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Friday, May 20, 2011

Beam us up...Chelsea Bemis's three run blast leads softball to 5-2 win

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.FRIDAY SPECIAL EDITION...Louisville softball

-Bemis's belt in 9th brings Louisville 5-2 win over UIC

The University of Louisville softball squad won their first game in the NCAA Louisville regional Friday night
Bemis (center)  with teammate Colby Wherry and Coach
Pearsall in the post game press conference
at Ulmer Stadium 5-2...thanks to the heroics of senior third baseman Chelsea Bemis. Her bottom of the ninth inning, three run, one out blast over the center field fence was the game ender...in a game that had virtually no offense in the first seven innings. It was not until a surprising two run top of the eight for the Illinois-Chicago Flames that runs got entered on the center field scoreboard...a scoreboard that malfunctioned late in the contest.

Maybe the scoreboard was bored or disgusted. The pitchers' dual that consisted of Cardinal Tori Collins and Flames' Devin Miller certainly had batters walking back to dugout in disgust...after lazy pop outs to the infielders and soft grounders on the Ulmer Stadium dirt. A pitching change by UofL head coach Sandy Pearsall to begin the seventh almost backfired..when the Flames touched freshman Caralisa Connell for the 2-0 advantage on two singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly in the eighth that had Louisville's back to the wall. Pearsall later commented that she didn't think Collins was at her best in the game...allowing several deep fly balls and gathering only 1 strike-out in six innings of work. Louisiville needed to score...a feat that had eluded them through seven innings.

The Cards came through. Bemis tagged her first home run of the game to center, barely clearing the fence, to open the inning. Alicja Wolny followed with a sharp single and the vocal Cardinal fans in attendance notched the volume up to Metallica levels. With Chelsea Jordan in to run for Wolny, a Colby Wherry single found its way to right field...but the speedy Jordan was tagged out at third on a perfect throw from right-fielder Melinda Macias. Wherry advanced to second on the put-out and Pearsall sent another speed burner in Tesha Payton in to run for Wherry. The strategy paid off...Maggie Ruckenbrod smacked a single to left and Payton touched the plate to tie it.

Connell calmed down and got the Flames retired, allowing only a walk to Courtney Heeley. That set the stage for Bemis's blast...a moon shot to center that brought in Kristin Austin and Katie Keller.

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After the game, Bemis was nonchalant about the game winner...claiming she was just looking to drive the ball for a hit and hopefully score Austin. When asked about any tension or nervousness in the Cardinal dugout after the Flames took the 2-0 lead...she said that none was present..the Lady Card were loose, relaxed, having fun and ready for their turn at bat. Coach Pearsall echoed  Bemis's description...relating that she wasn't going to harp on the lack of run production earlier...feeling confident her team would find a way to tie it and then win it.

She found that ways and means in the form of San Diego slugger Chelsea Bemis and Louisville advances in the winner's bracket to face California at 2 p.m. Saturday...who defeated Jacksonville State 6-3 in the opener.

CARDINAL COUPLE will be there with the inning-by-inning coverage for our readers.

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