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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple


TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

THE END OF THE YEAR....WHILE COLD WEATHER WRAPS THE LOUISVILLE REGION, A YOUNG MAN'S THOUGHTS NATURALLY TURN TO...SOFTBALL? OUR COLUMNIST WORLDWIDE JEFF MCADAMS, BUNDLED UP IN HIS WINTER COAT AND SCARF, SENDS THIS REPORT ON THE SOFTBALL CLASS THAT RECENTLY SIGNED IN NOVEMBER AND WILL TAKE THE FIELD OF HONOR IN THE 2015 SEASON. IT IS OVER A YEAR BEFORE THESE YOUNG LADIES WILL DEBUT IN GAME ACTION. NEVER FEAR, THOUGH...JEFF IS ALREADY OUT AT ULMER WITH HIS 19 COMMUNICATION DEVICES AWAITING THE STRIKES, BALLS, HOME RUNS AND HOLDING HIS MARGE RUCKENBROD POSTER...



Mid-November was the early signing period for many sports.  WE here at the Cardinal Couple had information in a few of our articles at the time about the signing classes for some of our sports, but didn't cover them all.  I'd like to rectify that oversight a bit, now.  Let's talk Softball today.

The New Signees

For spring sports such as Softball and Women's Lacrosse, the early signing really is early.  The class
that signed in November of 2013 won't play their first competitions for their signed schools for approximately 15 months after their signing, with first games for spring sports typically being in the early February timeframe, and for this signing class, that will be February of 2015.

Sydney Benz

Sydney will be joining us from the Chicago area as an infielder/short stop.  An impressive batter, Benz received several honors for her 2013 season where she chalked up a .459 batting average.  Sydney has also received a number of academic honors.

Whitney Arion is our current starting short stop and is a junior this year, so Sydney will likely have a year to watch and learn from Whit's senior year in the position or look to apply her skills in other infield positions...Katie Keller will be graduating from second base, for example.

Bridgette Flaherty

Bridgette will be making a trip to the north to come to Louisville, coming from the Atlanta, GA area,
specifically Woodstock, GA.  Flaherty will be only the second every southpaw pitcher for the Louisville Cardinals.  Flaherty has also picked up several honors in the academic realm in addition to being a force to be reckoned with from 43 feet away.

Rachel LeCoq and Caralisa "Carl" Connell will both be graduating at the end of this 2014 season.  While Coach Pearsall has picked up several pitchers in the current freshmen class, we don't want a repeat from the 2013 post-season where we ran out of pitching steam at the end of the season.  Besides, there are few enough left-handed pitchers in the college game that being able to put a leftie out there is very valuable.

Sydney Melton

This is actually
Syd Brackemyer.
I snuck her pic
in to see if you are
paying attention

 
OK, what is it with all of the Sydneys coming in next fall?  Two here for Softball along with Sydney Brackmyre coming in to be on the Women's Basketball team, we're going to be overloaded with Sydneys.  Well, that just means I have fewer names to have to learn how to spell.

Melton is also a short stop, so there may be some competition for that position in this class.  Sydney comes to us from Columbus, OH.  This is beginning to become a familiar refrain...Sydney has also earned number academic honors in high school.

Sydney has also competed in Swimming, Basketball, and some Track & Field, though we have no word about her participating in any of these sports at UofL.

Ashley Nikolao

The lone Kentuckian of the class, Ashley will just be coming a short distance up the
road from Flaherty, KY and Meade County High School.  As a utility player, Nikolao can fill in any position on the field.

Yes, you guessed it, numerous academic honors for Ashley as well.  In addition, Nikolao made the first-team All-State team here in Kentucky twice.

Madi Norman

How's this number grab you?  .639 for a high school career batting average.  That means Madi plays one of the traditional power positions like catcher or first base, right?  Nope, she's a pitcher.

And, yes, do I really even need to say it?  Norman has quite a few academic honors as well.  Madi hails from Tipton, MO, pretty much right in the middle of the state.

Alison Szydlowski

"Szydlowski", you're kidding me, right?  Another "Sid", Alison hails from Imperial, MO, which sounded familiar to me and took me a minute to realize that UofL Volleyballer Haley Pouliezos is also from Imperial.  Apparently you have to have a hard-to-spell last name if you're from Imperial.

Szydlowski is a catcher and third baseman.  Current Cardinal catchers and Cardinal Couple favorites
Maggie "Marge" Ruckenbrod and Taner Fowler both graduate after this season, so we'll be looking for another catcher to pick off runners at second base.  Conveniently, Alison played in the same club program that Ruckenbrod did, so might we see another productive pairing between Alison Szydlowski and perhaps Sydney Benz like we have with Marge Ruckenbrod and Katie Keller?

Oh yeah, can't forget a fair number of academic honors here as well.

Bullpen Club Dinner

Sidney Melton. See I
didn't forget to add her pic.
While we're on the subject of Softball, a reminder that the Bullpen Club Dinner is January 25th at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium.  Featured speaker for the night is Olympian and four-time All American pitcher Monica Abbott.  Doors to the Brown & Williamson Club at PJCS will open at 6 for a reception with the dinner and program to start at 7:30.  To reserve your seats, you can contact the always-delightful Christy Waltrip at Christy@gocards.com.

I had intended to attend this event but will be out of town that week and so will be unable to be there.  You can be sure, though, that I will make some appearances at the newly renovated Ulmer Stadium this spring to cheer on the Softball Cards.

JEFF MCADAMS

WE HOPE ALL OUR READERS HAVE A SAFE AND FUN NEW YEAR'S EVE AND REMIND YOU TO BE RESPONSIBLE TONIGHT. WE'LL PREVIEW THE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL GAME AGAINST TEMPLE IN PHILLY NEXT YEAR TOMORROW HERE AT THE C.C.

WE ALSO WANT TO REMIND YOU THAT IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE OUT CELEBRATING THIS EVENING AND HAVE "HAD ONE TOO MANY"...DO THE RIGHT THING AND CALL A CAB OR APPOINT A DESIGNATED DRIVER.  REMEMBER, IT'S 'AMATEUR NIGHT' OUT THERE AND THE COPS WILL BE WATCHING...
SO DO THE RIGHT THING AND DON'T DRIVE DRUNK.

PAULIE

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