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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Spring?



Let's Talk About Spring


With single digit temperatures forecast for tomorrow, its awfully hard to think about spring, but in Cardinals sport terms, spring is just around the corner.

The season opener for Softball is one month away.  Think about that while you shiver waiting for your car to warm up tomorrow morning.  In one month, Sandy Pearsall and the rest of UofL Softball will be in Las Vegas throwing out the first pitch against UC Davis.  Hopefully that will help you feel a little warmer in these cold times.

The young pitching squad...two freshmen and two sophomores...start the season in Las Vegas in a tournament hosted by UNLV.  They'll start the season off with a challenge, with Minnesota and Washington also participating, two teams that ended last season ranked 14th and 8th, respectively.  UC Davis, CSU Bakersfield and the host UNLV also make appearances.

Keeping in warmer climates to start the season off takes the Cardinals to Orlando the next week where they meet up with a couple of SEC teams in Missouri and Arkansas.  While Arkansas ended the season last year out of the rankings, they are frequently a team to be wary of in Softball, and Missouri finished the year ranked 16th.  Other teams in this tournament are UMKC, Florida A&M and the ever-ready-to-surprise-you Middle Tennessee.

Getting closer to home, the 3rd weekend of the season sees Eastern Kentucky playing host to Kent State and Western Michigan.

Conference play begins before the Cards ever swing a bat in an actual game in Ulmer Stadium with Georgia Tech in Atlanta.  Ulmer finally sees some use two months from now with the home opener on March 6th in the Louisville Classic where UofL plays host to Illinois State, Ball State, Massachusetts and Northwestern who ended the year unranked, but receiving votes.

The rest of the season is dominated by conference games, with visits by Virginia, and North Carolina in March.  Road trips to Syracuse and Virginia Tech finishing out March and starting April, before returning home to what turn out to be the biggest challenge on the Cards schedule with Florida State coming to Ulmer.  FSU finished the season ranked 3rd in the nation.  The end of April sees Boston College come calling before finishing out conference play, and the regular season, with a trip to Pitt.

Non-conference play includes visits to the Buckeye state with trips to Miami of Ohio, and Ohio State ("The" purposefully omitted).  Visits to Ulmer by a couple of nearby schools with IU and Kentucky.  Road trips to DePaul, and Ole Miss follow, before we return the favor with a visit to Lexington to complete the traditional home and home series with Kentucky.  The last regular season home game sees the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky calling at Ulmer.


We're still waiting for a Lacrosse schedule to be posted.  It should be soon, as their season typically starts at about the same time.

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Don't forget to e-mail us your pick in our January CARDINAL COUPLE CONTEST. This month the contest is...

How many points will Mariya Moore score in January? Your prize is a CARDINAL COUPLE T-SHIRT!!! (and the respect and admiration of the staff chimps here at CC). Regular reader The Real Joe Hill is going with 110. 

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-- jmca--

13 comments:

  1. Unrelated but going back to the WBB game at Pitt. The announcers commented on what a good turn out there was for the game. Just checked. Attendance listed at 1811.

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    1. Last season Pitt averaged 1953 for WBB. ACC as a whole averaged a whopping 2729. Five averaged under 1000 per game - BC, Clemson, Miami, Syracuse and Wake Forest. The Syracuse number really surprises me - they are the lowest of all 15 schools, at 599.

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  2. I think we all are very grateful for the great following of the UL women. We need to give credit for the surge to many factors but in the center of it was Angel.

    We never want to give a smug impression to incoming teams or places we may travel to as we were there ourselves.

    I heard one fan who came in to follow our opponent speak out that you UL people think you own the court or something like that. I think we as the fan base can create a great or poor impression of our school or team. As opportunities come about it would be good to chat with folks who have traveled from away to help let them know that their fan base can grow as we once were where they are.

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    1. Good points....it's easy to forget that we are not THAT far removed from the pre-Freedom Hall days. (Was it Cardinal Arena back then?) We started attending games in Angel's junior season. It was she, not the "program', that initially drew us in. Now of course it's all about the team for us, not any one player. But that's sometimes what it takes to get a fan base jump-started.

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    2. We went to see number one UCONN in 2005 and fell in love with Louisville women's basketball. Angel was not an issue but soon became one as we purchased season tickets in 2006. We have had them ever since. Interesting how this discussion had nothing to do with Jeff's post.

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  3. Think I saw a TV report on the Schimmel sisters and then just happened to channel surf and watched the Baylor upset in 2013 . Schimmel sisters and the party crashers run that hooked me though I completely missed the Tenn game somehow. Had no interest in WBB prior to that. Live in northern California so have only seen the team in person once.

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    1. The days of games at Cardinal Arena, Bellarmine, various local high schools and even playing before the men's games at Freedom Hall will be something I'll always remember and makes me appreciate what we have now in attendance so much. The days of watching Kristin Maddox play her heart out in front of 200 people was intimate, for sure...but you wondered back then what it would take to get a sizeable crowed to follow WBB.

      Paulie

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  4. LOL. Jeff, the readers have hijacked this comment thread and in respose to an actual baseball comment....let's face it....there are a lot of questions about this edition of Sandy P. softball team this season. One proven pitcher, loss of some dynamic hitters due to graduation and one tough pre-conference and conference schedule. We certainly hope some of the freshmen grow up very fast...they will be needed and that the core group returning (Arion, Jones, Duncan, Becker and others...) can provide a cohesive and consistant leadership example on and off the field.

    Rebuilding year? Would have to say yes, at this point in time...

    Paulie

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  5. Paulie, I apologized to Jeff about the hijacking. Told him my comment really applied to your article about the game but decided to go with putting it on the latest posting.

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    Replies
    1. LOL. Buy him a grape slushy and he'll be fine. He really provided us great softball insight an coverage last year and I hope to get out there for a few more games than I did last year and watch them with him. And you, too.

      Paulie:

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  6. Paulie, do you know if Briahanna Jackson (former guard at UCF) found a new school?

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    Replies
    1. Last I heard is that she's been taking some online classes and hopes to eventually continue playing hoops somewhere. She would be a nice asset for any school if she can regain that form she showed during her one and change years at UCF. Great point guard skills,..a definite shooter/maker/scorer.

      Paulie

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  7. Being a former high school softball coach (DuPont Manual) i hope to get in a lot more softball games this year. When I coached the high schools were playing slow pitch.

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