SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Cards defeat UK 3-2 to reach regional final
-Cards lose first game of the day to Michigan in extra innings 2-1
|Cards hope to play two Sunday|
MICHIGAN 2 - LOUISVILLE 1
Michigan struck early against Caralisa Connell, scoring
their first run in the bottom of the second inning off two Cardinal fielding errors. A throwing error to first, walk and misplayed fielders choice loaded the bases for the Wolverines with one out. A sacrifice fly to right produced the run. Connell fielded a come backer to the mound to end the Michigan threat.
|Wagner gets the win..aided by some Cardinal|
errors and a blown call.
Louisville, faced with their potential last at-bat, started the seventh with a Alicja Wolny double to center field. Kirsten Straley came in to pinch run, went to third on a wild pitch and scored to tie the game on a Jordan Trimble sacrifice fly to center with one out.
Tori Collins took the circle in the bottom of the seventh and allowed a single but kept the Wolverines from scoring and the game went into extra innings.
The Cards went scoreless in the top of the eighth and Chelsea Leonard took the ball in the bottom of the inning and had an apparent second out of the inning on a throw from Kristin Austin to third following a Wolverine single that looked like it got to Katelyn Mann in time to tag out the runner.
Third base umpire Steve McCrillis called the runner safe, though... a highly controversial call that infuriated the Cardinal fans and dugout. ESPN replays showed the throw and tag in time..but there is no instant replay in women's college softball and the call stood. That set the stage for Michigan to win when a Leonard pitch hit Michigan's Caitlin Blanchard and the runner automatically advanced from third to end the game.
The Cards were now faced with having to play the 8:30 nightcap against the winner of the next game... UK vs Valparaiso...in an elimination game.
UK defeated the Crusaders 5-4 to advance and the stage was set for the nightcap.
LOUISVILLE 3 - KENTUCKY 2
The Cards batted first in contest and touched UK pitcher Chandra Bell for three first inning runs. After Jennifer Esteban started the game with a single...Alicja Wolny blasted one over the left field fence to give the Cards a 2-0 lead. Louisville added a third run in the inning when Fowler walked, Trimble singled and Maggie Ruckenbrod walked to fill the bases. A wild pitch to Katelyn Mann allowed Fowler to cross the plate and the Cards led 3-0.
Tori Collins entered the circle for UofL and kept UK scoreless until the bottom of the fifth. Brittany Cervantes singled to start the inning and two outs later UK catcher Joyner Griffin sent one out over the center-field fence to make it 3-2 Louisville.
Collins and reliever Chelsea Leonard teamed up to keep the Cats scoreless in the final two innings to eliminate UK from the regional and send the Cardinals to the finals.
Two wins over Michigan Sunday will give the Cards the title. Not impossible, but the Cards will need to find a little more production at the plate. Michigan has given up only three runs in two games behind the pitching of their freshman Wagner. Louisville has scored 10 runs in three games...but only one against the Wolverines.
Good day for a double-header tomorrow. Sweep 'em Cards!
We'll have a full recap of (hopefully) both Louisville games and wins tomorrow.
|I'll Have Another wins again|
|Bodemeister second best again|
The expected challenges from Went the Day Well, Creative Cause and the rest of the field of 11 runners never materialized. Bode and I'll Have Another were eight lengths in front of the rest at the wire...and just a head apart from each other.
WE'D be surprised if Bob Baffert tries the Belmont with Bodemeister. Longer race and Bodemeister just can't seem to hold on in anything over a 1 1/8th.