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Monday, April 4, 2011

Cards sweep the Pirates, Lacrosse loses and Final Four recap

MONDAY at CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards improve to 5-1 in BIG EAST

-Louisville wins 9-3 over Seton Hall

-Lacrosse falls to Ohio State

-Women's Tennis drops match to VCU

-Who'da thunk it? Notre Dame and A&M?

-Andrews and Oliver reach the final

-Dialed In catches Shackleford in Fla. Derby

Sandy Pearsall's University of Louisville Softball team got a big effort out of Katie Keller yesterday in a romp of visiting Seton Hall. The freshman went 3 for 4 and drove in five runs in the Cardinal 9-3 win. Caralisa Connell added 10 strikeouts in the victory for the Cards.

Louisville took a lead they never relinquished in the bottom of the third when Keller singled home Jennifer Esteban and then scored on a booming Chelsea Bemis double. The Cards added to the 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth thanks to Keller, who popped a pitch over the left field fence that scored her, Hannah Kiyohara and Esteban. The Cards plated five runs total in the fourth and had a commanding 7-0 lead.

Louisville inserted Katie Petrino on the mound to start the fifth but it didn't go too well for the newest member of the Birds...Petrino walked two and gave up a single to fill the bags. A two run double and RBI single gave the Pirates three runs on board and Connell re-entered the game to pitch the Cards out of the jam. Louisville got two of the runs back in the sixth when Keller singled home Esteban and then scored on a Alicja Wolny double. Louisville led 9-3 and that ended up being the final score.

Connell was credited with seven innings of work...fanning 10 Pirates and allowing only two hits.

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Louisville Lacrosse rallied in the second half but dropped a match at Louisville Lacrosse Stadium to Ohio State 16-11. Trailing 9-4 early in the second half, the Cards rallied to cut the lead to 9-8 but could never gain the lead. #20 Louisville falls to 8-2 on the season.

The Cards got 4 scores from Liz Lovejoy in the match, Katie Oliverio, Emily Dashiell and Bergan Foley added two goals each in the defeat. Jamie Redding added one goal for the Cards. Redding is a perfect five shots for five goals in the season.  After Louisville cut the margin to one...the Buckeyes rallied for five straight goals and led 14-8...a margin Louisville couldn't overcome.

The Cards hit the road next for a Friday tilt again BIG EAST opponent Loyola (MD).

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Women's tennis got ran by VCU yesterday 6-1 with first team doubles partners Julie Fellerhoff and Rebecca Shine picking up the only win of the day. The Cards lost all the singles matches in two sets except for Fellerhoff's three set defeat as the #1 seed. The Cards are 11-8 on the year in dual matches and end the season with competition on the road at Tulsa, Rice and Houston before the BIG EAST Tournament.

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The NCAA Final Four Semifinals didn't go the way most experts predicted (including the 'so-called' experts here at CARDINAL COUPLE) with #1 seed Stanford falling to #2 seed Texas A&M Aggies and #1 seed Connecticut bowing to #2 seed Notre Dame. All season long we heard about how predictable the upcoming FINAL FOUR would be..with Tennessee, Baylor, Stanford and Connecticut the expected participants. Goes to show that upsets can and do happen  in the ladies's game as well and that the mighty Connecticut is beatable.

WE like it here at CARDINAL COUPLE. Both winners last trailed at halftime but never gave up. The Aggies vs. Trees game was especially exciting at the end..a wild finish that saw the Aggies' Tyra White score on a pass from Sydney Colson with 3.3 seconds left to win 63-62. Hats off to senior Stanford star Nnemkadi Ogwumike for 31 points and a go-ahead Stanford score with 9.2 seconds remaining...but A&M would not be denied their first trip in school history to the title. The Aggies center Danielle Adams reminds us so much of former Lady Card Tise Wright and Louisville was one of the final schools that Adams considered coming out of junior college before coming to College Station.

