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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lady Cards add a guard...Softball takes two


Monny Esther Niemke. a.k.a.Young Monny Rose
is a lightning quick guard and is headed to Louisville
 SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Niamke chooses Louisville

-Cards sweep Pitt in softball

-Women's track in Border Battle

-Uncle Mo gets a show...

SHOW ME THE MONNY !!

French sensation guard Monny Esther Niamke, aka Young Monny Rose, has made her decision to come to Louisville for her college basketball career. The speedster was heavily recruited by several BIG EAST schools and other top D1 programs.

Niamke has thrilled French women's basketball fans with her wizardry for several years now. Louisville head women's basketball coach Jeff Walz spent time in France last summer and we can assume he spent time watching the talented point guard play in European competition. Niamke played on the 16U French National team and is described as "a lightning quick point guard who is aggressive on the court and has a strong body frame built for high level Division I basketball." Several different variations are used regarding her name...WE'LL call her anything she wants if she can translate her success in Europe to Denny Crum Court.

With Niamke's decision to attend Louisville, the Cards now have at least three probable arrivals for the class of 2011-12. Sara Hammond has committed and Jude Schimmel has commented that she will most likely end up at Louisville. The Cards are reportedly still in the running for New York combo guard Bria Smith, who will visit Louisville this month.

Niamke had 16 points, 4 steals and 4 rebounds in France's win over Russia  for the bronze in the International 16U Championships recently in Athens, Greece.

This was the "surprise" recruit and commitment we've been mentioning over the last several weeks here at CARDINAL COUPLE. We held off on the details about Young Monny-Rose's chances of coming to Louisville until the Quaneisha McCurty issue became clearer and it now appears that Louisville has room  for Bria Smith and that's about it....unless transfers occur.

Niamke is a true point guard who also
scores with ease on the transition game
Hats off to Walz and the Cardinal coaching staff for corralling this international playmaker! The Cards are now in a "crowded house" situation...as it looks like 3 or more freshmen will join the 3 red shirts and 11 returning players from the 2010-11 team. Whether Nikki Burton will be able to return from the hip and groin injury for the upcoming year remains to be seen. Sources we have talked to connected to the UofL program suggest her playing days may be over. The Cards have also experienced 2-3 transfers out of the program since Walz took over in 2007. Only Asia Taylor, Rachel Story and former walk-on Shelby Harper remain in the junior class of  recruits that arrived on campus following the Cards march to the national title game in 2009. Monique Reid and Becky Burke will be the only seniors on the 2011-12 roster and the only two left from the Cardinals that arrived on campus in 2008. Gwen Rucker switched to volleyball full time last season.

WE can't help but think here at CARDINAL COUPLE that a possible transfer or two might be in the works this summer. Just who could be on that potential list is hard to say....but speculation from CARDINAL COUPLE readers, fans and observers of the program has centered around Story and Polly Harrington as two players that could be seeking a change of scene...We know NOTHING, of course and prognostication is just what it is...UofL has not commented on anything about this and the above names are just a couple that were mentioned in passing when looking at a very full Cardinal potential roster for 2011-12. In any case, Walz  appears to have plenty of options when fall practice gears up...and a plethora of potential staring lineups possible...

GRADUATED PLAYERS
Keisha Hines
LaToya Johnson

RETURNING CARDS
Shelby Harper
Sherrone Vails
Antonita Slaughter
Charmaine Tay
Becky Burke
Polly Harrington
Shoni Schimmel
Tia Gibbs
Rachel Story
Asia Taylor
Monique Reid

REDSHIRT/INJURED RETURNING
Nikki Burton
Shawnta Dyer
Cierra Robertson Warren

PROBABLE INCOMING FRESHMEN
Jude Schimmel
Monny Esther Niamke

COMMITTED FRESHMAN
Sara Hammond

RECRUIT OF INTEREST
Bria Smith

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Louisville softball took both games of the doubleheader against the home standing Pittsburgh Panthers yesterday at the Peterson Sports Complex.

