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Friday, May 13, 2011

BIG EAST SOFTBALL Tourney begins today, Cards put six on All-BIG EAST Teams

Note: This is the restored entry for Thursday...which was temporarily lost when our server went
down. FRIDAY'S COVERAGE IS BELOW THIS ENTRY...

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WE PRESENT THURSDAY at CARDINAL COUPLE


LIVE FROM ULMER...at the BIG EAST SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT

10;48 a.m.  Muggy already out here at Ulmer...we're through three innings in the first game which features Syracuse vs. Pitt. The Panthers leading 1-0...captailizing on  an infield error and single.
Pep band director Al Greener and J-Bone are entertaining the press box...the game sure isn't.

11;21 a.m. Still 1-0. Wouldn't hurt Cardinal fans too much to see the 'Cuse lose this one. They did sweep the Cards at the end of the season. J-Bone has created a new tradition here at Louisville softball...the end of the fifth inning stretch "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" stand up. So far, it's been the most exciting thing the fans have had to cheer about. One inning to go. Possibility city...

11:39 a.m. Syracuse with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to win it. A bases loaded, two run
single by Lisaria Daniels the game ender. The 'Cuse advances....heartbreak for Pitt. Next game
is Rutgers vs. DePaul @ 12:30.

12:21 a.m. Things moving smoothly toward the start of Game Two. Maybe a 100 or so here watching this one and it's still blazing hot. No rain yet, though...and no indication that it's coming. Al Greener has fixed the problem he has been having with his organ. I was ready to start calling organ donor transplant lists.

1:04 p.m. 3-1 after 1 1/2 innings, in favor of DePaul. Rutgers had the bags loaded and couldn't captialize. (Never would have happen if C.Viv Stringer would have been on the bench.) I'll be surprised if the Rutgers pitcher Abbey Houston makes it the distance. DePaul is rocking her. 

1:22 p.m. 3-2 now and both teams are smashing it. Megan Williams on the mound now for
the Scarlet Knights. 9 hits already in this one...just as many as in the entire first game.

1:52 p.m. 4-2 and the heat is stifling. Rutgers getting hits (7) but can't score. Bottom of the
fifth and DePaul at bat...Still no rain. Poor J.Bone is suffering from seasonal allergies. Been
there, done that. He's a gamer, though and is handling P.A. duties well in between sneeezes.

2:13 p.m. 5-2 as DePaul slowly begins to pull away from the Scarlet Knights. Last chance for
Rutgers...top of the seventh. Not looking good for the Scarlet Knights, who haven't hit the ball that badly...just haven't been able to put up more runs.

2:22 p.m. It has ended. 5-2. Two more today, beginning at 4:00 p.m. when Notre Dame faces Providence and then UofL and USF around 6:30 p.m.

CARDINAL COUPLE WILL HAVE RECAPS OF BOTH CONTESTS FOR YOU LATER THIS
EVENING.

We had the chance to talk with BIG EAST Director of Sports Administration Kristen Brown after game one. A delightful young lady who granted us this exclusive interview.

Her observations:

-C.C.: Welcome to Louisville! Your first visit?

-Kristen: Actually this is the third time...once for the swimming and diving championships Louisville hosted in February and a trip last summer to do some preliminary site visits for swimming and softball. 

-C.C.: What other sports beside swimming and softball do you administer over?

-Kristen:  Primary for field hockey and women's tennis and I also assist with men's soccer, men's lacrosse and baseball.

-C.C.: Your opinion of the Louisville softball facilities and Ulmer Stadium?

-Kristen: These are tremendous facilities here at Louisville! Your athletic director Tom Jurich has done a fantastic job and made a comittment to all the facilities for women's sports....and all of your sports teams here at Louisville.

-C.C.: As far as your own background, did you attend a BIG EAST school?

-Kristen: I actually did not...I was a basketball student-athelete at Northern Illinois.

-C.C. Ah, the Huskies...I attended a UofL football game up there years back and I remember
them serving fresh corn out of the field during pre-game tailgaiting...free!

-Kristen: Well, you know DeKalb...where NIU is located...is in the middle of corn fields...so you can't help but have some good corn up there!

-C.C: How many years have you been in your current position? 

-Kristen: It hasn't even been a year yet. It'll be a year on June 21st. 

-C.C.: Does it look like something you'd like to stay with and advance with the BIG EAST?

-Kristen: Well...you never really know. I do enjoy being in the BIG EAST and what I do in this job. I've been in an administrative role in athletics for 7-8 years now, so I am enjoying what I'm doing and I think this is the path I want to stay in. 

-C.C: Final question...do you have a favorite here in the tournament and who would you like to see win it? 

-Kristen: Oh, no.... 

-C.C.: You're supposed to say Louisville!

Kristen: (Laughing)...In the conference office, we spread our love equally 16 ways.  


THE REST OF THURSDAY'S CARDINAL COUPLE:

Chelsea Bemis was BIG EAST Player of the
Year in 2010. She did not get selected to
any BIG EAST Teams this year. Are you
kidding me?
-BIG EAST Softball Tournament kicks off today in Louisville

-Six Softball Cards get All-BIG EAST honors

-Reaction to the Bria Smith announcement

-THANK YOU!

The University of Louisville and seven other BIG EAST softball teams square off today at Ulmer Stadium for the quarterfinals and first day of softball action in the 2011 BIG EAST Softball Tournament. First pitch at 10 a.m. CARDINAL COUPLE will be on hand...providing coverage of the action.

