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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- Meet the competition



TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-They come from north, south and west to challenge Cards in NCAA Regionals

-Softball Cards statistics

-Another Shoni and Jude story

-Julie Hermann one of two finalists for Rutgers job.

Three teams travel to Louisville, arriving Wednesday or Thursday, to compete for the Regional Championship. Louisville is one of sixteen spots hosting a regional. Here's a look at the three squads that will try to defeat Louisville and claim the prize of Regional Champion...


Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne

They're the squad that will be travelling from the north, in case you are geographically-challenged. Or headed southbound, for a more accurate trip description. What they bring with them is a Summit League championship and a 34-14 record. The Mastadons (which are prehistoric elephants...if you aren't up on your extinct animals) are on a roll (if Mastadons could actually roll...) winning eight of their last nine games. They defeated North Dakota State to take the Summit League Championship tournament and get the automatic bid to the NCAA Big Softball Dance.

IPFW gets good production from Summit League Tournament MVP Ashleigh Bousquet, who hit .417 on the season with nine home runs and 42 RBI's. Inside the circle, Miranda Kramer is the ace of the pitching staff...carrying an impressive 1.82 ERA and 270 strikeouts in 180.2 innings of work.

It'll be the first meeting ever between Louisville and IPFW. We're hoping for a five inning, run-rule affair.  

UAB (University of Alabama-Birmingham

Yep, they're the squad that comes from the south and will be travelling northbound. See how quickly you catch on? The Blazers (named either after a type of fire or a type of dress jacket) got to the NCAA Tournament by receiving an at-large bid. UAB actually won the Conference USA regular season with a record of 19-4...but lost in the Conference USA Tournament semifinals to Marshall.

Caitlin Attifield leads the UAB hitters with a .367 average. She's scored 33 runs and stolen 23 bases. The powerbroker is Kristen McGrath with a team-best 12 roundtrippers and 39 RBI's.

UAB has an excellent group of hurlers. The "L" squad (Lannah Campbell, Lauren Webster and Leigh Streetman) combined for 432 strikeouts. Each pitcher won 12 games this season and UAB were 37-16 overall.

Louisiville and UAB were old C-USA foes from 2000-2005 and the Cards hold a 18-3 advantage in the series. Last time out, the two met in the FIU Combat Classic on Feb. 11, 2012...the Cards taking a 5-4 win. Maggie Ruckenbrod blasted two home runs and Katelyn "Mannie" Mann sent her first career four bagger over the fence in the win.

More please! Let's wake 'em up on Brandeis Street if these two match up on Saturday.

UCLA (University of California Los Angeles)

Isn't it a bit interesting that all three schools coming to Louisville are better known by their initials and are schools designated by the name of a state institution and then city?

Or maybe it isn't. These Bruins (a type of bear..to continue the history lessons) are travelling eastbound from the left coast. Unless they decide to take the Hawaii, Toyko, New Delhi, Paris and New York round trip to Louisville. That would have them going westbound and they'd probably be pretty tired when they got here if they went that way.

UCLA tied for 5th. in the strong PAC-12 Conference. They closed the season by winning five out of their last six games. There is no listing of a PAC 12 Softball Tournament,  so we guess they don't play one and we'll assume their bid was an at-large one. The Bruins went 37-18 overall and 10-14 in conference play.

The Californians bat .302 as a team and seem quite proficient in the long ball...blasting 82 of them so far this season. B.B. Bates blasted 24 of them, Ally Carda sent 16 over the wall and Stephany LaRosa gave out 15 souvenirs and led the team with a .378 batting average.

Carda also handles primary pitching duties...going 22-10, recording a 2.37 ERA and fanning 202 batters in 186.1 innings.

Louisville and UCLA have met once....back in 2004 in the Los Angeles NCAA Regional...with the Bruins winning 2-0.

They have 12 national championships to their credit, the most recent coming in 2010. It'll be Louisville's job to stop these bears on the path to their 13th...

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UofL enters regional play with a 46-11 record. The Cards are ranked #11 in the USA Today Softball poll and #12 by ESPN.

Alicja Wolny leads the Cards with a .417 batting average and had 10 home runs and 52 RBI's. Katie Keller carries a .412 average and led Louisville with 12 fence clearers. She's scored 60 runs and driven home 54. Jordy Trimble adds a .385 average, scored 49 times and sent 25 base runners home.

In the circle, Caralisa Connell punched out a 25-4 record with a 2.20 ERA. Rachel LeCoq (21-7) has a excellent 1.88 ERA. The two have struck out 302 batters in 381 innings.

We hope for "good" Carl and "le gran Le Coq" over the weekend. And, no rain.

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WE can talk UofL women's  basketball every day here at CARDINAL COUPLE without any problem. Check the link below that talks a little Shoni and Jude. (Thanks to Jenny for the 'find'...who says she only works here on Wednesdays and Saturdays?)

SHONI AND JUDE


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Rutgers University has identified Sean Frazier and Julie Hermann as the two finalists for the Athletic Director job.

It seems, however, there is a major question about a decision in each candidates past duties. Hermann's goes back to 1997, when she was head volleyball coach at Tennessee. Frazier's stems from a sexual assault case in 2012.

Click the link below to get the details from nj.com:

Questions about Frazier and Hermann

Everything seems to have to have drama involved in it these days, doesn't it?  Sometimes, I'm ashamed to be associated with some yellow dog journalists. Assuming I am one...to begin with. Most days, I prefer to refer to myself as the ring-leader of the chimps. That's much more fun.  

That's when I'm not under the illusion that I'm Paulie Skynyrd and belting out "Gimme Three Steps" at karaoke to a dis-interested audience. 

We joke at how horrible I am at predictions on CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO. Therefore, I am predicting that Julie Hermann gets the job at Rutgers. This, then...will most certainly not happen and we will get to keep her here at UofL. Being selfish? You bet! We love the job she has done here and don't want to see her go.

I will close with this, and it was mentioned in the article. Why...after 16 years...is Julie interested in a head Athletic Director's job? Especially at a school that seems to be filled with more problems, failures and goof-ups than a Three Stooges comedy?

Nevertheless, we wish her the best and we'll know in a couple of days.

-Paulie

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