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Friday, May 13, 2011

Live coverage from Ulmer! Cards win! Cards win!

Board outside Ulmer Stadium indicating thegame and results.


FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE...WE'RE BACK!

-All apologies...

-Softball Cards blank the Irish 6-0 in BIG EAST Softball Semifinal

-The Day from Ulmer.  

We apologize for the outage here at Cardinal Couple for approximately 19 hours....beginning Thursday night. A server crash had us dead in the water until 2:25 p.m. today. We're back, though...and here covering the BIG EAST Tournament at Ulmer Stadium. Hope you caught Thursday's stuff before we went down. We finally recovered Thursday if you hadn't seen it yet..


Servers, go figure.

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The University of Louisville softball team found nothing unlucky about Friday the 13th. at all...shutting out #1 seed Notre Dame 6-0 this afternoon at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville, KY in the second  BIG EAST Softball semi -final game. Torrid Tori Collins with a four hitter today and a dramatic three run blast by Chelsea Bemis in the bottom of the third that drove the fans into a frenzy...(and one of us in the press box...oops, sorry Lori!) We caught up with Chelsea after the game:

Cardinal Couple: A big three run blast today from you...talk a little bit about this maybe a revenge or "how do you like me now" factor after being snubbed by the BIG EAST for any All-Star or All-Team honors:
Chelsea Bemis has no worries about not being selected for
any of the BIG EAST All-Conference teams. Her three run
blast today had UofL fans screaming in delight.
(Photo by Charlie Springer-UofL Card Game
http://www.uoflcardgame.com/
Click on Charlie's site! It's worth it!

Chelsea: No...not at all. I think that everyone who got on the teams deserved it. Everyone in the BIG EAST is good. Not saying that I had a bad season or anything...but they all deserved their awards."

Cardinal Couple: "As the lead increased throughout the game and you're confidence increased...did you find yourself looking ahead to tomorrow's match-up with Syracuse."

Chelsea: "Thinking ahead? No. We had to think about Notre Dame. Tommorrow we'll think about Syracuse more. We were taking it one inning at a time today, having fun, relaxing and just playing our game."

Cardinal Couple: (Syracuse pitcher) "Jenna Caira has been on fire the first two games of the tournament and Louisville has had a little trouble hitting her in the past. Any specific stratagies to go after her with tomorrow?"  

Chelsea: "You just have to pick a pitch you're going to go after. Fastball, curve ball...whatever she's throwing...just see the pitch and drive it."

The smile on Louisville head softball coach's Sandy Pearsall's face after the game was as big as the rain-repelling tarp the grounds crew was covering the infield with. We caught up with "Coach P." also after the game and asked her for a few words.

Cards meet to talk strategy against Notre Dame. Good talk,
girls....Cards win 6-0
Another photo by Charlie Springer-UofL Card Game
(same website) http://www.uoflcardgame.com/
Click on Charlie's site. He works hard on it...
Cardinal Couple: "We're going to ask for just a few sentences from the winning coach in today's game....Sandy Pearsall. Coach, tell us how you felt about this win."

Coach Pearsall: "I'm incredibly proud of my team. Everything they've done... they've just done a great job in doing it. We came out, we had a game plan...Tori threw an excellent game...and...you know, this was just magic for us. I think after the year we've gone through, we needed to get some good things happening and we feel really good right now."

Cardinal Couple: "What's the secret, magic potion to get to Jenna Caira tomorrow?"

Coach Pearsall:  "We have to stay agressive in there and we have to attack her. We have hit her before...it's not like she's no-hit us this season... There's no doubt she's going to be on her game. She's a competitior...she'll be ready...we're just going to have to come out and get her. I've got confidence in my players and I know they'll come out and try to get this done."

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(For your reading pleasure...the timeline and comments on both games today. Much thanks to Lori Korte...softball sports information director...for finding some room for me in the press box and her gracious hospitality and also thanks to softball director of operations Lisa Pinkston for paitently answering my questions during the UofL game!)

GAME 1.  SYRACUSE vs. DEPAUL
.
2:32 p.mGame One underway at Ulmer. Syracuse against the DePaul Blue Demons Jenna Caira 
back on the mound for the Orange. Lindsay Dean in the circle for DePaul. Demons threatening early,
\runners on 1st and 2nd...one out. Looks like the 'Cuse got out of it, though...0-0.



Crowd early in the first game.
 
2:50 p.m. Syracuse has come out swinging. Two opening triples from Stephanie Watts and Lisaria Daniels and a RBI single from Hallie Gibbs made it 2-0 and the bases are loaded with two out against starting pitcher Lindsey Dean. She escapes...2-0 after one inning.

3:05 p.m. Still 2-0 after two. Nice attendance here at Ulmer...bleachers about half full and people on the berm in the outfield. Boring up in the press box, though. Whatcha gonna do...going down to take some photos...

3:38 p.m. 4-0 still thru 4 innings. Caira looking strong on the mound. 1 hit allowed. Chance to talk to my buddy and pal Cards Care Volunteer Jack Wimsett down by the third base dugout and got a picture to boot!
Jack Wimsatt (center) with other Cards Care Volunteers.
 Great guy, Jack is.. and dedicted to Cardinal sports. Just don't ever let him hold the softball...

 3:50 p.m. Middle of the 5th and they're doing the middle of the fifth inning "Take Me out To The Ballgame" stretch and singalong. No Sinatra's out in the audience, for sure. Will this game EVER end? I've seen more action in the morgue that in this one... after the first inning. Somtimes, it's good that softball games are scheduled for only five innings... 