Notre Dame got a huge effort from sophomore Skylar Diggins to defeat the Huskies for the first time in four attempts this year. Maya Moore was spectacular in defeat with 36 of Connecticut's 63 points and leading the charge to cut a sizable Irish lead to three late in the game...but depth prevailed here and the Irish led by 12 with six minutes to go. Forget the rhetoric that all coaches pare down their lineups to 6-7 players at tournament time. A&M played 10 last night. Stanford nine. Notre Dame eight players and Geno would have used more than seven if he'd had the bench and talent available to do it.

Quite often this year, the "Fab Four" of UConn, Tennessee, Baylor and Stanford have held the national headlines concerning women's basketball captive and it's refreshing to see two teams that haven't been in the national title talk advance to the final game. Granted #2 seeds making the National Women's Championship game isn't as big a underdog story as what has transpired on the men's side of college hoops, but how many of you had a Final Four women's bracket that had UND and Texas A&M advancing to the final game? Thought so. We didn't either. We know that Maya Moore is the best college women's hoopster. Brittany Griner is the best post player in the women's college game. But, it goes to show that basketball is a team game and anything can happen on any given night...We like the affable Aggie coach Gary Blair and his positive approach to the game. Muffett McGraw and her wild fashion statements and the famous sideline squat during game action. They paint a contrasting picture to the austere Tara Vanderveer and smirking, quizzical Geno Auriemma. We realize that Geno and Tara are two of the top coaches in all-time history...but sometimes the sun shines on someone else besides the lead dogs. Tuesday night's game should be a doozy.

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Erin Andrews romped Allison Williams and Pam Oliver squeaked out a narrow win over Andrea Kremer in the Sideline Announcers' Final Four here a CARDINAL COUPLE. WE'LL have the final match Tuesday. Place your votes in the comments section here or at cardinalcouple@insightbb.com

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A major prep race leading up to the Kentucky Derby was held yesterday at Gulfstream Park in Hallendale, Florida and DIALED IN made a claim to be a horse that needs to be considered when making those Derby picks. His late running style prevailed yesterday in the mile and eighth race on the dirt...catching longshot SHACKLEFORD at the wire and winning by a head. The efforts of SHACKLEFORD last time out in the Fountain of Youth gave no indication that he'd be a front runner and almost pull the upset...especially against a field that contained other Derby hopefuls Soldat, Stay Thirsty and To Honor and Serve. He finished a dismal fifth in the Fountain of Youth but trainer Dale Romans felt the 3 yr. old had a big race in him based on workouts leading up to the Florida Derby. He got a perfect ride from Jesus Castanon, led down the stretch and narrowly missed at 69-1. Churchill Downs based Romans also got a big win in the Appleton Stakes earlier in the card when 4 yr. old Little Mike went wire to wire and won by a length.

WE were rewarded for our efforts from tossing the Romans/Castanon entry into our wager for the Florida Derby . A simple $1 exacta box with Dialied In, To Honor and Serve, Shackleford, Stay Thirsty and Soldat cost $20 and returned $169.80. That, and a nice exacta score in the previous race with SS Stone and Jackson Bend, easily covered the afternoon's wagering and returned a tidy profit.

Whether Dialed In can turn the tables on Kentucky Derby Future Wager favorite Uncle Mo or upstart Premier Pegasus remains to be seen...but the Churchill Downs stretch is a long one and Dilaed In loves to fly from last or far back. We got down $5 on him...along with Uncle Mo...just in case.

Churchill Downs simulcasting when the horses aren't running at the 'most legendary track' in the world can be hit or miss...Despite the profitable day yesterday, long lines and a lack of tellers at the windows nearly caused us to miss several eventual winning wagers. We finally started using the automatic betting machines...but people who have no idea how to work these things need to refrain from the temptation of trying to use them and watch and observe a few times before attempting. Paul watched one befuddled guy spend three minutes trying to figure out how to place a $10 show bet...and then he forgot his cash voucher  when he finally accomplished the feat. A honest person waiting paitently behind him recalled him to the scene to point out his $40 balance. Stick to betting with live tellers, rookies...
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