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Friday, May 20, 2011

Softball Cards today in NCAA Regional...Track and Field NCAA Qualifiers...WBB Rules Changes?

The Louisville regional of the NCAA Softball
tournament begins today at 5 p.m. Louisville
plays at 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY FROM CARDINAL COUPLE:

Welcome to live coverage of  NCAA first round softball action:

5:05 p.m. It's started here at Ulmer,  first game of two tonight. The California Bears and Jacksonville State.
Can't help but noticing the mask on the JSU pitcher while she's in the circle. Kristin Graham on the mound for Jacksonville..looks like she could play power forward for them in hoops. JSU went down without a fight in the top of the first....Godzilla Graham toiling on the mound now for the JSU gang. They get out of the inning with no runs allowed, three hits. 0-0 after one. And , the air conditioning is working in the press box. Nice, I like. .

5:18 p.m. California pitcher Jolene Henderson having NO trouble with Jacksonville batters so far. Six up, six down. The Bears looking to make a mark here in the bottom of the second. Bears get to the girl in the mask for a couple of solid hits in the bottom of the second and a bit of risky infield throwing makes it 1-0 after two innings.

5:30. JSU gets a single off of Jolene Henderson (breaking up the no-hitter) but can't capitalize...we're still 1-0 Bears going in to the bottom of the third...

5:38 Bears batter Britt Vonk advanced to third on a bad throw on a routine grounder and scores on a Jace Williams double. 2-0 Bears. The girl behind the mask has allowed seven hits to the California girls so far...and they're looking pretty comfortable at the plate against Graham... 

Cal having no trouble against JSU.
5:54 After four innings in the books it remains Bears 2- JSU 0. Hot pizza in the press box, though...bonus...and the weather still remains absolutely perfect for softball...breeze blowing slightly out to center and partly cloudy.

6:17 p.m. The Bears with four runs in the bottom of the fifth...now 6-0. Doesn't look good for the Jacksonville crew. Two hits so far off of Jolene Henderson...and she's looking strong still.

6:28 p.m. JSU not going down without a fight...bases loaded, no outs in the top of the seventh...

6:30 p.m. Uh, oh...Two runs in for JSU and runners at the corners. One down. Henderson gets out of it, though...allowing one more run. 6-3 final...Bears. Henderson allowed five hits in seven innings...the JSU squad went down swing and will face the loser of game two...tomorrow at 4:30 p.m.

Let's hope they're facing the Flames...

7:15 p.m. Interesting comments from winning pitcher Jolene Henderson for California in the post game presser...never got nervous or anxious in the seventh inning when JSU made the three run rally. The Bears aren't opposed to having to travel across the nation to play in the regional...they travel most of the year in the pre-PAC10...and the distance between some PAC-10 schools is pretty huge. California doesn't care who they face tomorrow "as long a someone shows up to play us.." according to Bears head coach Ninemire...we're fifteen minutes away from the Cards vs. Flames and the bleachers and berm are starting to fill up..

GAME 2   LOUISVILLE vs. UIC

7:40 p.m. After UIC's Melinda Macias touched UofL starting pitcher Toni Collins for a leadoff single...and Coryn Schmit drew a walk the Flames could do no further damage and after a half inning it's 0-0.

7:49 p.m. Louisville's Sandy Pearsall is a ball of energy when she's coaching from the third base line as the Cards bat. So far, in the first...the Cards have hit two choppers back to the pitcher...Katie Keller out and Jennifer Esteban safe...but Esteban thrown out trying to steal second. After a Bemis foul out...it's still 0-0 and Louisville needs to get the bats unpacked...

8:03 p.m. UIC comes out swinging again to start the inning...leadoff single from Ashley Hewitt. Collins doesn't seem to have her normal dominant stuff early on the mound. Still, she set them down 1-2-3 after the single and the Cards get ready to bat for the second time with no score on the board yet.

8:09 p.m. Alicja Wolny starts the second for the Cards with a hard hit single up the middle. After Colby Wherry advanced her to second, Maggie Ruckenbrod beat out an infield single to put runners on the corners. A Hannah Kiyohara foul out left it up to Taner Fowler...but her tapper to short ended the inning for the Cards at bat. Through two full innings now...still bupkis to bupkis.

8:11 p.m. Collins has a dominating inning on the mound...1-2-3 go the Flames with a few weak tappers. Cards still looking for battage...maybe this is the inning.

8:18 p.m. Kristin Austin opens with a single for Louisville and takes third on some nifty base running after a Esteban single one out later. Bemis doesn't deliver at the plate, though and Alicja Wolny lines out to short to end the inning. We're scoreless...I'm starting to yawn.

8:23 p.m. Coryn Schmit doubles to the wall to start the 4th but is thrown out trying to steal third. A deep fly to right by Natalie Hernandez falls safely in Kiyohara's glove and Ashley Hewitt flies out to Esteban in left. The Flames are hitting the ball...we're just glad it's to someone in a Cardinal uniform. 3 1/2 finished and zip to nada on the scoreboard.

