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Monday, April 11, 2011

Softball wins 11th straight, Lacrosse falls at Georgetown

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MONDAY...CARDINAL COUPLE PRESENTS:

Caralisa and the Cards have won
eleven straight.
-Softball pounds Pitt 10-3 to sweep series

-Lacrosse loses a close one at Georgetown

-Boyle hired at Virginia...Smith reinterested now?

The University of Louisville softball team roared out of the gate yesterday against Pittsburgh with four first inning runs and Caralisa Connell pitched another complete game as Louisville goes to 30-10 and 8-1 in the BIG EAST. They sit behind USF (7-0) and Notre Dame (5-0) in the conference standings.

The Cards loaded the bags in the first inning with no outs. After a ground out that forced an out at the plate, Maggie Ruckenbrod singled home a run, Chelsea Bemis and Colby Wherry scored on a fielding error and another Pitt fielding miscue brought Ruckenbrod home for the 4-0 advantage.

After Pitt got two runs back in the bottom of the first, Louisville picked up a score in the third when Hannah Kiyohara touched home plate after a  Jennifer Esteban double. Louisville bumped the advantage to 8-2 in the sixth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, the Cards scored on a passed ball and then Kiyohara drilled a two RBI single.

Chelsea Bemis completed the Cards portion of the scoring with a two run homer in the seventh.

This was a very impressive road trip for the Cards, who went into the series knowing they would need to bring out the bats against a Pitt pitching staff that had a microscopic ERA and was undefeated in BIG EAST play, They leave Pittsburgh after scoring 20 runs in three games and knocking the Panthers record back to 3-3 in conference. The Cards are doing it with a combination of young and veteran players and the red hot pitching of freshman Connell. Yesterday she turned in another solid seven innings...allowing three runs on eight hits and struck out three Panther batters.

Louisville returns to action Wednesday in Ulmer Stadium with a doubleheader scheduled against Connecticut. First pitch is slated for noon.

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Lacrosse did not fare as well...as they completed their road trip with a 19-12 loss to the Georgetown Hoyas on Sunday. Louisville (8-4, 1-2) saw Georgetown take an early 3-0 lead and increase it to a 9-4 halftime advantage. Bergan Folly tried to rally the Cards in the second half with five scores...but the Hoyas outscored Louisville 10-8 in the final half.

Folly was Louisville leading scorer with her five second half goals. Sophie Thomas netted seven for the Hoyas. Katie Oliviero added three goals for Louisville and the Cards used all three of their goalkeepers in the contest in an effort to find someone able to slow down the Georgetown attack.

WE still think that the lacrosse squad will have some big wins as the season progresses...the weekend's opponents were two of the best in the nation and neither blew Louisville's doors off. This group of Cardinal lacrossers are a competitive bunch and will rally.

Louisville returns home to face Rutgers in the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium on Friday at 5 p.m. If you are planning on taking in the Louisville Football Spring Game Friday night...why not come out a few hours early and give your support to this deserving team? If you've never seen a live lacrosse match, you're in for a treat.

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The Virginia Cavaliers have hired California Bears coach Joanne Boyle to replace Debbie Ryan...a move that some suggest may draw Bria Smith back to reconsidering the ACC school. Boyle was 137-64 in six years at California and the Bears made four NCAA Tournament appearances and two WNIT trips while she was head coach. They won the 2010 WNIT championship. Boyle is the second high profile coach to evacuate the Pac10 in women's college basketball recently...Nikki Caldwell dumped the UCLA Bruins and settled at LSU after allegedly checking out Virginia and being considered a possible replacement at South Carolina if Dawn Staley left.
Joanne Boyle coached the Bears to
six straight postseason appearances.

Smith has scheduled visits to Louisville and Tennessee this month and has two more official recruiting trips she can make. With an established and successful skipper installed in the Cavalier camp now, WE have to wonder if UVA might figure back into her plans now. The Louisville Cardinals have recently received a verbal from point guard Monny Esther Niamke and point guard Jude Schimmel states that she'll very likely end up in Derby City this fall also.Smith claims that she isn't bothered by other commitments and will go be competitive at wherever she ends up.

We're hearing from other sources that Louisville remains a favorite for the New York combo guard...but that was before the Cavalier coaching announcement was made. WE still think Louisville is the best fit for Smith but the decision making process may have become a bit more difficult for her now. The University of Kentucky still remains interested in Smith also and Bria Goss, who is headed to UK, played with Smith in the recent McDonald's All-American game.

Someone cue up the Jeopardy theme song...this one is getting more and more interesting each day...

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WE don't normally watch a lot of golf on television, but found the finish to The Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia a very exciting block of television yesterday. Had to feel sorry for the way Rory McElroy fell apart at the start of the back nine and it looks like Tiger Woods is beginning to find some of that talent again that made him the top of the heap a few years ago. We remember the adage..."Drive for show and putt for dough" and eventual winner Charl Schwartzel drained a couple of spectacular putts on the final holes to get the green jacket. They really amp the drama up when they present that item of clothing, don't they? We  thought we were watching a high stakes summit meeting of world leaders when they cut to the six figures sitting solemnly in the chairs. Then. poof... it declined to five chairs. We half expected them to stand up and get in a game of  "Musical Chairs" next...Maybe the NCAA should go to a similar format.....nah, forget it.
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