence to put the Cards up 1-0. Taner Fowler sent a long fly to left for the second out and Kristin Austin grounded out to Bell at the mound to finish the bottom of the second
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UK menaced in the top of the third when Emily Jolly banged a deep fly to left center...but Austin once again flew to the ball and hauled it down for the catch. Annie Rowlands sent a shot off the glove of the Cards Keller for a single next. Yocke found the gap next between short and third for the second UK hit of the inning. Dill's fielder's choice advanced the runners but Aull ended the inning with a sharp ground out to Cardinal first baseman Wolny.
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Maggie Ruckenbrod began the bottom of the third for Louisville by drawing a walk and Hannah Kiyohara send her to second with a blooper single to short left field. Chelsea Jordan came in to pinch run for Ruckenbrod. The runners advanced when Bell was charged with a wild pitch. Jordan scored UofL's second run on a sacrifice fly by Esteban but Bemis ended any other Cardinal chances for scoring with a long foul out to right field.
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As the shadows started to set over the 3rd base line at Ulmer, the Cats' Cervantes began the top of the fourth with a similiar deep fly...foul down the right field line that Kiyohara tracked down for out one. Riley walked on a full count next and UK sent pinch hitter Lauren Cumbess up but she returned to the dugout after striking out. So did DeMartine and Collins got out of the inning unscathed.
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Alicja Wolny began the bottom of the fourth with a walk and advanced on Fowler's sacrifice bunt. The Cards could not advance the runner, though, and it was still 2-0 after four innings.
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Collins began the top of the fifth by fanning Jolly and Rowlands. Yocke flied out to left to end the inning.
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UK's Bell got rocked by a Ruckenbrod double to start the bottom of the fifth and after Kiyohara sacrifice bunted Ruckenbrod to second...Keller flied out to deep left. Esteban beat out a bunt to put runners on the corners. The stage was set for Bemis to perform but before she could... Ruckenbrod stole home to make it 3-0 on a double steal maneuver. Bemis reached safely on a mishandled throw on her grounder to score Esteban and increase the lead to 4-0. Wherry grounded out to end the inning.
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UK 's Dill grounded out to start the sixth. Aull popped a blooper over Wherry's head to reach safely for UK's third hit of the game. Next, Cervantes advanced Aull and reached on a bunt. Riley flied out to deep center and Austin came up with a running catch, turned and threw the ball to second for a double play...getting out Aull who took off around the bases...thinking it was a hit.
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Ellen Weaver came in to pitch for UK to start the bottom of the sixth. Alicja Wolny greeted her with a single up the middle. Katelyn Mann came in to run for Wolny as Fowler batted next and reached on a sharp single to right. Tesha Paysen came in to run for Fowler and Austin, batting next, beat out an infield single to fill the bases with Cardinals. Ruckenbrod's single plated Mann and the Cards led 5-0. Kiyohara's sacrifice fly sent home Paysen and increased the Cardinal lead to 6-0. Austin was tagged out at home on a failed Keller bunt attempt for the second out of the inning. Weaver finally got out of the inning when Esteban struck out with runners on the corners.
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Collins got Cumbess to pop up to begin the top of the seventh. Macy Allen singled over a drawn in Louisville infield to keep the Cats chances alive...but was picked off at first for the second out. Weaver went to the plate to bat and struck out to end the game.
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Collins went the distance...allowing five hits and fanning nine in the win for Louisville. WE caught up with her after the game:
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CARDINAL COUPLE: Tell us about the win tonight.
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COLLINS: My defense is incredible and Kristin Austin had an incredible game. I've just been working really hard and staying focused, trying to win each pitch and putting my focus on attacking each batter. Doing what I'm supposed to do.
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CARDINAL COUPLE: Villanova comes to town this weekend to begin BIG EAST play. What are you looking for out of the 'Nova bats?
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COLLINS: Haven't even looked at them yet. We've been so focused on looking at the immediate game before us this season...so tomorrow I'll ...we'll...begin the focus on them.
We're ready for BIG EAST.We're ready to take down the competition. Some of the other teams in conference don't have it as hard as we do this year, so we're ready to attack it and show them what we're made of.
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CARDINAL COUPLE also saw Lady Cards hoopster Becky Burke and Shoni Schimmel at the softball game tonight. Both were mobbed by appreciative Cardinal fans and Schimmell chuckled when I told her we had renamed her "the Judge" here at CARDINAL COUPLE. Coach Pearsall was all smiles after the game and reminded me as I congratulated her on the win that the Cards were in action this weekend. We're going to try and get out there. A special thanks to Louisville assistant S.I.D. Lori Korte for the accomodations in the press box and the wireless hookup. Also got to sit with Courier-Journal writer J.J.Hysell...which made it a fun and enjoyable two hours.
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The Cards drew 908 fans to the game this evening, which featured free t-shirts to the first 300 through the gate. Looks like some of you folks are going to have to share...Nice black t-shirt that read...'Peace, love, softball.' Inppropriate for UK fans...however... because the Wildcats got no love tonight on the scoreboard and got no peace from the Cardinal bats or Collins' fastball...
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