Louisville is slated to play at 6:30 p.m. against South Florida. WE'RE hoping the weather doesn't alter the course of the schedule today...but it is a possibility...with a 30% chance of scattered thunderstorms. It's going to be a hot one today as well, with 90 degrees forecasted as the high today.

The Cards come into the tournament as the #5 seed. A late season slump against Syracuse dropped them from a potential chance at getting the #3 seed...which ended up going to the 'Cuse. Maybe the #5 seed was a blessing in disguise...since Louisville, as a #4, would have had to face Cardinal killer Jenna Caira of Syracuse most likely...if the Cards had done better at Syracuse. Louisville has not played South Florida this season. USF pitcher Sara Nevins was a 1st team All-BIG EAST selection and Lindsey Richardson a Third team pitching choice. Looks like the Bulls may have some arms on the staff.

We're hoping they stick around awhile, these Cards, in the tournament. Speaking of staying, wasn't the case for South Florida in a game against DePaul..where the USF coach pulled his team from the field...accusing the DePaul coaches of deliberately instructing DePaul's pitcher to throw at and hit USF batters. Awkward...

Three days of softball ahead. Go CARDS!

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Six Softball Cards were selected to the All-BIG EAST squads yesterday. Making the First team were sophomore first baseman Alicja Wolny and freshmen Katie Keller and Hannah Kiyohara. Keller, a second baseman,  helped Louisville with five home runs. Right fielder Kiyohara had 12 runs scored and 13 RBI's during the regular season.

Hannah Kiyohara, one of the
youth movement leaders
for the Softball cards
Wolny is a two-time ALL BIG EAST selection. Other Cardinals selected include freshman pitcher Caralisa Connell on the Second All-Big East team, who had a 12 game winning streak for the Cards midway thru the season. Making the Third All-BIG EAST team were senior shortstop Colby Wherry, her fourth time being honored as an All-BIG EAST selection and sophomore left fielder Jennifer Esteban. Surprisingly, Cardinal third baseman Chelsea Bemis was not selected to any of the teams after being the BIG EAST Player of the Year in 2010. Chelsea didn't have that bad of a season...the omission is ridiculous. A lot of good third basemen in the BIG EAST this year, granted...but three of them better than Bemis? Not bloody likely...

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Bria Smith and her mother Andrea display the
Cardinal Bird during her signing
(Photo by Joseph Staszewski-NY Post)
Reaction to Bria Smith choosing Louisville has been mixed and varied. The obvious joy and elation here in the Louisville area mirrors that of when Shoni Schimmel joined the Cards last summer. Already, WE'RE getting e-mails and speculation on potential starting lineups, combinations and inquiries if this addition will cause another transfer or two.

Can't tell ya, don't know. What WE can be fairly certain of is this...Walz and his coaching staff will have a multitude of options available to attack 2011-12 opponents. Shooting stars, yep...check that off. Inside game? Oh, yeah...check that one off. Speed? Are you kidding me? They could start a track team
with the quickness this bunch will have. As most top notch coaches usually do...WE'RE guessing that Walz had played over a thousand times in his mind the strengths of this squad and has started to formulate some ideas and plans. College basketball, it is truly an around the year job...

Ol' Pat in Knoxville did not choose to comment on losing Smith to the Cardinals...preferring to speculate on what she already had on campus, who was already committed in the 2011 class and hopes for 2012 potential arrivals. Tennessee fans, from what we've gathered on the message boards and e-mails we've received seem to be focusing on five things:

1) Getting Smith would have been nice..but not necessary...they're already loaded at the guard spots.
2) Walz can recruit.
3) UofL will never win an NCAA Championship in women's college hoops.
4) UConn didn't get Smith and that's a good thing.
5) Bria has a boyfriend that will be attending UofL and that's why she went there.
Paul unable to contain his joy about the Cards scooping
Tennessee for the services of Ms. Smith?

Lady Vol fans...passionate about their hoops and definitely opinionated...

WE think that there are plenty of talented high school players to go around. Sometimes, the best and brightest of the high school seniors fail to reach the potential and expectations of the fan base, Sometimes they do.

WE'LL remind you of a young lady from Baltimore several years ago who dropped off the recruiting radar after she decided to spend a year at the Patterson School after a great high school career in Maryland. A Louisville coach took a chance on the skinny wing and Angel McCoughtry turned out to be the best to ever don a UofL women's basketball jersey. You never really know where you're going to find your shining stars...and just how brightly they may light up the sky.


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WE would like to thank you for "clicking on" CARDINAL COUPLE yesterday (and every day) to follow the news and announcement about Bria Smith's choice. We recorded our 4th largest ever site count yesterday...topped only by the Shoni Schimmel announcement, Sara Hammond announcement and the Louisville win over Xavier in the 2011 NCAA Tournament this year. We have experienced an unbelievable growth here at CARDINAL COUPLE since we began this site back in January, 2010 and owe it all to you...our readers. 

Our commitment remains firm and unwavering...to be the fan voice for UofL women's athletics. We do delve into other subjects at times...horse racing being one...but we are still committed to ALL UofL women's sports and they will always be our prime directive here at CARDINAL COUPLE. 

We're still here, we'll always be free and we aren't going anywhere. YOU'LL never need to "sign in" or "register"here at CARDINAL COUPLE. We don't think fans should have to do that.  WE hope you'll continue the journey with us. 
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