Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Who's on First? (and second, short, etc...) -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
LINEUP CHANGES NOTHING NEW FOR LOUISVILLE SOFTBALL.
There is an old comedy routine called Who's On First? where Bud Abbott and Lou Costello baffle themselves and their audience by trying to verify the starting infield lineup for the fictitious St. Louis Wolves baseball team.
Sandy Pearsall may have it memorized by heart, or at least can identify to it, when she looks back at the infield changes the Louisville Softball team has gone through since this time last season...when the Cards were preparing for NCAA Softball Tournament Regional action in Columbia, MO. And, coincidentally...the Cards are headed back to that same venue for this year's NCAA Regionals...leaving later today. The look is a bit different, though, for the girls in red and black.
That 2015 squad had an infield that primarily consisted of Tiarra Sanabria at first base, Brittany Sims at second, Whitney Arion at short and Hailey Smith on third. The Cards did not advance out of the regional last year and when Pearsall reviewed her lineup this year...as season play was about to begin, she saw that Arion had graduated, both Smith and Sanabria had injuries that would limit their early effectiveness and only Sims appeared to be healthy or available out of the four from last year.
The Cards began the early season battles with Jordan Vorbrink at first, Jamie Soles at second, Sims at short and Lillie Goetz at third. Vorbrink and Goetz were freshmen. Soles a transfer and younger sister of graduated and popular Kayla Soles. The lineup was having some successes before conference play began.
If Sandy Pearsall wasn't a hugely successful softball coach, she might be well suited as a card dealer at a casino...because of her penchant of shuffling the deck. Pearsall wanted Sims back at second and went to Sidney Melton...an outfielder on the Louisville squad who had played short-stop in high school and asked her to make the change. Sarah Lopesilvero had been an outstanding first baseman at Lake Land Community college for two years and Pearsall placed her on the first bag. Smith was healing from her shoulder injury and was eventually returned to third.
The shuffling and switching got the Cards to a second place finish in the ACC. As the Cards head to Missouri to face Nebraska in first game action, the Cornhuskers may take a look out on the field and wonder if this is the same Louisville Cardinal team that they faced early in the season and bested twice. Jordan McNary and Nicole Pufahl are still in the outfield from those early season games and Maryssa Becker and Megan Hensley still throw the orb out of the circle...but there have been changes aplenty since the ACC/BIG 10 challenge back in February when these two last met.
Players get injured. Players return. Players get shuffled and...throughout a season...lessons are learned. Freshmen and upperclassmen. Returnees and transfers. It take part magician, negotiator, psychic, motivator and administrator to guide a squad...any squad...through the course of a season.
The Cards have a very successful skipper in Pearsall and the Cornhuskers will have their hands full of more than just gloves and bats when they square off against the Cards Thursday at 5:30.