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Sunday, April 8, 2012

HAPPY EASTER!

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SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


-Happy Easter Cardinal Couple readers


-Softball completes the sweep of Rutgers 3-2


-Lacrosse falls to Georgetown


-Golf moves up a spot


-Beautiful afternoon in Lexington? They can exist


We wish our readers a HAPPY EASTER and hope you have a great Sunday. Whether it's a family get-together and meal, religious services or raiding the kids' Easter basket...we hope it's a great day for you. Christianity teaches that followers should rejoice in the news that Christ rose from the dead and has ascended to be with His Father in heaven. Whatever your religious affiliation is, we hope it's a beautiful Sunday for you.


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A sunny, if bit chilly, day greeted the softball Cards in their final game of the series against Rutgers yesterday morning. The early start of 11 a.m. may have had a few of the fans yawning and reaching for the coffee, and it had the batters of both team a bit tardy in their performances as well. UofL's Tori Collins and Rutgers' Alyssa Landrith were pitching dual no hitters after two innings in this one. 


Rutgers' Lindsey Curran singled with two out in the top of the third to deep short for the first hit of the game but it was Louisville who placed the first runs on the board in the bottom half of the inning. 


Hannah Kiyohara began the inning with a base on balls and Maggie Ruckenbrod's bunt advanced her to second. Whitney Arion followed with a screaming shot down the left field line for a double...scoring Kiyohara.
Jennifer Esteban reached next on a fielding error by Rutgers second baseman Jennifer Hambedian. Arion was picked off trying to steal but a Jordy Trimble single to left scored Esteban to make 2-0 Cards. Katie Keller's blast to deep left brought Trimble home to complete the Cardinal scoring for the bottom of the third. 3-0 Cards. 


With Collins on the stripe, Cardinal fans felt confident as Rutgers came to bat in the top of the fourth. The Scarlet Knights, though, were not ready to concede the ballgame. After a single and walk allowed, Alexis Durando touched Collins for a two-RBI double to right center. Collins recovered to get the final two outs on a couple of pop-ups but it was 3-2 midway through the 4th inning. 


And it stayed that way. Louisville went down in order in the bottom of the fourth and Chelsea Leonard took over at pitcher to begin the fifth. She allowed two singles in three innings of work to pick up her seventh save of the season. Louisville threatened in the bottom of the fifth with two on and two outs but couldn't produce a score. 


Collins gets the win to go to 15-1 on the year. Louisville had six hits against Rutgers' Landrith, who went the distance for the Scarlet Knight. A crowd of around 600 watched the game and Louisville improves to 33-2 on the season. 


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Nearly 400 watched the Louisville Lacrosse team battle Georgetown Saturday afternoon in the lacrosse stadium. The Cards fell short against the #13 Hoyas 19-11. 


Georgetown opened strong with the first four scores of the contest and held a 10-5 at the break. 


"Lacrosse is a game of runs. If you can be with that wave, you can always come back. Even when we were down by eight, I wasn't rattled I knew we could come back. We had opportunities but we didn't finish on our shooting" -- Louisville lacrosse head coach Kellie Young.


The Hoyas put this one away early in the second half with four straight goals but the Cards out-played Georgetown 6-5 the rest of the way. Nikki Boltja led Louisville with four goals. The Cards (3-8, 1-3) travel to Rutgers on Friday for their next match. 


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Day two in the Bryan National Collegiate saw the Louisville women's golf team move up one spot and freshman Katie Petrino lead the Cards with a 75 to put Louisville in 16th place in the tournament with a 633. Tennessee leads with a 581.


Petrino is tied for 49th with a two day score of 154. Other Cardinal results:


Emily Haas --  76 Saturday. 155 total
Candice Wiley -- 81 Saturday. 159 total
Sara Karlsson -- 84 Saturday. 164 total
Maria Castellanos -- 84 Saturday. 169 total


Louisville's top player from last season, Anna-Karin Llungstrom is recovering from thumb surgery but could return in time for the BIG EAST Championships. The Cards finish up the 3-day event today.


