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Monday, February 13, 2012

Softball shuts out UMass...Diving leads BIG EAST Tournament...

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MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:

-Collins fans 13 in 2-0 Softball win over UMass

-Women's diving with lead at BIG EAST Tournament

-Esther Monny Niamke having a good season at Lindsey Wilson. 

-Watson checks in...

-Irish, Rutgers fall on upset Sunday in BIG EAST WBB

Collins allowed just 3 hits and
struck out 13 in the UofL win.
The University of Louisville women's softball team got a strong pitching effort out of senior Tori Collins and timely hitting late in the game to win 2-0 over UMass on the final day of the FIU Combat Classic in Miami, FL. With the win, the Cards improve to 5-0...sweeping all five contests played over the last three days.

This one was a defensive and pitching duel early.

Neither team could put up a run until the sixth inning. Jennifer Esteban led off the Cards portion of the inning with a blooper double with one out. Jordy Trimble singled her home and then Taner Fowler drilled a double to score Trimble for the final run of the contest.

Softball Cards head to East
Carolina next...
The contest ended disappointingly for UMass. With runners on first and second and just one out in the seventh inning, the contest was officially ended because of a two-hour time limit pre-established for the game because of travel considerations.

Softball, unlike football, soccer or hoops....does not normally have a time-restricted period of play in college. I'd be sore if I was the UMass squad. Two out, one out and they stop the game...but rules are rules. Both teams agreed to it.

The softball Cards return back to campus for a few days before heading off to Greenville, NC for the East Carolina Pirate Clash Feb. 17-19. Let's hope they get accommodating weather. Carolina in mid-Feb. can get a bit chilly...

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

The Cardinal women's diving squad holds a slender lead in the BIG EAST Diving Championships. They have totaled 74 points in two days...followed closely by Notre Dame (71) and Rutgers (52). 

Gadd took 3rd. in
3-meter diving.
Hannah Gadd with a third place standing in 3-meter competition. She's followed by teammates Lindsey Stephens in fourth and Emily Stalmack in the fifth. Gadd was the BIG EAST Diver of the Year last year. 

The swimming portion of the championships begins Thursday. The Louisville women (and men) took the championship titles last year.

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

It's official. Esther Monny Niamke has been playing well at Lindsey Wilson this season as a freshman and should provide some much needed depth for Louisville at the point guard position next year.

It gives Walz the luxury of shifting Shoni Schimmel around a bit more next year to the "2". It'll probably mean less playing time for Jude and Shelby. It gives the Lady Cards incredible depth at the guard slots next year. Megan Deines, a 6'0" guard/wing and Cortnee Walton, a 6'4" post/forward will join her as freshmen for the 2012-13 season.

With the return of Tia Gibbs from injury, the Lady Cards will have incredible depth at the 1,2 and 3 slots...since Becky Burke is the only senior currently playing and leaving. 

"Young Monny's" stats for the last three games...

-In a 73-65 loss to the Cumberlands, 13 points in 29 minutes

-In a 93-85 win over WV Tech, 19 points in 28 minutes.

-In a 94-75 win over Rio Grande (OH), six points in 18 minutes.

Lindsey Wilson is 18-8 on the year and ranked #24 in NAIA. Former Lady Card Ashley Rainey is a senior on the squad.

Welcome to the 'Ville....EMN !

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

(David Watson checks in on...well....whatever crosses his mind usually. Today he rambles about Irish and demons.)

The Big East WBB race just got a whole lot more interesting with WEST VIRGINIA's win over NOTRE DAME yesterday in the Joyce Center.

Darn it.

I was hoping for a Notre Dame domination until the final game of the season. I wanted to see the Irish head to the XL Center on Monday, Feb. 27th. and beat UConn to win the conference by two games. That probably won't happen now, unless UConn stumbles against St. John's, Pitt or Marquette.

Not very likely.

The Irish have Providence, Louisville and USF left before the matchup in Hartford against Geno. Can't see any of these three pulling another upset over the Irish. I think Louisville will give them a close game in the KFC YUM! Center but close only counts in -- well, you know the old adage.

