Friday, January 9, 2015
Pearsall ready for the changes and reloaded in the bullpen -- Friday Cardinal Couple
Cards Softball preparing for the season
I got the opportunity to hear Sandy Pearsall and Dan McDonnell speak Thursday night. Both delivered great talks and Q&A opportunities for an appreciative crowd.
Dan is a inspiration to anyone who is lucky enough to spend just a few minutes in his presence...and I got to sit at the same table with him for over two hours...so, as always...I was blown away by his eloquence and grateful for the chance to listen to him and talk to him.
It's almost enough to convince me to start covering Louisville baseball here at the CC .
I was also fortunate to be sitting next to Kayla Soles, the do-everything senior softball slugger from New Egypt, NJ. She revealed to me that she'll be in yet another new fielding position this season...moving to second base. She started her career here at third base, moved to the outfield when asked and now to second.
She also waters the infield nightly, brushes off the bags after practice, drives the team bus, balances the softball checking account, helps elderly professors across busy campus streets and...well, you get the idea. A leader.
Another delightful person to converse with. She was impressed I knew her hometown and could remember where the last three softball banquets were. (We'll get to the current one coming up in a bit...) She's majoring in criminal justice and pursuing a minor in sports administration. She also hit the longest home run I've seen in quite a few years to start the season off for the Cards last year.
They did "ball off the bat" velocity/speed testing on the hitting skills of the UofL players a few days ago. When the ball leaves Kayla's bat, it's been clocked at going 90 miles an hour. Yes, 90 mph....
Good golly, Miss Molly! I would dread charging her from third base anticipating a drag hit and then see her rip one in my direction...her at-bats should come with a warning label
Soles also engaged in a lively Q&A with the audience. Gracious in bestowing thanks to her coaches, trainers and fellow teammates...she also revealed the things that upset Coach Pearsall the most. Lack of hitting, fielding and "called third strikes". Her description of her hometown was outstanding. A little town in the middle of New Jersey but 20 minutes from the beach. She even assisted in the charity raffle drawing. Multi-tasking...again.
But, the hit of the evening was Coach Pearsall (sorry for the pun).
The highlight of her talk was describing this year's pitching staff. Freshman Bridgette Flaherty is the lone lefty on the pitching squad and has turned in an impressive fall performance and is looking good in the preseason drills. Madi Norman is wowing the coaches as well and is another freshman with high potential. Shelby McCombs graduated a semester early from high school to join the Cards in January and is a flame-thrower who also hits for power. Returning Tierra Sanabria is working through some injury setbacks but is one of the veterans of the staff as a sophomore. Maryssa Becker, the ace of the bullpen from last year...is still delivering with that same speed and intensity and can also give the ball a hard time when she bats.
New conference, some new and old foes and some definite challenges ahead in Florida State, Notre Dame, Clemson and the Carolina schools.
Pearsall will have the "Pitch and hit" Cards ready to face the challenges. February 6th. can't get here fast enough...
We suggest you join CARDINAL COUPLE at this gala affair. A guaranteed good time for all and excellent guest speaker plus silent auction.