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Unplanned circumstances prevented CARDINAL COUPLE from making the trek to Lexington and historic Keeneland yesterday but we get this report from our buddy and CARDINAL COUPLE reader Bob who did make the trip. 


(Paul did discuss some picks and favorites with him throughout the day via phone and the boys did quite well on their selections) 


It was a great day for racing at a packed Keeneland Race Course Saturday. I would even say it was a beautiful afternoon in Lexington. Being a Cardinal fan, that is a tough statement. 


My day started rather rough with wagering selections. I was 0 for 3 after three races. I got my comeback started with Royal Start in the fourth race. A nice ride by Paul's favorite jockey Brian Hernandez, Jr. and a nice payout at 7-1. Paul and I talked about Billy Mott's entry in the fifth race. Al Khali went off at 3-1 and hit the wire first. Alan Garcia rode the winner and he is one to watch at Keeneland. More on that later.


I now had two nice wins in a row now and treated myself and my friend I was there with to the concession stand. There are places at Keeneland you can get served pretty quickly. Even with yesterday's wall-to-wall crowd. We looked at the next race and I suggested we try a Pick 3 since there were several horses I thought had a chance in the next three races. We were in agreement and we came up with a 50 cent wheel that cost us a mere $9 each. I called Paul while I was standing in line to bet it and he asked me to duplicate the bet for him. 


I barely got the wager placed before the race. The windows were crawling slow. There ought to be a special area set aside for first-time bettors. They can really slow the wagering process down. The automatic wagering machines are usually a good option for me but they had deep lines in  front them too and there aren't nearly enough of them at Keeneland.


We ran into friends and races 6,7 and 8 seemed to zip by. I didn't get to the windows to do anything else. I was yelling pretty loudly when James Graham got 15-1 long-shot Karlovy Vary to the lead in the eighth race and held off favorite Stephanie's Kitten to win the Ashland Stakes.



We had just won the Pick 3 and celebrated when we saw our payout was a little over $200. I called Paul with the good news and it had turned out to be a great day in Big Blue Country. After cashing our tickets, we were ready to leave but we ran into a former classmate of my friend. They began chatting it up and I studied the final two races of the day. I decided to wager a Daily Double based on jockey/trainer combinations and, once again, barely got my selections in before the race started. And, a special thanks to the lady two people in front of me who spent a good two minutes telling the cashier what she wanted and then realized she didn't have enough money and proceeded to start over. 


Alan Garcia, who I mentioned earlier, came through in a big way for us in the final two races by winning on Ken McPeek's Scotus in the ninth and Todd Pletcher's Counterparty in the final. The $2 Daily Double paid $57 and I had it in several combinations. 


We left in a great mood and even the horribly slow traffic exit strategy they have up there couldn't bring our spirits down. Good days in Lexington? Despite all the 'blue' up there, they can happen and do exist. 


(Yay! Bob! Thanks for the report and it was a pleasure handicapping with you via cell phone!) 


The Derby picture got even more muddled after three key prep races on Saturday. I'll Have Another upset favorite Creative Cause in the Santa Anita Derby. Done Talking nipped favorite Morgan's Guerrilla in the Illinois Derby and potential Derby favorite Gemologist had to use a late, charging rally to catch and pass Alpha in Aqueduct's Wood Memorial. With just four weeks until Derby, there really is no clear choice for the winner's circle. Don't ya love it? 


CARDINAL COUPLE will offer some picks and selections as Derby gets closer. You've been properly warned. Here's our first ranking and we've also listed our favorite handicapper John Asher's selections, too. 


PAUL                       SONJA                JOHN


1. Hansen                 1. Gemologist   1. Union Rags
2. I'll Have Another   2. Union Rags   2. Hansen
3. Alpha                   3. Liaison          3.Creative Cause
4. Morgan's Guerrilla 4. Alpha           4. Gemologist
5. Bodemeister         5. El Padrino     5. Bodemeister
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