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Sunday, January 25, 2015

WBB: Hurricanes blow into town...Bustos delivers at Softball banquet -- Sunday Cardinal Couple


BATTLE TODAY AT THE TOP OF THE ACC


"Bassy's" babes blow into town
The Miami Hurricanes are no tropical depression. They sit at the top of the ACC conference with Florida State, Louisville and Notre Dame and are quite capable of creating havoc in the KFC YUM! Center today at 5 p.m. against Jeff Walz's high-flying birds.

The "U" is 15-4 on the season, has won seven out of their last eight and sports a 5-1 ACC record. They own a quality, blow-out win at Notre Dame earlier this month and downed Virginia 67-58 last time out in Coral Gables. 

Katie Meyer's sunshine dwellers were picked to finish eighth in the ACC pre-season poll...but have been one one of the several surprises in a league that is showing unexpected parity and laden with eight teams that could finish in the top 25 when regular season conference play ends.


Led by Adrienne Motley's 16.5 ppg, this crew also gets gale wind force performances from Jessica Thomas...who poured in 18 against the Cavs, Jassany Williams' team high 6.7 grabs per outing and Michelle Woods...who touched Virginia for 12 points. 

They are physical, go to the boards well and have several guards who thrive off the dribble drive. They're also fourth in the ACC in made 3-point shots. Miami has been knocked off foes by an average of 17 points a game and has a seven point edge in rebounding over opponents.



Losses have come at Middle Tennessee by five, at home to Arizona State by four, at Tulane by five and a 15 point defeat in Cameron Indoor Stadium to the Dookies two games back. 

The Cards will look for guards Mariya Moore and Bria Smith to have better outings that they did in Louisville's sole ACC loss at Tallahassee to Florida State Thursday night. UofL will also hope to see a continuance of Sara Hammond's recent strong play and the timely contributions of Shawnta' Dyer off the bench. Jude Schimmel's steady play will also be needed this afternoon if the Cards are wanting to deflate the big wind team that's blown into town.


Recent subpar efforts from Myisha Hines-Allen and Emmonnie Henderson also need to be reversed if Louisville wants to stay atop the ACC leaderboard and prevent a third loss on the season.


This one is a Fox Sports South broadcast and the network is rolling out "big game" Deb Antonelli and Mike Hogewood as the talking faces in front of the camera. The nation's best WBB radio team of Matt Andrews and Adrienne "AJ" Johnson is your best bet for following in you can't pack the YUM! this afternoon. 

Miami averages slightly over 1000 per home contest. Let's give them something to talk about by putting 14-15,000 around Denny Crum Court. 

We'll have the recap later tonight here at CC.


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BUSTOS DELIVERS A FENCE CLEARER AT SOFTBALL BANQUET

Speaking of big turnouts, an impressive crowd packed the Brown and Williamson Center in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium last night for the Louisville Softball banquet. 



It was a delightful evening and Worldwide Jeff, his dad Charlie, Sonja and I had a great time with pre-banquet chats (that we recorded) with former Cards stars Alicia Wolny and Katelyn Mann -- who now run 502 Softball Academy...these two are even more charming and witty than when they graced Ulmer Stadium. We've posted a link to their endeavors on the Right Side of the Site. We also got audio from senior star Kayla Soles (love that Jersey girl!) and keynote speaker Crystl Bustos. We also had a great chat with head coach Sandy Pearsall...which I definitely should have recorded.

We were fortunate enough to be at emcee Sean Moth's table for the meal...he handles any situation with aplomb and style...and he and I discussed whether he could handle calling a horse race. He has his doubts...but loves the action despite "never cashing a winning ticket." 



The food was about what you'd expect at one of these functions...a Cornish hen quarter with mashed potatoes, carrots and broccoli. The iceberg lettuce slice wasn't bad and the choice of cheesecake or chocolate turtle cake was the redeeming feature of the feast. 

After Moth's heartfelt and witty opening, Whitney Arion -- another senior star of Pearsall's roster -- delivered the invocation and the attendee's were treated to three great videos of last year's highlights, the Oklahoma City Challenge and player introductions. All were great...the girls revealing that in addition to their softball talents...they could do great bird calls, were addicted to coffee, and revealed other other fun facts about themselves. 



Coach P thinks Sonja and I are too tall. 
Sandy Pearsall took the podium first and gave the crowd a brief synopsis of the upcoming schedule and how preseason practice had been going. She's got a mix of great returning talent and impressive freshmen and her goal is to win the ACC Championship. Never one to self-promote her own personal achievements....Pearsall lauded her excellent coaching and support staff and brought recognition to the alumnae in attendance. 

We were lucky to have one of the best in Cardinal Softball history at our table. Former great Chelsea Bemis was at our table...the San Diego native is back in the 'Ville and serving on the UofL marketing staff. With her, Softball SID Lori Korte and UofL photographer Michelle Hutchins at our table...we were surrounded by greatness and enjoyed the dialogue at the table during our dinner.

They saved the best for last. Keynote speaker Crystl Bustos kept the crowd attentive and amused with her recollections of playing in three World Championship softball tournaments in 2000, 2004 and 2008. She shared her early days of softball also...she originally wanted to be a baseball player and was an excellent pitcher and hitter before she discovered fast-pitch softball. 

Bustos may have been the best hitter to ever play the game.  She's now a coach and instructor and gets to do what she loves every day...hit, teach and develop younger softball players. 

She also delivered a powerful message to the players in attendance. She sees the key to success in softball and life similar to a group putting together a puzzle. She challenged the players to solve the puzzle together that the coaches provide for the sport they administer and oversee.
Solving your daily issues is easier by combining the many mini-puzzles that can confront you into a single puzzle that you solve.



Interspersing her message with delightfully wonderful anecdotes of her own person triumphs, battles and experiences...she drew a long standing ovation at the end of her remarks. She was genuinely touched and appreciate of the crowd's admiration and we're sure she'll make good of her promise of following the Cards this season. 

A great night in a wonderful setting Saturday evening. If the Cards can pull off their season with the success they managed in last night's banquet...they'll be Oklahoma City bound in May.

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Our archived broadcast of Saturday's CARDINAL COUPLE
RADIO SHOW should be up on Crescent Hill's Soundcloud later this morning. It's a good one, don't miss it!

We're covering hoops, softball, volleyball, there's a Worldwide quiz for you to take and Kenny K. Keith and Don Paulie drop in for comments:

(I've pre-posted the link, if it doesn't happen for you when you click on it....try again in a couple of hours...or send me a scathing e-mail) 

LINK:

CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO IS ON THE AIR AND INTERNET, TOO !!





-paulie 

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