The Mountaineers are outta here after this season. With a little help from their new friends in the BIG 12. I wish my friends would loan me $1 million each to hang out with them.

I'd have $3 million dollars to entertain with.

I've never cared too much for any of the WVU sports teams. I've never cared too much about the state of West Virginia. Neither will fans from Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas once they've been there for a football game.

Morgantown isn't exactly Pleasant Valley.


DePaul worries me. Not because of the scary Blue Demon mascot or their residence in Chicago -- a truly scary town in certain places. They worry me because they're playing awfully good right now. They've won 4 out of their last 5 and toyed with Marquette yesterday before burying them on national TV.

Lots of weapons in Martin, Harry, Ortiz, Hrynko and Penny. I'll head down to Louisville to watch that matchup Feb. 25th.

Hoops, hops, Impellizzeri's and a visit with my cranky brother-in law, adorable sister and their kids seems like the perfect Saturday.I should just make a week of it and come in Monday the 20th. for the Notre Dame game. Given the relationship between me and my brother-in-law, though, I might not be able to attend the DePaul game -- unless they play it in the ICU at Jewish Hospital. I wouldn't say we get edgy with each other, but the last time I stayed more than 48 hours with them, he changed the name hanging over the dog house from "Hunter" to "David".

David probably won't
be making trips to
Morgantown to watch
WVU sports.
Pity the poor Cardinals. A "trap" game Tuesday against a 0 for BIG EAST Pitt on the road. Louisville plays on the road as about as well as I play "Stairway to Heaven" on the trumpet. Then, it's inviting Notre Dame and the previously mentioned Blue Demons to the Bucket. A season ending trip to another 0 for BIG EAST opponent in Seton Hall. Anything over a 2-2 finish for Walz's warriors should be celebrated with a parade down 2nd. Street from Main to River Road.

With a pre-parade party at Impellizzeri's first, of course.

( David Watson is a special correspondent for CARDINAL COUPLE. In his fantasy life, he's a taste-tester for Impellizzeri's. I've met his brother-in-law. I didn't know any Neanderthal men still existed...)

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

Upset Sunday in BIG EAST WBB yesterday...

- Notre Dame was shocked in the Purcell Pavillion by WVU 65-63. Brooke Hampton hit two free throws with four seconds remaining and a jumper by Natalie Novosel bounced off the rim as time expired to give the Mountaineers the win. Skylar Diggins with 32 for Muffet. Asya Bussie led West Virginia with 22.

Kim's Red Storm have
won four in a row now.
- St. John's ( 9-3 ) travelled to the RAC and defeated Rutgers 61-52. The good news for C. Vivian Stringer's bunch is that Khadijah Rushdan is back and had 17 points in her return. The bad news is that Rutgers has lost four in a row now and is 6-5 in BIG EAST play. The Red Storm had four in double figures, led by Nadirah McKenith's 18. They're alone in third place in the BIG EAST.

- DePaul used a strong second half of the second half to down Marquette 71-59. Doug Bruno's bunch trailed 44-39 with less than 13 minutes left. They responded. Four Blue Demons hit double figures...Anna Martin recording a double-double with 19 and 10. Katherine Plouffe finished with 22 for Terri Mitchell's Golden Eagles. 

UConn plays out of conference tonight against Oklahoma. 9 p.m. on this one...ESPN 2. Another good game features Kentucky and Tennessee WBB at 7 p.m. on the "deuce". Louisville's men are playing at 7 p.m. too -- a BIG EAST, Big Monday haymaker against Syracuse. This one on ESPN. IT's "White Out Night" at the KFC YUM! Center if you go. We wish we were. Great hoops, tonight!

BIG EAST WBB STANDINGS:

Notre Dame        11-1                         Villanova          5-7
Connecticut        11-1                         Providence        5-7
St. John's              9-3                          USF                   5-7
West Virginia       8-3                          Marquette         4-7
Georgetown         8-4                          Syracuse           4-8
Louisville             7-5                          Cincinnati         4-8
DePaul                 7-5                          Pittsburgh         0-11
Rutgers                6-5                          Seton Hall         0-12
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..
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