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Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday Cardinal Couple -- UofL bats fall silent...Notre Dame takes BIG EAST regular season



MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Irish foil Cards attempt to take regular season crown

-Lacrosse excluded from NCAA Tournament


Louisville took their quest for a back-to-back BIG EAST Softball regular season title to the final day of the regular season but fell 3-1 to Notre Dame Sunday in South Bend.

It would have been nice if they could have saved a few of the 15 runs they scored Saturday against UND in the second game for a rainy day.

Instead, they ran into Notre Dame pitcher who was having no such Cardinal batting barrages. She limited UofL to six hits and had a shutout working through six innings. She also helped her own cause by driving in a run and scoring another at the plate.

Notre Dame struck first with a run from two singles and held that 1-0 advantage until the fifth inning when they got a two-out, two run double to take it to 3-0.

Louisville started the top of the seventh with a lead off homer from Katie Keller, her 12th. of the season. Hannah Kiyohara followed with a double to give the Cards a nice situation with the tying run at the plate and no outs...but UND's Winter sent the next three Cardinal batters to the dugout.


Louisville didn't threaten much in the game. Back-to-back singles from Kiyohara and Taner Fowler gave UofL two on with one out in the second...but both got stranded.

LeCoq takes the loss to go to 20-6 on the season. She pitched 17 innings over the three-game series, leading to the question:

Is Caralisa Connell OK?

With two losses in the three-game series, the Cards actually fall to third place in the final BIG EAST standings, South Florida sneaking past Louisville for second place in the conference. Louisville ends the regular season with a 45-10 record and went 18-4 in the BIG EAST. South Florida went 18-3.

Typical head-scratching BIG EAST philosophy at work here. Why don't all the teams play the same amount of conference games...and why can't all the teams play each other? The Cards and South Florida did not meet in conference regular season play. USF did not play Notre Dame.


A brief return to Louisville and then it's off to Tampa for the BIG EAST Tournament. The Cards will be the #3 seed and play on Thursday against Syracuse. The Orange were 23-28 on the year and 10-12 in the BIG EAST.

Louisville's game time is 4 p.m. We're still checking to see if there will be TV for the Thursday and Friday games. We hope the BIG EAST TV at least streams it live on the internet, if nothing else...

Saturday's championship game will be shown on ESPN 2.

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Louisville Lacrosse finished the season 11-6 but was not selected as one of the 26 teams for the NCAA Lacrosse Championships.

Five from the BIG EAST did get in...Syracuse (16-3) the regular season and tournament champions got the automatic bid. Georgetown, Loyola, Notre Dame and Connecticut got at-large bids.

The Loyola Greyhounds were 10-8 on the season but did defeat Louisville in regular season play.

A tough break for the LAX Cards.

We have no doubts that Louisville will qualify for the BIG EAST and NCAA post-season events next season. Since the "American League" will not have a Lacrosse competition, it looks like the Cards will still be in the BIG EAST in the sport for 2014.

We hope they upgrade the format to allow eight teams participate in the post-season tournament.

Louisville was peaking at the end of the year and that will continue until next spring. We drove by the Lacrosse Stadium around 10:30 Friday morning on our way to park for the Oaks...and the team was practicing as we went by. Had to give them a horn-honk and shouted "Lacrosse Rocks!" out the window. I got a few raised crosses in reply and a few whoops.

-Paulie

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