CARDS CORRAL CATS 5-3
Our custom here, as the regular reader knows, is to cover the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports. There were plenty of UofL women's athletes on hand at Jim Patterson Stadium last night, watching and celebrating Louisville baseball's 5-3 win over UK. A crowd of 6210 in attendance to see the annual battle of the Bluegrass on a beautiful Tuesday evening.
Louisville wasted no time in getting the party started. Five runs in the first three innings gave the Cards a comfortable margin over the visitors and a revolving door at pitcher getting the work done...Louisville used seven hurlers in the nine innings.
UK made it interesting in the end. Scoring three runs in the ninth and loading the bases before catcher Colby Finch threw out Zack Reks on a steal attempt for the final out.
A top ten battle between #2 Louisville and #8 Kentucky that set an attendance record at Patterson. Plenty of blue sprinkled in with the red on the berm and in the stands.
Cardinal head coach Dan McDonnell breaks it down:
"Our bullpen has been good all year. Fortunately, we got the lead early in that three-inning start. You gotta tip your hat to them. Hopefully, we learned a valuable lesson...that good teams don't quit. They [UK] showed they're a top ten team because they didn't quit..."
The Cards (25-3) bring in Wake Forest for a three-game weekend set next.
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THREE TRANSFER FROM MARYLAND
Even though the NCAA WBB season has drawn to a close, there is still news out there in the world of women's college basketball. Three players from the University of Maryland have announced they are leaving the program. Destiny Slocum, Kiah Gillespie and Jenna Stalti have been granted permission to transfer.
Slocum is big news. The freshman was second-team Big 10 and Freshman of the Year in the in the WBCA Coaches poll and in the Big 10. Cardinal fans might remember that she scored the Terps final seven points in Maryland's win over Louisville back on Dec. 7th...and hit six of nine from the free throw line.
Gillespie is a 6'2" sophomore forward who displayed a nice touch from outside in addition to her inside scoring skills. Stalti, 6'6" freshman center that saw limited time in the post.
The Terps also graduate their top two scorers in Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones.
So, why the mass departure from a squad that went 32-3 and reached the Sweet Sixteen before losing to Oregon in the Bridgeport regional?
Let's speculate...Slocum was from Idaho and a long way from an ailing mother with breast cancer. A chance to play closer to home might have been the reasoning there. With Gillespie and Stalti, it's probably a question of playing time. Gillespie had a great start in her freshman year but just never seemed to develop after that and didn't figure into the rotation that much as a sophomore. Stalti never really made much of an impact on the roster...a deep backup to Jones. Players want to play on occasion and other opportunities can come to be more desirable after the realization sets in that your expectations aren't matching your court time.
Let's not forget that Lexie Brown also left the Turtles a couple of seasons ago...her stated reason was to play against the ACC.
|Transferred in, did well.|
We have no crystal ball nor direct pipeline to the future. Who goes, who stays? We wait and see, like you do. Do I think anyone will transfer out of or into the Louisville WBB program? I try not to think about it, honestly. We'll cover it if it happens.
Players come. Players go. It's inevitable. As a coach, you deal with a lot of pressure. From the parents, from the players and from the fan base. The bottom line is this. You play those who give you the best chance of winning. Winning is job stability. Coaches like to be employed. Players have the opportunity to earn their playing time. If it doesn't work out, you decide to work that much harder, accept the situation or move on.
Let's put it in horse racing terms...since we're drawing close to the Kentucky Derby. A trainer gets a promising two-year old to the race track. The horse runs poorly the first time on the track. You give the horse another chance. Another poor effort. You drop the horse down to a level you think it may compete well in. Nothing. So, you decide that maybe the horse might be better off in another barn and you run it in a claimer-type race. The horse isn't to blame. The horse simply isn't good enough to compete at a certain level. Maybe the horse does better at a lower level or for another trainer at another track. Maybe it doesn't. Or maybe the trainer decides to keep working with the horse. The difference is...the horse can't express their contentment, disagreement or sit down for a long talk with the trainer.
|Transferred out...hopes to do well.|
Fans speculate. Why did this girl want to go to that school when she could have done "this or that" if she had stayed. What's going on at "this school" to make players want to leave?
Transfers happen. Get used to them. One man gathers what another man spills.