"We faced a very good Pittsburgh team today and I was pleased with how we responded." Head coach Sandy commented on the 3-2 and 7-2 doubleheader sweep over previously undefeated in BIG EAST play Pittsburgh.

Once again freshman sensation Caralisa Connell pitched all 15 innings for the Cards. Connell (16-4) has won ten straight now for UofL. The first game went to extra innings...Louisville getting a big effort from Chelsea Bemis, who gave the Cards the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth with a solo blast over the left field fence.

Louisville took the early lead against the Panthers in the top of the third when Bemis singled home Katie Keller and Colby Wherry singled home Alicja Wolny. Pitt tied it up in the bottom of the sixth with a two run homer off of Connell...setting up Bemis's heroics with the game winner. Connell allowed eight hits and struck out eight for the win.

Louisville overcame a 1-0 Pitt lead early by lighting up the scoreboard for four runs in the fourth inning of Game Two. Taner Fowler's two run homer was the big shot in the inning...when the Cards collected four hits...including a RBI double from Kristin Austin. Louisville increased the margin to 6-1 in the fifth when a Hannah Kiyohara single got Wherry and Austin to the plate.

The Cards got a solo home run blast from Keller in the top of the seventh to make it 7-1 and Connell allowed a solo homer in the bottom of the inning for the 7-2 final. Connell had five punch outs to go with two runs and six hits allowed. Her role as only healthy starting pitcher for Louisville reminds us of the days when former Cards pitcher Aja Sherman used to rule on the mound as Louisville's only threat inside the circle.

They chalk up the baselines today for a 1 p.m.start in the final game in the series. With the wins, Louisville improves to 29-10 overal and 7-1 in the BIG EAST. Pitt falls to 3-2 in conference play. The current ten game win streak for Louisville ties for fourth longest in Cardinal softball history.

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Cardinal women's track and field atheltes fared well in the Battle of the Border events yesterday at Cardinal Park. Although the South (Kentucky and Louisville) narrowly lost to the  North (IU and ND) in the dual meet format....Louisville got six first place finishes. Margret Harris took the 200 meters and finished behind Louisville winner Saravia Richardson in the 100 meter dash. Chelsea Brown captured the 400 meter hurdles for the Cards

In field events, Jenna Wargo took first place in the javelin and D'Ana McCarty won the hammer throw. Characheska Lockhart prevailed in the long jump. The Cards also got strong performances in the shot put and discus when they finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th in both events....with Khardija Abdullah, Chinwe Okoro and McCarty.

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1/9 favorite UNCLE MO suffered a stunning defeat in Kentucky Derby prep race... the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Race track in New York yesterday. Leading at the top of the stretch in the 1- 1//8th mile contest, Uncle Mo looked ready to score against the field of nine three year olds, but flattened out in the stretch and finished third....beaten by one and one half lengths. Graham Motion's TOBY'S CORNER took the race by a head over ARTHUR'S TALE.

This throws the Derby scenario wide open now. "Mo" was the prohibitive early favorite to capture the Run for the Roses, but after yesterday's fading performance..one has to wonder whether he can get a mile and a quarter. Ah, the days leading to "the greatest two minutes in sports"....(Remember that the great SECRETARIAT finsihed third in the Wood Memorial before winning the 1973 Derby...) WE"RE not ready to give up on "Mo" just yet...sometimes you just have a rough day. Believe me, we know....
.

2 comments:

  1. You might be amused- here in Queens, we've got two cardinals living next door, one traditional bright red and one more muted.

    Yes, you guessed it- we've got our own cardinal couple. Want we should name them Sonja and Paul? :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. We love watching the Cardinal Couple's that nest in our firs. The female is usually the one with muted colors. We'd be honored to have Queens birds named after us...and appreciate you cueing us in on them, Rebecca. We love the attention they pay to their "territory" during mating season and we hope yours are working on bringing more Cards into the fold...

    Sonja

    ReplyDelete

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