Sunday, March 31, 2013
SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Louisville WBB faces #1 Baylor in Sweet 16
-Softball romps Syracuse 9-0
And, so...it had come down to this. The University of Louisville women's basketball team is in Oklahoma City. Their opponent in tonight's 7 p.m. game on ESPN2 is the #1 team in the tournament, the nation, in all of women's college basketball -- the Baylor Bears. Is it unfair that the Cardinals are faced with such a monumental task after two nice wins earlier in the tournament?
Not really. To be the best, you have to beat the best. Out of the sixteen teams that made it this far...there are no pushovers. Some fans have argued that an opponent like Penn State, Kansas or Nebraska might have made a more suitable and winnable game to prolong the UofL season. The bottom line is this:
Eventually, you're going to be tested by someone who have been a better team than you. Whether it be in the regional opener, regioal final, Final Four or National Title game...your "Goliath" will eventually stand in front of you.
Look at this #5 seed. Colorado. A team that bested Louisville earlier in the year (minus Sara Hammond). Their opening game against #12 Kansas looked to be a easy advancement. Guess what? The Buffs lost. Kansas advances.
Fifth seeded Michigan State in the Bridgeport Region skated by Marist before falling to #4 Maryland. Iowa State, another five seed knocked off Gonzaga before falling to four seed Georgia. Speaking of Georgia, Andy Landers' Bulldogs pulled off the shocker of the tournament so far by upsetting Stanford last night. A #4 over a #1. Louisville is the only #5 left. The UK WBB squad rolls into the Elite Eight by downing Delaware and Della Donne. UConn handled Maryland and #2 California is making Nikki Caldwell look like a genius by topping PSU.
When in comes to facing Baylor, Jeff Walz sees it this way:
"I've told our kids that if you come out and play scared, it's not going to matter. So we're going to try to come out and attack."
No fear of Griner, of Sims, of Madden. Pope or Mulkey. Who's afraid of the big, bad Bears? Hopefully, not UofL.
If you showed up late to the Louisville softball game Saturday, you missed the fireworks. Not the sky-exploding, multi-colored missles...just the high-powered, fence rattling Louisville bats.
The Cards pounded Syracuse early. In the bottom of the first, Sandy Pearsall's crew laid a half dozen runs on 'Cuse pitcher Lindsay Taylor. Katie Keller singled to start the game. Jordan Trimble drew a walk. Maggie Ruckenbrod's single plated Keller. Taner Fowler cleared the bases of Cards with a three-run homer to left. Kayla Soles singled and came home on a Whitney Arion single. Jasmine Smithson-Willett (WOO! HOO!) singled and Keller, batting for the second time in the inning, singled again to score Arion. 6-0 Cards before the clock struck 12:30.
Louisville added two more in the home half of the second. After Alicja Wolny was plunked by Taylor, Fowler unleashed a bomb to left for her second base-cleaner and the score was 8-0.
The Cards tacked on one more in the third. JSW got her second single of the game, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Trimble single.
Meanwhile, Caralisa Connell was "good Carl" in the pitching circle. The Orange touched her for just one hit in five innings. She struck out six in going to 18-2 on the season.
"We had another great performance from Caralisa Connell and some timely defense and great catches out there. Chrisanna Roberts had a great diving catch in right field late in the game. Taner Fowler has truly found her rhythm again. She was struggling early in the season, but what better time than right now, as we're going into conference play, this is what we want to see from her." --Sandy Pearsall, UofL head softball coach.
The Cards (28-6, 2-1) step out of BIG EAST play to host arch-rival Kentucky on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Ulmer Stadium.
Let's fill the seats and pack the grassy knoll for this one, Cardinal fans!
We wish a Happy Easter to all our CARDINAL COUPLE readers. Whether it's attending church services, holding an Easter Egg Hunt, sitting down to a scrumptious Easter dinner or just relaxing and enjoying time with family or friends...we hope it's a day of rest and reflection for you.
Don't get too stuffed and fall asleep early -- the men's basketball team plays at 5:00 p.m. against Duke and the ladies follow at 7:00 p.m. And after that, it's the season-ending episode of AMC's critically acclaimed The Walking Dead at 9 p.m. Blue Devils, Bears, and Zombies...oh my!