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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bria Smith to announce today, Big East Softball Tournament begin Thursday, Michael Baze-What Happened?

Ulmer Stadium is where the UofL softball team plays
and the home of the 2011 BIG EAST softball tournament.
.
WELCOME TO THURSDAY at CARDINAL COUPLE...or
(ELPUOC LANIDRAC ta YADSRUHT OT EMOCLEW)

-BRIA SMITH TO ANNOUNCE COLLEGE CHOICE TODAY...

-BIG EAST Softball Tournament begins Thursday

-Jockey Michael Baze found dead at Churchill

-Charlie Strong, football Cards to hold women's football clinic.

Christ the King guard Bria Smith will choose between Louisville and Tennessee Wednesday afternoon during a press conference at Christ the King high school, according to head women's basketball coach Bob Mackey. Smith, who was named ESPN New York's girls Player of the Year, is the highest-ranked player in the Class of 2011 that is still uncommitted.

"It's really been difficult with the badgering and I feel bad for Bria and her mom because it's been a constant every day dealing with coaches and the timing is very unfortunate. We were finishing our playoffs when Coach Ryan (University of Virginia) announced her resignation. It sent Bria back a little and I know that going to the McDonald's All-American Game and the WBCA All-America Game being undecided, it's been difficult." Mackey commented.

Smith had committed to Virginia but withdrew that verbal once Ryan retired. Louisville, Tennessee, Georgia, Duke and Oklahoma had also been in consideraton. ACC rules prohibit a player from committing to another ACC school if they have de-committed from a league member. Louisville recently hired former Duke assistant coach and recruiting co-ordinator Samantha Williams as a assistant coach.

Bria Smith to decide today whether it's
Louisville or Tennessee...
WE were originally led to believe (via a Smith twitter) that the decision would come Thursday. Instead, Bria will make her announcment later today with her mother, members of Christ the King coaching staff and some of her teammates present.

Smith going to Tennessee would make her the third top-10 ranked player to join the Class of 2011 at Knoxville. She would be the top ranked recruit for 2011 for Jeff Walz if she decides to attend Louisville.

W'e'll update you here at CARDINAL COUPLE as soon as the announcement has been made.

The announcement is scheduled for 1 p.m.

(Parts of this article are courtesy of ESPN.com)

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Skies willing, the 2011 BIG EAST Softball tournament takes place at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville, KY beginning Thursday at 10 a.m. The top eight finishers in conference play qualified for the 3 day event...which has Sunday as a "rain day" and might well be needed. Beginning Thursday, showers and thunderstorms are predicted for the Louisville area through Monday. Here's a rundown on the seeds and seasons of the eight school participating.

#1 Notre Dame (44-8, 19-1) clinched the regular season title by winning their last 13 in a row. The Irish haven't lost since Louisville beat them on April 17th.
#2 DePaul (38-12, 19-2) is the second seed and is no stranger to the BIG EAST Tournament title...8-4 lifetime in BIG EAST Tournament play and the 2008 BIG EAST Tournament champs.
#3 Syracuse (41-11, 15-5) used the strong pitching of Jenna Caira to sweep Louisville in the final three games of the year and grab the third spot. Caira was an impressive 31-9 on the season.
#4 South Florida (33-20, 13-5) was a surprise team to most this season...leading the league early and finishing higher in the regular season standings than most expected.
#5 Louisville (34-17, 12-7) is the host school. The Cards were plagued by pitching injuries most of the season but got a strong mid-season boost from freshman Carlisa Connell, who won 12 straight games.
#6 Pittsburgh (34-16, 13-8) has a deep and talented pitching staff but run production has been a problem at times for the Panthers.
#7 Rutgers (19-29, 7-12) survived a close battle to make the tournament and grabbed the seventh seed.  They're hardly on fire...losing 5 out of their last six and the final three to Pittsburgh in the regular season.
#8 Providence (23-29, 7-13) rounds out the field for the tournament. They took 2 out of 3 from Georgetown in the final regular season series to gain the bid.

 THE SCHEDULE

Thursday

Game 1. Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh   10 AM
Game 2.DePaul vs. Rutgers   12:30 PM
Game 3. USF vs. Louisville   6:30 PM
Game 4. Notre Dame vs. Providence  4 PM

Friday

Game 5. Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner  2:30 PM
Game 6. Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner  5 PM

Saturday
Championship Game (ESPN 2)  5 PM

All games will be shown on BIG EAST TV and the the format is single elimination. CARDINAL COUPLE will provide updated and live posts here on the site on the action....and hopefully some interviews. PLAY BALL!

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Promising jockey Michael Baze , 24, was found dead Tuesday about 4:45 p.m. in his vehicle inside the stable area of Churchill Downs. Churchill Downs workers informed Baze's agent that the jockey apparently had been in his vehicle in the same spot since early morning before someone called 911. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday but police said foul play is not suspected.

Baze was a riding sensation on the West Coast until he decided to try the Midwestern circuit in 2010. He fared well at Arlington Race Track...winning the 2010 meet at the Chicago track. Baze was scheduled to ride at least one horse on this upcoming Thursday  at Churchill but did not have any mounts on either Kentucky Oaks or Kentucky Derby Day of last week. Churchill had no racing from Sunday thru today. Baze last rode at Keeneland on April 29th., for trainer Eric Reed. He finished 5th, on Jazil's Song. Baze rode six times at the Keeneland meet, all for Reed, and had (1) second place finish. Baze had ridden Derby
runner up NEHRO to his first win, when the horse was a two year old but was replaced later on the horse by trainer Steve Asmussen with Corey Nakatani after NEHRO finished 2nd. in the Louisiana Derby to PANTS ON FIRE, another Derby contestant.

Baze had recently decided to forego ull time fracing at Arlington or Churchill this spring and ride as "first call" jockey for trainer Steve Asmussen at Woodbine Rack Course in Canada.

Baze was one of several family members who are jockeys. His father and uncle were jockeys. His cousin Tyler rides regularly in California and his uncle Russell owns the most wins in North America racing history.

*********************************************************************************

Don't worry, ladies...Michael
Stewart won't be there to block or
tackle you...If he comes to eat lunch,
though....big problem.
Charlie Strong wants you...to attend his football clinic for women. It will be held on Saturday, June 4th at the Brown and Williamson Club inside Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Ladies will wear full football gear and practice tackling, blocking and kickoff returns (Just kidding!!!). The Louisville football staff and Strong will teach attendees about football terminology at 10 a.m. before going to the field and participating in a rigorous conditioning session. Athletic gear and tennis shoes are mandatory for the drills. Cost is $50 and all campers
receive lunch and a t-shirt. You can call the football office at 502.852.6325 for additional information.

Sonja participated in this camp back in the Bobby Petrino coaching days at UofL. She received a 2 yr. contract from the Chicago Bears to return punts. (Just kidding again!). She does recommend the camp, though...to all ladies who would like to learn a little more about the gridiron game. I'm glad she went. She no longer calls an incomplete pass a 'foul ball' and realizes that the offense doesn't blitz.
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