Wolny before her fifth inning singlw.
Colby Wherry grounds out to start the Cardinal fourth but Ruckenbrod come through with a single. Hannah Kiyohara's pop out to short and a ground out by Taner Fowler send the Cards back out to the field...you know the tune by now...0-0 after four.

8:31 p.m. UofL head women's basketball coach Jeff Walz here watching the action. Maybe he could grab a bat and try to score a run. It's a pitcher's duel...Collins gets out of the top of the fifth after a infield single allowed to Courtney Heeley.


8:44 p.m. Kristin Austin draws an opening walk to begin the Cards half of the fifth. After advancing to second on a Katie Keller fielder's choice...she watches Jennifer Esteban line out to short and Bemis fly out to left. Finished with five...0-0.

8:51 p.m. Flames go hitless against Collins and Cards come up to bat. Crowd exhorting the Cards to get some offense going. Wolny can't comply...popping out to second. Wherry grounds out to short and so does Ruckenbrod. We're finished with six and a bunch of zeros on the scoreboard. Louiville with five hits so far, UIC three. Freshman Caralisa Connell taking the mound for Louisville in the top of the seventh. 

9:04 p.m. Connell gets Hernandez on a grounder back to her, Hewett goes back to the dugout after a called third strike and Jenna Marsalli grounds out to Wherry at short to take it to the bottom of the seventh. 12-0 Louisville (just kidding...checking to see who's still awake out there.)

9:10 p.m. Katelyn Mann beats out a bunt to start the bottom of the seventh and goes to second on a wild throw to the bag. Taner Fowler can't advance her with a foul out to the catcher..but Kristin Austin reaches on a blooper single...Mann couldn't advance, though. Katie Keller pops out down the 3rd base line for out #2 and Esteban lines out to third to end the inning and take it to the eighth.

9:14 p.m. Connell is blazing in the top of the eighth but the Flames get runners to first and second on infield hit and a walk with one out. They also beat out another infield hit to fill the bags. Carly DeMarco infield singles home Courtney Heeley for the first run of the game and a sacrifice fly to center by Schmit makes it 2-0. Cards get out of it with no further damage but time to flip or fly now...

9:34 p.m. Bemis starts it off for Louisville and puts one barely over the left center fence to cut the lead to 2-1. Alicja Wolny follows with a blooper single to left center. Pearsall sends Chelsea Jordan in to run for Wolny but Jordan is thrown out at third after a Colby Wherry single. Wherry gets to second on the tagout and Tesha Paysen comes in to run for her. Maggie Ruckenbrod works the count to 2-2 on Miller before singling home Paysen to tie it up at 2-2. Katelyn Mann goes down swinging for the second out of the inning. Taner Fowler ends the inning with a deep fly out to center. 2-2...we're done with eight innings.

9:39 p.m. Connell gets Hernandez and Hewitt to fly out to start the ninth. Heeley draws a walk that is quite unpopular with the fans, though..(who are still going nuts in Ulmer) and then Heeley steals second. Teresa Aguilar strikes out looking though and bottom of the ninth brings Austin, Keller and Esteban to the plate for the Cards.  

UH-OH...half the scoreboard just went blank here at Ulmer...maybe it's a sign....

9:50 p.m. Kristin Austin singles to get it underway for Louisville. Katie Keller singles to center and runners on first and second now. Esteban pops out for out one with no runner advancement. That set the stage for Chelsea Bemis...who drilled a pitch deep over the center field to win it for Louisville 5-2.  

CARDS WIN CARDS WIN CARDS WIN CARDS WIN CARDS WIN CARDS WIN CARDS WIN
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-Softball starts swinging today at Ulmer Stadium

-12 UofL Women's Track and Field member in NCAA

-Rules changes in Women's College hoops?
.
The University of Louisville softball team begins it's quest to advance in the 2011 NCAA Softball Tournament this evening against the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames at 7:30 p.m. in Ulmer Stadium.

CARDINAL COUPLE will be on hand to cover the action...beginning with a 5 p.m. game featuring California and Jacksonville State. California is the #1 seed in the Louisville region and #7 seed overall in the tournament.  They got to Louisville by finishing 2nd in the PAC-10 conference regular season and then defeating #1 national seed Arizona State in the finals of the PAC-10 tournament. Jacksonville State
earned their berth by winning the Ohio Valley Conference title with a win over Southeast Missouri State.

Cards face Illinois-Chicago
who won the Horizon League
Louisville will need continued good pitching from sophomore Tori Collins if they are to advance in this regional...which is a double elimination format. Collins has performed well in the circle lately...shutting out South Florida and Notre Dame in the BIG EAST Tournament and allowing just one run to Syracuse in the finals. Tori  is 16-10 on the season. If Collins falters, freshman Carlisa Connell pitched well earlier in the year, part of a Cardinals 12 game win streak, but UofL head softball coach Sandy Pearsall hasn't called on her lately. With the possibility of five games ahead over the next three days...let's hope Collins is well rested and ready to go. The Cards will
also need strong performances from the plate from sluggers Chelsea Bemis and Alicja Wolny...long ball threats Maggie Ruckenbrod, Colby Wherry and Katie Keller and a steady stream of hits out of Jennifer Esteban, Hannah Kiyohara and Taner Fowler.

