WEDNESDAY WITH THE COUPLE
-Louisville softball BIG EAST Tournament preview
-Our choices for next BIG EAST Commish.
-Go Bode Go
The 2012 BIG EAST Softball Tournament begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 10th. Louisville will play in the second game of the day at 12:30 p.m. against the Connecticut Huskies. The Cards are the #1 seed and take a #8 national ranking and 50-3, 20-2 record into action at South Bend, IN and Notre Dame Stadium.
The Huskies enter the tournament with a 21-26 overall record and went 9-13 in the BIG EAST. Last time out, UConn was swept in a three game series by Syracuse.
|Amy Vaughan, senior OF/catcher for UConn.|
The teams did not meet during the regular season. Last time they squared off was in 2011 at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville. They split a double-header with Louisville taking the first game 5-1 and UConn returning the favor with a nightcap 5-1 win. Louisville leads the all-time series 9-5.
The Cards have advanced to the semi-final round of the BIG EAST Tournament each year since joining the conference in 2006. Louisville last won the tourney in 2007. Syracuse was won the last two years and did it at Ulmer Stadium.
When at bat, the Cards are led by senior Kristin Austin, who finished the regular season with a .401 batting average. She scored 43 runs and had a nation-high eight triples. Junior Alicja Wolny hit .374 with 13 doubles, seven home runs and 35 RBI's. Sophomore Taner Fowler checks in with a .370 batting average, a team best 11 home runs and 46 RBI's.
On the mound, Louisville has three threats. Tori Collins is the ace of the staff at 23-1. Her ERA is 1.25 and she's recorded 171 strike outs. Just because Collins isn't on the mound doesn't mean opposing batters get a break. Caralisa Connell and Chelsea Leonard are a combined 27-2 on the season and the trio of Cardinal pitchers have combined for a 1.33 ERA, 357 strikeouts and are holding the competition to a meager .183 batting average. Louisville has tossed 22 shutouts this year.
The Cards face very stiff competition if they get by UConn. Next would be either South Florida or DePaul on Friday. DePaul dealt Louisville two losses in the three game series in Chicago back in late March-early April. Louisville swept South Florida in mid April at Ulmer but the Bulls have one of the best pitchers in the league in Sara Nevins.
Three games in three days. Win the tournament and virtually guarantee that you'll host a NCAA Tournament Regional site next week at Ulmer Stadium. Increase on the most wins in a season in Cardinal history.
Exciting times ahead for Cardinal softball. The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be shown free and live on Big East TV. We originally thought the BIG EAST Championship game was to be shown on ESPN 2...but we've also heard ESPN U was having the broadcast recently.
Good luck and best wishes to the Cards as they travel to South Bend for the tournament. Bring back the trophy, ladies and teach them what L1C4 is all about...
Louisville sophomore Taner Fowler leads the Cards in home runs this season. The sophomore from Morganfield, KY. goes where ever Sandy Pearsall needs her. When Maggie Ruckenbrod was out with an arm injury at the start of the season, Taner took up residence behind the plate. She can also "cover the corners" by playing first or third base if needed.
Need a strong bat in the lineup? Taner can DH. Very well, in fact. Her .370 average is third on the team.
She also wears #11 when on the field. This makes her a favorite of CARDINAL COUPLE Co-Owner Sonja's...since that was Sonja's number in field hockey.
Like Sonja, sometimes Taner will just burst out in laughter or a giggle spontaneously. No particular reason, some thought or memory flashed by and brought back a good feeling....a warm remembrance...a happy time.
Like Sonja, she lost her father unexpectedly while she was in college.
Taner's story is amazing. We've provided a link below that chronicles her journey.
We wish all the Cardinal softball players great success in the post-season.
Excuse us if we cheer maybe just a little bit louder for #11...
The Courier-Journal ran this article on #11
a few days back. It's a good read also.