4:02 p.m. Scary moment when Syracuse outfielder Stephanie Watts slid into second and remained motionless for a few minutes. Helped off the field but EMT's not needed. Still 2-0...runners on 2nd and 3rd for the 'Cuse. Two down, power hitter Hallie Gibbs up....but she popped out foul down  the 1st base line. Still 2-0...Five innings gone. At least radar is looking clear back towards Evansville. UofL vs. Notre Dame game should be good to go.

Syracuse's Rachel Helman, waiting to bat



4:26 p.m. Through six innings, still 2-0 DePaul. The last chance to dance for the Demons if they want to play tomorrow. Caira still looking strong on the mound for Syracuse...allowed just two hits so far.

Interesting that DePaul is batting in the top of the inning, despite being the #2 seed. Syracuse is the three seed, but here's how it was explained to me:

-Once you are past the first day...seeds go out the window... if  both home (or lower) seed teams win the first day.. and match up on the second day, it comes down to a flip of the coin to determine who is the home team the next game..Same thing for day 3...or the finals.

Judge Smells woul have enjoyed
today's UofL game. The late Ted
Knight was one funny actor...
And, gambling is strictly not allowed at Bushwood, sir. (Bad Ted Knight/Caddyshack reference..sorry.) 

4:35 p.m. Game One in the books...Syracuse will reach the BIG EAST finals for the second year in a row. They down the Blue Demons 2-0 and now await the winner of the Louisville vs. Notre Dame game...which is scheduled to get under way at 5:15 p.m. Another strong pitching performance for Syracuse starter Jenna Caira...two hits allowed and no runs. On the verge of being eliminated by Pitt yesterday...the Cuse advance to Saturday.


GAME 2

LOUISVILLE
VS
NOTRE DAME

5:15 P.M.  Game on...Tori Collins on the mound for the Cards as Notre Dame bats in the top of the first. Good crowd has filed in for this one and it's a bright sunny day at the old ballpark. Collins on fire early...struck out the first two Golden Domers...Alexa Maldonado and Alexia Clay...and got powerhouse Heather Johnson to pop up to short...Three up, three down.  
The Cards returned the favor in the first...Katie Keller, Jennifer Esteban and Chelsea Bemis going down in order.

5:26 p.m. Dani Miller started the second inning for Notre Dame popping out to Alicja Wolny at 1st. Sadie Pitzenberger flied out to right and Katie Fleury drew a walk from Tori Collins but Erin Marrone popped out to Collins to end the inning. Lucky to be sitting up  here in the press box next to Charlie Springer, "the observer" of UofL Card Game.  He's got his camera. Beats me taking pictures with my cell phone. Anyday. Hope he remembers to send them to me...

5:34 p.m. After Wolny and Colby Wherry created the first two outs of the inning, Maggie Ruckenbroad singled to center. She was followed by Kristin Austin, who singled to right....to mass crowd approval. Taner Fowler got them up again...singling to right center after 13 pitches! Fowler fouled off eight straight pitches before the run scoring delivery. 1-0 Cards. Hannah Kiyohara lined out to third to end the inning.

Exciting stuff for the fans here and watching the stream on BIG EAST TV.!!! Tomorrow's game will be shown on ESPN2 but don't let that prevent you from coming out to the ballpark if you can...

5:45 p.m. Erin Marrone got hit by a Collins pitch to open the third. She advanced to third when Alexca Maldonado beat out an infield tapper. ...and with two outs...Heather Johnson took an intentional walk to
Cards headed to the ol' ballgame...
 load the bags. Dani Miller popped out to catcher Maggie Ruckenbrod to get Collins out of trouble.

5:52 P.M.  In the bottom of the third, Katie Keller led things off with a walk for Louisville. While the Yellow Shirts escorted a "free coupon" lady out of the ballpark, Jennifer Esteban beat out a infield bunt and both runners were safe. That led to Chelsea Bemis...who drilled a 1-0 pitch over the right center fence for a three run home run...to put Louisville up 4-0. That chased starter Brittany O' Donnell to the dugout. Alicja Wolny followed with a double off the left field fence. Colby Wherry ground out to move Wolny to third...almost beating out the throw to first. Maggie Ruckenbroad singled off new pitcher Jody Valdivia to score Wolny and...presto...5-0 Louisville! Kristin Austin took a called strike three for out #2 of the inning. Taner Fowler popped out to the catcher to end the Cardinal onslaught...5-0 after three.

6:12 p.m.  Louisville kept the Irish scoreless in the top of the fourth, Collins allowing two Irish base runners but striking out Jorgensborg and Stuhr to end the inning . The Cards were not done with the powerball production, though...after a Kiyohara groundout...Katie Keller popped one over the fence to increase it to 6-0 Cards.

6:31 p.m. Louisville leads 6-0 as we go thru the fifth inning stretch...correctly announced by J-Bone today and majestically played by Al Greener. Cards went down in order to end the fifth...Two innings to go and with the way Collins is firing the heater...I'm  beginning to think this one is over. Maybe two early to say that...but the momentum is definitely wearing a red Cardinal jersey right now... 

6:41 p.m. Collins gives up two singles but no runs in the top of the 6th...Stuhr striking out and just three outs left after the Cards bat here in the bottom of the 6th. Louisville did record their ninth hit of the game in the bottom of the 6th...a Hannah Kiyohara single...and Katie Keller walked with two outs but Jennifer Esteban popped out to send it to the top of the seventh. 

6:54 p.m. The Irish went down in order to end it. Louisville with the half dozen to zero advantage.  Syracuse tomorrow at 5 p.m. Second year in a row these two have met for the final.
.










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