The youth movement has been well served for Pearsall this season. Freshmen have contributed greatly to this successful UofL season at catcher, 2nd base, on the mound and in the outfield....as well at the plate. At this time of year, as UofL men;s basketball coach Rick Pitino is fond of saying, there really are no freshmen anymore. Time for Kiyohara, Ruckenbrod, Fowler and Keller to keep providing.

Louisville is also greatly aided by their veteran experience in the infield. Bemis and Wherry are four year starters on the left side...Wherry, the steady gloved shortshop and Bemis at 3rd. With Alicja Wolny covering the bag at first...the Cards make very few miscues in the dirt and their continued excellent fielding will also be a key to success.

Get it done, ladies. Let's go..the time is now. 

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

Twelve UofL women's track and field athletes have qualified for the NCAA Track and Field Preliminary Round Qualifiers. The events will be held in Bloomington, IL from May 26th-28th. The Cards field event specialists are among the strongest and deepest in the nation and Louisville will be represented in six different categories in the field. Here's a list of the participants for UofL and their events: 

Khadija Abdullah will go in the
shot put and discus for UofL
-Saravia Richardson - 100 meters
-Monica Hernandez - 3000 steeplechase
-Chelsea Brown - 400 meter hurdles
-Gabrielle Jackson - 400 meter hurdles
-Rachel Gehret - High Jump, Long Jump
-Megan Schubert- High Jump
-Charachesicia Lockhart - Long jump
-Chinwe Okoro - Shot Put, Discus
-D'Ana McCarty - Shot Put, Discus, Hammer
-Khadija Abdullah - Shot Put, Discus
-Amashi Kendall - Shot Put, Discus
-Jenna Wargo - Javelin

The Cardinal men's track team will also be on hand in Bloomington...with 11 athletes competing in nine events. Run fast, throw long and jump far, Cardinals! 

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

The NCAA Women's Basketball Rules Committee is recommending some changes in the game...for the 2011-12 season. First and foremost is moving the three-point line back a foot to be the same distance as the men's line...20-foot, 9 inches. In preparation for this, the committee asked member institutions to track the number of three-point field goal attempts taken from behind the current women's line and the men's line. These were tracked during exhibition and scrimmage games only. The stats tracked showed that 66% of the shots were actually taken behind the men's line and 34% from the women's current line.

The goal here? (Sorry for the pun). To open up the game additionally for the women's game. Some coaches will probably not be in favor of this proposed change. At Louisville, bombers Becky Burke, Shoni Schimmel and Tia Gibbs shouldn't be too affected by the change if it does pass approval from the Playing Rules Oversight Panel...who will discuss and consider on June 9th. Schimmel has been known to bomb them in from NBA range. Some of hers should be worth four points...

Another change being looked at is using a 10 second half court clock for exhibition and closed scrimmage games during the 2011-12 season. Some believe that the addition of a 10-second clock would increase the tempo of the game and force teams to extend defenses. Opponents are lining up to point out that it would probably add more stoppages to contests because of fouls and turnovers. Coaches are also proposing that if a 10-second clock is to be implemented, then the shot clock be increased to 35 seconds, instead of the current 30 seconds. Would this change be a more effective tool for the offense or defense? Time will tell.
I shudder to think what a Geno Auriemma or Jeff Walz full court press aided by a ten-second clock would do to the Seton Hall's and Cincinnati's of the BIG EAST...


Kia Vaughn, Rutgers and WNBA star, is a
expert at the art of elbow throwing...bad Kia!
Other items being considered are a "restricted area arc" located three feet from the center of the basket in which a secondary defender cannot take a charge and a re-definition of the term "flagrant foul". The debate centers around creating a Flagrant 1 and Flagrant 2 classification. Flagrant 1 would be a player who swings an elbow and makes contact with an opposing player above the shoulders. This infraction would be proposed as a two free throw and possession infraction. This is what is commonly referred to now as an "intentional" foul. Flagrant 2 would be designed as "a player who swings an elbow excessively and makes  contact with an opponent above the shoulders." In this case, the player would be ejected from the game and the opposing team would get two free throws and the ball.

This one doesn't make too much sense to us. How do you determine how excessive is "excessively"?  Hook them up to a polygraph? Get a witnesses statement? We agree that there is too much elbow-throwing in the game these days...but trying to define the extent and severity of a thrown elbow is hogwash. You throw an elbow, hit an opponent above the shoulders and it should be opponent's ball after two free throws, period. Intended or not. How do you prove any malicious intent or action? Especially in situations where a player is trying to protect the ball from being stolen. Leave this one alone, rules-deciders.
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1 comment:

  1. Totally agree on the moving the 3pt out, too easy, this isn't lil' league anymore lol--Umatilla23

    ReplyDelete

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