MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- LeCoq closes door on Tigers
- Syracuse vs. Louisville in WBB tonight
The start was shaky for the #15 Louisville softball team Sunday in the Citrus Classic but the end result successful as the Cards defeat #11 LSU 6-2.
Starter Caralisa Connell was having "one of those afternoons" ...loading the bags with three straight walks in the second inning. A wild pitch made it 2-0 LSU and a fourth base on balls loaded the bases again with two outs.
Exit Connell, enter Rachel LeCoq. End LSU threat with a strike out.
Louisville responded in the top of the third against LSU pitcher Rachelle Fico. Katie Keller singled and reached home on a Alicja Wolny double. Maggie Ruckenbrod's base hit plated Wolny and the Cards had tied the game.
UofL took the lead in the fifth inning, Keller scoring after receiving a base on balls and scoring on a Ruckenbrod fielders' choice.
The Cardinals increased the lead to 5-2 with a couple of runs in the sixth. Hannan Kiyohara singled and scored with two outs on a Jennifer Esteban hit. Esteban got greeted at home as well when Keller delivered a single.
Maggie Ruckenbrod delivered an insurance run in the final inning with a bomber over the left field fence to make it 6-2...her first home run of the season.
LeCoq (7-1) with the clutch relief performance...holding LSU to just three hits and no runs in 5.1 innings. The Cards produced 11 hits total.
"This was a great day for Louisville softball. I thought our team did a tremendous job and really came ready to play. A big key to our win was Rachel LeCoq shutting down LSU. I also thought we had great offense throughout the game." said Sandy Pearsall after the triumph.
Jordan Trimble has been sick and did not play. Jasmine Smithson-Willett has been battling a stress fracture but saw limited action. Hoping two of my favorite players on the team can get back to full time participation soon.
Louisville returns to Ulmer Stadium for the Red and Black Classic March 8-10. A good group of opponents coming in to play...Michigan, Miami (OH), Austin Peay and Illinois State.
After a triple overtime loss Saturday to Villanova, no one could blame the Syracuse women's basketball team for looking for a little redemption tonight against Louisville. Although an NCAA bid appears to be a certain thing for the #22 Orange, who are 22-6 overall and 10-5 in the BIG EAST, the chance for a "double bye" in the upcoming BIG EAST Tournament hinges on a win over Louisville tonight.
Quentin Hillsman isn't a confident man.
" I worry about it every day. I'd be worried if we beat Villanova because we've been on both ends. We're not in that room with that little S-curve thing they talk about...Hopefully we come out Monday and have some legs left after this and win this Louisville game."
The Orange have an RPI of 46 and could fall no further than 6th with a loss to Louisville. The prevailing sentiment is that the NCAA will take eight BIG EAST teams...
(Connecticut, Notre Dame, Louisville, St. John's, Syracuse, South Florida, DePaul and Villanova.)...but a 'Cuse win would guarantee a nicer seeding...since SU has lost their last three games.
Louisville is guaranteed a top four finish and double bye in the BIG EAST Tournament regardless of how they do...they own the tie-breaker over St. John's if they end up at 11-5 in conference each.
The players that the Cards have to worry about? It begins in the paint with Kayla Alexander, the 6'5" do-it-all center. She and forward Carmen Tyson-Thomas had 22 points and 11 rebounds each against 'Nova Saturday.
|Head Coach Quentin Hillsman will be active on the|
Louisville has their work cut out for them. The Cards will need to go toe-to-toe with the aggressive, physical, chip-on-their-shoulder Orange and if Louisville can get the three-ball working (Laura Sweeney from Villanova blasted the 'Cuse from the deep Saturday) the Cards chances for success go up dramatically.
Game time 9 p.m. on the CBSSN network.