A tip of the hat and hearty handshake for CARDINAL COUPLE writer Jenny for providing the links. We should probably give her a raise. Two rations of banana pudding a day? We'll get back to you....
Joseph A. Bailey will assume the duties of BIG EAST commish until a new one can be hired. We're guessing they couldn't contact Beetle Bailey, ex-jockey Jerry Bailey was busy, defense attorney F.Lee Bailey wanted too much money and Bill Bailey wouldn't come home.
There is no specific time-frame set for a new hire. It could take some time for the hiring committee of Moe, Larry, Curly, David Spade, Jerry Springer, Andy Dick and Jon Stewart to get together all in the same place and at the same time. Here is our TOP TEN list of candidates to replace Johnny:
10) Charlie Sheen. Talk about "out of the box" thinking! And, he'd be sure to attend a lot of women's sporting events and gala BIG EAST party affairs. And, he could dress like he did in Platoon. That'll make sure no one else tries to raid the BIG EAST. Drawback is his relative in-experience in sports. Even though he was in a major league baseball movie, his Wall Street past might comeback to haunt the BIG EAST coffers.
9) Terry Meiners. Local radio and television funny guy would add a sense of triviality and nonsense to a conference that takes itself way too seriously. The weekly tele-conferences would be "must see" TV and when it comes to lampooning note-worthy figures...no one does it better than 'Larry Miners'. They'd probably have to hire a chauffeur for him, though. No problem. Take the funding for a driver out of the St John's football budget.
8) Paul McCartney. The Beatle would ensure great attendance at any BIG EAST sporting event he might attend. And, he could change up a few tunes to liven things up. Imagine him singing a re-worked version of Hey, Jude to UofL WBB sophomore guard Jude Schimmel. Or, Mean Mr. Mustard to UConn coach Geno Auriemma. Beatle wigs for everyone!
7) Richie Farmer. Lil' Richie knows hoops! And, he's adept at adapting circumstances to fit the needs of the one, not the many. Perfect for a conference that has been raided more often than a prohibition speakeasy. Hit 'em with the "bro-stash", Wildcat!
6) Commish Mark. We felt our very own Mark did a fine job running the CARDINAL COUPLE NCAA TOURNAMENT Women's Basketball Pick 'Em Bracket contest. The BIG EAST Commish job might be a step down for him...but sometimes, you take one for the team. We'd chip in Bill the Goat and Co-Co, too...if the BIG EAST hires him.
5) Joe B.Hall/Denny Crum. We like the easy banter that Joe and Denny have on their radio show. We feel it would translate easily to a BIG EAST job.
JOE: "Doggone it, Denny. We've got to stop teams from leavin' the dad-gum conference!"
DENNY: "You're right, Joe. Let's take them fishing."
4) John Calipari. Wouldn't have to worry about playing Indiana in this slot and he could learn all about football from "World Wide Wes"...whose taught him everything else he's ever learned about sports.
3) Dr. Phil. The BIG EAST has a ton of troubles going on. Dr. Phil solves problems. Enough said.
2) Sgt. Schultz. The affable Hogan's Heroes actor is the best we've seen at non-information.
"I know nothing about conference expansion, Col. Hogan. I know nothing about lucrative television contracts!" Truly, a match made in heaven with a conference that doesn't have a clue.
1) Bobby Petrino. The BIG EAST has football woes. Bobby Petrino knows football. He can also tell BIG EAST athletic directors exactly what they want to hear. The drawback? Ol' Bob changes jobs every few hours or so...it might be a lead-in for him taking the head football coaching job at UK.
Whoever the BIG EAST decides on, we hope that the winner keeps one important thing in mind...
They gotta live in Providence, RI. Line up, boys!
Finally, for today's horse racing fix...a video of Bodemeister's journey to his second place Ky. Derby finish...along with the preparation for the race. Good stuff, link below... Thanks to Jen Jade, from In the Money for passing it on!
Go Bode Go