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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Catching up on....softball, women's golf and track. Plus a "thank you!"

WEDNESDAY @ CARDINAL COUPLE

Bill the Goat likes softball but doesn't have opposable thumbs,
so he can't bat. You should see him run the bases, though!
-Softball hosts the Hoosiers

-Golf wins in Indiana

-McCarty named BIG EAST Field Athlete of the Week

-The Aggies down Notre Dame

-Oliver upsets Andrews...

-Thanks, readers!

The University of Louisville softball team takes on Indiana University tonight at Ulmer Stadium. Game time is 5:30 p.m. Looks like a great night to be at the ballpark!

Caralisa Connell is expected to get the start against IU (20-14) for tonight's contest. Louisville (26-10, 5-1) defeated the Hoosiers 11-0 in the last meeting between the team in Bloomington on March 24th, 2010. The Cards have won their last seven in a row and are tied for third in the BIG EAST. USF (4-0) leads the conference and Pitt and Notre Dame are 3-0. The Cards are getting great offensive production from Chelsea Bemis, who is batting .362 and has five home runs this season. Alicja Wolny is hitting .385 and leads Louisville with 35 runs batted in. Sophomore Jennifer Esteban has touched home plate 33 times and is batting .378 on the season.

The Cards have been getting a yeoman effort from Connell since the other two pitchers that started the season, Tori Collins and Chelsea Leonard, are out with injuries. She's 13-4 on the season and has struck out 92 batters in 117 innings. The true freshman has a 2.37 ERA and won nine out of her last ten games on the mound.

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The Cardinal women's golf team won the Indiana Invitational yesterday by 22 strokes in the rain delayed event. Maria Castellanos took first place with a two day total of 145. Sara Maude-Juneau and Anna-Karin Lljungstrom tied for second with 147's.

The medalist title is the first ever for Castellanos at UofL and the third time this season that a Lady Cards golfer has claimed top honors.

UofL heads to Palm Harbor, FL. next...to compete in the BIG EAST Championships. They tee it up for first round action on April 17th. GOOD LUCK, Ladies...bring home the title!

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D'Ana McCarty has been named BIG EAST Field Athlete of the Week for her outstanding tosses in the Florida Invitational. She won the shot put down in Gainesville and finished fifth in the discus. McCarty has the top throws in the shot and discus in the BIG EAST this season.

The Cards will have their first home outdoor meet at Cardinal Park...the Texas Roadhouse Border Battle on Saturday, April 9th. The field events are slated to begin around 10:30 a.m. You owe it to yourself to go early and see the incredible women's throwers...McCarty and Khadija Abdullah are two of the best in the nation and teammates Hannah Baker, Patrice Gates and Chinwe Okoro, among others, are also top flight competitors as well.

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Give it up for the Texas A&M Aggies, who took the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship last night over Notre Dame 76-70. Massive center Danielle Adams pounded the paint for 30 points in the Aggies first ever women's basketball title. They trailed the Irish by two at the half, but rode the sturdy shoulders of Adams to the victory.

Adams spent two years at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, MO...a junior college...before heading to A&M and College Station, TX. While at Jefferson, she was on the team with Louisville's LaToya Johnson and both were targets of Jeff Walz's attempts to get them to come to Louisville.

LaToya was a first team WBCA/State Farm JC/CC All-American at Jefferson and the Cards had high hopes for her on the court when she arrived at Louisville in 2009. Injuries, however, plagued her during her two year stay...participating in only 10 games her junior year and just five contests this season.

Adams was the ju-co Player of the Year when she came to visit Louisville in April 2009. She chose A&M over Louisville, Mississippi State and Auburn. WE'VE always felt she was the second best center in the BIG 12...behind Baylor's Brittany Griner...but she was definitely the best center on the court last night.

All in all, a good season of women's college basketball. We were disappointed that the much ballyhooed match-up between Tennessee and Connecticut never materialized in the NCAA Tournament and a bit disappointed that Louisville's furious rally against Gonzaga fell a bit short...but enjoyed following the action in the BIG EAST and saw some great games this year. We've said it before and we'll say it again...the BIG EAST is the best conference in college women's basketball. Two participants in the FINAL FOUR. As John Calipari said, a few days back...paraphrazing..."They want to be us."

Had a recent conversation with someone who was disappointed that the none of the four #1 seeds made the final game. Like I told him, the favorites don't win every race...and the Aggies and Irish both won and advance...which is what you have to do this time of year. They both defeated teams that defeated them three times during the regular season to get to Indy's final game and deserve the kudos. On any given night...you know the rest.

