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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thursday Cardinal Couple - Valparaiso Softball

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THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


- Know the foe: Valparaiso Crusaders 


-Preakness Stakes Saturday


-Another ATayy episode


The University of Louisville Softball team will face the Valparaiso Crusaders in the first round of the NCAA Regional Softball tournament at Ulmer Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday evening. Valparaiso is a member of the Horizon League conference and went 42-17 during the regular season and conference tournament. They finished first in regular season play with a 19-5 conference record and won the Horizon Tournament. 


Alex Lagesse has a 1.98 ERA in
35 starts for Valpo
They captured the tournament after losing in first round play. Unlike the BIG EAST Conference Tournament, the Horizon League is double elimination...like the NCAA Regionals. Held at Valparaiso Stadium, the Crusaders lost to Butler 6-1 in their first game...but advanced through the losers bracket and met Loyola-Chicago in the finals. They had to win twice...and did, beating Loyola with successive 2-1 scores on Sunday, May 13th. 


The northern Indiana school has played one common BIG EAST opponent with the Cards...losing at Notre Dame before their conference play began. 


Sam McGee had a 2.81 ERA
in 23 starts for Valpo
In the pitching circle for Valpo, Alex Lagesse and Sam McGee share the duties. Lagesse, a senior from Beecher, IL. had a 22-9 record for the Crusaders, appearing in 42 games and starting 35 of them. She fanned 162 batters and was the starter and winning pitcher in the Horizon League Conference championship game. McGee is also a senior and was 15-5 for Valparaiso this year. She hails from Bloomington, MN and had 23 starts and 26 appearances this season. She struck out 79 opponents and was the starting pitcher in the Crusaders first game Sunday. 


Rutkowski has 14
home runs this year
When Valparaiso goes to the plate, Jordan Rutkowski does the most damage against opposing pitchers. She is batting .428 this season and had a team-high 14 home runs and 60 RBI's. The senior catcher is from Alden, NY.


Brittany Duncan is Valpo's designated hitter and also plays infield. She was second on the team with a .388 batting average and had 9 home runs and 51 RBI's...good for second place in all three stats. Duncan is just a freshman and calls Fairborn, OH her hometown. Jessica Marinec hits .331 for the Crusaders and plays second base. She led the squad with 44 runs scored and is a junior out of Alsip, IL. 


Stevens has Valpo on a
upward swing 
This will be Valparaiso's first-ever apperance in the NCAA Tournament and some of the credit goes to second year head coach Jordan Stevens. Stevens came from D III school Union (NY) College and has 76 wins in his two years as the Valpo skipper. 


Will Cards leading hitter Kristin
Austin be in the starting lineup?
No small task for the Crusaders, having to face the BIG EAST regular season and conference champs at their home field to start the NCAA Tournament. Louisville certainly cannot afford to overlook Valparaiso, though...and the Cards will need to get out the bats early and set the pace in this one. Not sure how right-fielder Kristin Austin is doing with the hamstring injury...but it wouldn't be a bad thing to have a .400 hitter out there against Valpo. 


We won't try to guess who Coach Pearsall will start in the circle for this one...but we'd like to see torrid Tori Collins out there. Means she'll probably go with Caralisa Connell...either is capable of ending the Crusaders conquest. 


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The Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown for 3 year olds...will take place Saturday at Pimlico Race Track in Maryland. Bodemeister has been confirmed as an entry and will try to turn the tables on Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another. 


Much ado each year about changing the format of the Triple Crown. Dropping Maryland and Pimlico and going to California or Chicago for the second leg. Fagettaboutit. Unless you've been to the Preakness at Pimlico, you can't really understand the pride, the tradition and historical value of this leg of the Triple Crown. We've had the fortune of going twice. We'll go again, someday.  


11 horses will contest the mile and 3/16ths course. Post positions:


1. Tiger Walk                         7. Bodemeister
2. Teeth of the Dog               8. Daddy Nose Best
3. Pretension                         9. I'll Have Another
4. Zetterholm                       10. Optimizer
5. Went the Day Well            11. Cozzetti
6. Creative Cause




There's also some pretty good racing out there on Friday. A 13 race card with eight stakes races. Their version of Kentucky Oaks Day for the fillies. The Miss Preakness S stakes, Black Eyed Susan and Pimlico Special headline the card. 


Churchill Downs is running both days as well and it's a great opportunity for you to get out and watch the best in live racing and simulcasting.


If you go, stop by and say "Hi!" to Jo-An at the paddock bar on the first floor inside next to the bricks where they saddle the horses . She'll be mixing up Black-Eyed Susans both days and they're not bad at all. Just ask Sonja. She'll want to know how you knew her name. Point to her name-tag first and then tell her Paul and Sonja sent you. Maybe she'll still serve you. It's a souvenir glass...can't beat that.  


We'll have our Preakness picks for you tomorrow. Read them at your own risk. David Watson, always one step ahead, has already sent his to us. He likes:


1) Optimizer - Gotta stay with D.Wayne Lukas
2) Creative Cause - Wasn't that bad in Derby
3) I'll Have Another - Not enough distance to close
4) Bodemeister - Speed won't hold like at Churchill


Great. Now we got Watson thinking he's a handicapper. With comments even. Pretty soon, he'll be forecasting BIG EAST Football and analyzing NASCAR races. 


Just another sign that the Apocalypse isn't too far away... 


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Finally, ATayy is back with another episode. This time she gets in front of the camera to do a Cardinal flavored version of MTV Cribs. The highlight is when she picks up a British accent and invades Sherrone Vails' room for a surprise visit to see how she is "in her natural habitat." Nita Slaughter co-stars in the latest video. Funny stuff! 


We fear she'll show up at our secret lair deep beneath the Parrish House one day for a expose on how CARDINAL COUPLE is written. WE have the staff chimps and Bill the Goat on 24/7 DEFCON 5 alert status for her. Poobah has been instructed to run a diversion if it happens and show her and the film crew 80 Under 80 instead...along with serving snacks and Snapple. No Bud Select for these girls. 


Link below:


A-Tayy's Cribs

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1 comment:

  1. Watson, u got it all wrong. Bode steals the Preakness, Too short a stretch for I'll Have ANOTHER to catch him.

    Curtis Franklin

    ReplyDelete

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