WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Softball now 24-0 after beating Buckeyes
-Watson weighs in
-A Becky blurb
The University of Louisville softball team is now 24-0 after taking Ohio State in a double-header yesterday at Ulmer Stadium 7-0 and 7-2.
24-0! It's the best record ever in Cardinal softball and this team is now #13 in the polls. Say what you will about the impending BIG EAST schedule and lack of quality opponents that Louisville has faced, and WE'LL respond..."24-0", baby! They don't just assign that number...you earn it."
Louisville took an early 1-0 lead on the Buckeyes in the first inning. Jennifer Esteban's single started it off and she scored on a Taner Fowler sacrifice fly. It would be the only run starter Tori Collins (11-0) would need, but the Cards were nowhere near done with the offensive prowess.
Louisville pushed the advantage to 4-0 in the fourth inning. Jordy Trimble opened with a double and scored on Maggie Ruckenbrod's single (good to see her back and playing!). Pinch runner Chrisanna Roberts scored on Esteban's second hit of the game and Esteban reached the plate to complete the scoring in the fourth.
The Cards got two more in the fifth. Katie Keller boomed a double and scored when Fowler reached on a Buckeye error. Trimble's sacrifice fly brought Fowler home to make it 6-0. The Cards completed the scoring in the sixth...Esteban getting a single --her fourth hit of the game -- and greeting the home plate umpire on a Keller single (her 3rd hit of the contest.)
Collins went seven strong innings for the complete game shut-out...giving up six hits and striking out three.
Louisville was hot with the bats early again in the second game. After Kristin Austin drew a walk, Keller parked one over the fence to score them both. Later in the inning, Fowler got a hit and scored on a Buckeye fielding error. Make it 3-0 Cards after one.
Starter Chelsea Leonard gave up two Buckeye runs in the third and was replaced by Caralisa Connell, who got the Cards out of the jam with no further damage. Louisville added a run in the bottom of the third, but could have had more...loading the bases with two singles and a walk...but settling for Keller scoring on a Trimble ground out. 4-2 Louisville
The Cards posted the final three runs of the game when Keller drew a base on balls, advanced when Fowler reached on an error and a Alicja Wolny double scored both of them. Wolny reached the plate after a Trimble single. 7-2 final in the nightcap...Connell picking up the win to go 8-0 with five innings of solid relief...allowing just three hits.
The Lady Cards begin BIG EAST play this weekend, hosting the BIG EAST departing Pittsburgh Panthers for two games Saturday and one Sunday. Let's send them packing with a bat-bag full of losses, Lady Cards!
(David Watson is a special correspondent for CARDINAL COUPLE. He emerged from his man-cave Monday after 4 days of NCAA Basketball with stubble on his chin, pizza on his shirt and jello for brain matter...)
It is Tuesday night when I'm sending this to Paul. I'm pretty sure about that, because the Duke women's basketball team is blasting the Vandy girls in 90+ degree weather in Memorial Coliseum in Nashville and my wife is watching NCIS. More sun-tan oil, Ziva David and umbrella drinks, please!
The annual 'Watson Weekend' NCAA Tournament extravaganza ended early Monday morning. Six brave souls staggering out of the man-cave --four who had been there at times for all four days of action -- searching for car keys, needing to recharge cellular devices and feeling bloated, content and definitely bleary-eyed. Since we went "smoke free" in the house a few years ago, the trail of cigarette butts and cigar stubs help lead the way to the cars in the driveway, on the street and in the yard. My son does the yard work, his problem, not mine.
We counted over 60 visitors this year. Had an attendance high of 43 in the man-cave (at the same time) when IU was squeaking by VCU. The eight bags of recyclable cans and bottles, accompanied by the 12 bags of empty containers, plates and food leftovers await the trash guys. They love me this time of year.
While finishing the clean-up and vacuuming the well worn carpet, I did catch the UofL women's game against Maryland Monday night. It was the only time over the five days that my wife spent any significant time in "the cave". She held her own seminars in the upstairs kitchen and living room with "the gals" and my gay friend Barry. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Barry shoots to a six handicap on the golf course and I hate him. (Just kidding, Barry. I know you access the site from time to time. I love you, man!) He also has the best gossip in the neighborhood and the gals just love him. Paul, he's got a crush on you, too, after seeing your picture on Cardinal Couple.
Just sayin'. You need to get up here for the 'Watson weekend' next year. Bring Sonja. Leave your 'staff chimps' behind though.
The wife (and my two daughters) handle the topside, the stove and microwave. I'm the downstairs bar manager, greeter and bouncer. We never have had a fight in all these years. Between us or any of the attendees. We did have a guy get into an argument with a shower curtain in the downstairs bathroom one year, though. I'm also the janitor and house psychologist.
A tough loss, Lady Cards. A game that any basketball fan had to love because of the determination of each team to win. I'd take Shawnta Dyer into battle with me anyday and have Asia Taylor on my left flank and Shoni Schimmel lobbing bombs over to the enemy trenches. I saw a lot of basketball from Thursday noon through Monday night. The call that didn't send Burke to the foul line late was the biggest gaffe I witnessed.
This Lady Cards team may go down as my second favorite of all-time, next to the National runners-up from the 2008-09 season. They overcame so many obstacles, setbacks and controversies. They fought through it. They bonded at the end and decided to work harder. I love these girls.
Gonna miss you, BB.
So, we are down to 16 teams in each of the tournaments. My men's bracket looks rough. I didn't do a women's bracket. I learned my lesson in Paul's BIG EAST Tournament Challenge. I stink at brackets.
I return to work Wednesday. I will be busy. There will be long days, innumerable phone calls and panic mode situations -- since I have been off since last Wednesday night. I will cope, I will survive and advance on the job. I will go to my bench if necessary and apply full court pressure on --- sorry--- I've lapsed back into basketball mode again.
What a long, strange tournament it's been.
(David is the only guy we know who posts rules and regulations about basement etiquette, procedure and do's and don't on his basement door, bathroom mirror and Scottish Terrier.)
This from loyal reader (earning valuable CARDINAL COUPLE Reward Travel points) Kenny S. on "double B" Click the linkie and enjoy!
Becky Burke fan club