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Pam Oliver sprang the upset on Erin Andrews in the final match up of the Sideline Reporters Championship here at Cardinal Couple. Oliver received a strong blast of votes at the beginning of Tuesday and was able to hold off a furious Andrews rally late Tuesday evening. We did close the voting at midnight. If we had let it run until Wednesday morning, Andrews would have been the winner..since several e-mail in he favor arrived after midnight. OK. It's over. Thanks for participating and we'll send Bill the Goat over to the Oliver's household to perform landscaping and trash disposal duties, in the way only Bill can do them, as a reward.

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We would like to thank our readers for the overwhelming hit count we received Tuesday. We received 5 times the number of average daily hits..and we're  guessing that it had nothing to do with the Sideline Announcers Championship. We're glad you chose CARDINAL COUPLE and invite you back as regular readers. We got tons of e-mails yesterday, too and almost all of them were positive, enjoyable to read and enlightening. We were proud to announce and detail the news of Jude Schimmel's comments. We think she'll like Louisville and Louisville is definitely going to like her.

We must make one thing perfectly clear, though. We are an independent site and not affiliated with the University of Louisville in any way, shape or form We are NOT a UofL run site and we are not paid by the University of Louisville. (They are nice enough to let us dine at the media buffet, though, at selected sporting events.) We very much appreciate all the things that the University does for us though...media access to sporting events, e-mails on specific sports from sports information directors and chances for player and coach interviews. We provide this coverage as a non-profit, unbiased entity. We haven't quit our chosen professions, though...we need no 'thank you's' or 'attaboys'. We also don't need any kibbutzing or back seat drivers.

CARDINAL COUPLE tries to express UofL women's sports for a fan's perspective. And, that's what we are... fans. We've got a combined 100+ years of following and attending events and games for women's athletics at UofL between Paul, (46) Sonja (31) and David Watson (26). We were Cardinals, when Cardinals weren't cool. We've seen changes in coaches, staff, administrative and support personnel. We've been told we should drop the format and cover "sports people care about..like football and men's basketball". We didn't listen. We were there and in the stands way before Jurich, Pitino, Walz, Ramsey or McCoughtry arrived. And, We are still there.

Make no mistake on this next part and read it carefully if you need to. A lot of the opinions and comments made here are those of the staff of CARDINAL COUPLE. We sometimes have to temper, change and alter what we say, how we say it and decide if we can say it or not because of deferrence to those who are involved for pay with UofL women's athletics. We gladly do this. But, we are nobody's "boy" and won't be imtimidated by entities or threats. We will shut this sucker down before that happens. We gladly take and appeciate advice and comments. We don't take dictation, though. Other blogs and websites out there may be more popular and receive more readers...but they will never control or decide what we report on and how we do it.  You run your site(s), we'll run ours. You're legal threats don't scare us, and you have no idea who we have retained as legal counsel...and you don't want to find out.

Freedom of speech, press and the rights to discuss topics and events are inalienable. Ours will never be silenced or controlled by other parties under duress or means of intimidation. We will not be intimidated by bully tactics and we'll battle like hell to defend our rights and freedoms. No puppets on a string here...dancing for "the man". We aren't "a pay for" or suscriber site. We will never be...and we'll defend that right and privledge. This little dog isn't going to stop barking.

After all, it's you... the reader, that ultimately decides whether CARDINAL COUPLE is a site you want to visit or not. We've gotten praise for this site from sources and people we never, ever thought or imagined would read it. We've also gotten slanderous threats, attempts to control and dictate formatting and hateful e-mails like you wouldn't believe. It's all part of it. Opinions are opinions. You say "tomato" We say "ketchup".

Sometimes, we wonder if it's all worth it. Then, we think of a solidary figure, running and sweating in the hot summer sun, striving to be a little better at what they do. Doesn't matter if it's non-revenue or not. Doesn't matter if there are 23,000 people or 23 watching. It's the effort. The personal acheivment. The dream of bettering a performance by a second...practicing a shot,  perfecting a kick and working on a pass, throw, draw or fielding opportunity. Doesn't that person deserve a little press, a little praise and print, too? We, as fans, applaud the effort and we'll spread the news about it.

We're still here. We're growing daily and have to shake our heads in wonder and amazement over how much we've grown in popularity and internet traffic since we started this site (basically on a dare and challenge) and we're not changing. Not trying to brag or be boastful. Just stating the actual and factual.

Sorry for the seriousness of tone involved in the above section, but we'll be damned if we're going to be considered as "controllable" and "questionable". You don't like what you read here? Then, don't click on the site. If you do, tell a friend or fellow fan. And don't stop believing. We aren't bullies, we don't like bullies and we'll defend the innocent from them...if we have to. To paraphraze and borrow fron the legendary musician/entertainer Charlie Daniels...

"We ain't askin' nobody for nothing
If we can't get it on our own...
If you don't like the things we're saying
You just leave this Cardinal couple alone..."

Good... now that we've gotten a little housekeeping out of the way...who's up for Chinese takeout?
.

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