Monday, April 24, 2017
Louisville Softball drops two to Noles...More on the transfers -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
CARDS SWEPT BY FSU
#2/3 Florida State took two against the Louisville Softball team on Sunday. The Noles were dominant in the opener, run-ruling the Cards 11-0 in the first and then coming back to win the second 4-3 in ten innings.
The less said about the first contest the better. FSU jumped out to a 5-0 first inning lead that Louisville contributed to with four errors. Three Seminole singles and a walk also contributed to the early hole that the Cards dug for themselves.
Maryssa Becker and the Cards did settle down in the circle and on the field for a couple of innings after that but couldn't find any batting success against FSU hurler Jessica Burroughs. FSU added three runs in the top of the fourth and three more in the top of the fifth to hold the 11-0 lead as UofL approached the plate in the bottom of the fifth. Burroughs was three outs away from a no-hitter and got two of those before Morgan Meyer connected on a double to bust up the attempt.
Coach Pearsall on the run-rule:
"We started off on a bad note, with an error, and...unfortunately, that set the tone for us. That first inning hurt us. After that, we settled down but you can't make those kinds of mistakes against a team like Florida State. We knew they were going to hit the ball...so we can't give them runs."
The second contest was a pitcher duel that was a battle of the Megan's. The Cards' Megan Hensley FSU's Megan King kept the zeroes piling up until Louisville broke through in the bottom of the sixth. Singles by Meyer and Jordan McNary and an error that allowed Caitlin Ferguson to reach first loaded the bases for Becker. She responded with a 2 RBI single to give Louisville the lead.
FSU would not be denied and countered with two in the top of the seventh. Louisville went down in order to bring on bonus softball. After a scoreless eighth, the Noles Carsyn Gordon blasted a shot to left center to make it 3-2. The Cards used a double play to get out of danger and tied it back up in the bottom of the ninth when Nicole Pufahl singled and eventually scored on an Alison "Mike, Mike, Mike" Szydlowski single.
Louisville was in a great position to win the contest as the inning went on when Meyer reached on a two-out error to seemingly load the bases...but Szydlowski was caught in a rundown between third and home and the final out was recorded when she tried to slide into home.
The Noles put together two hits to regain the lead at 4-3 in the top of the tenth. Louisville would counter with runners at first and third with two outs but could not push across the tying run.
Sandy Pearsall was proud of Hensley's effort:
" This was Megan's best effort since she returned from her injury. I was pleased that she was able to throw that many innings today and thought she did a good job. The outcome was not what we wanted...but we fought and dug and kept coming back."
The two squads will complete the series tonight at Ulmer with a first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. ESPNU will provide coverage.
We've received a lot of e-mails, messages and phone calls about the three transfers from the Louisville women's basketball squad over the weekend. People wanting to know "What's the real story behind Mariya Moore leaving?"... "Why would she want to go with one year left?"..."Why is Ciera Johnson going when it looked like she was going to be the starting center for next year?..."Will there be more transfers?"
And so on and so forth...
Most everyone seemed to think that it was a good move for Brianna Jones "Jonesey" to go to a place where she could get more playing time. Cardinal fans will miss that bright smile and she seemed to be a great teammate to all. Here's hoping she can find the time she desires at Georgetown and she lights up the Big East. She goes to a roster that currently listed eight players for 2017-18 and five of them are seniors. So, after sitting a year, she'll have a shot to compete for a starting role on a squad that just might need some quality, experienced players.
The Ciera Johnson situation stemmed from her desire to play closer to her family after trying a season away from them. She's has a great family and will be missed...but players make decisions and hers was to try her fortunes hopefully somewhere in the Lone Star State. The Duncanville, TX center had some bright moments for the Cards...in my personal opinion, though...and mirroring what some of you have mentioned to me...she could stand to lose a few pounds and develop better hands. We're not exactly sure which schools Ciera will be contacted by or will contact. If she's is Big 12 bound...she'll need to use that season of sitting to get ready for some very tough post-players in the conference.
Mariya Moore was the first to announce and was the one who, by far, caught the vast majority by surprise. Mariya expressed a desire to play her final season closer to her home in Hercules, California (a suburb of San Francisco) where her parents could make more games. The decision to leave after three successful seasons as a Cardinal had to be a hard one...but college is a time where a student-athlete has a limited window to acquire a degree and perform. Moore's decision also coincides with her younger sister (Minyan) and her decision to leave USC. Is there a plan for them to play together somewhere? Is it because of the coaching change at USC? California or maybe even the University of San Francisco would appear to be logical possibilities if this was the motive and driving factor. As far as any other reasons for Mariya leaving...we won't play conspiracy theorists here.
As we have stated before, the success of a unit depends on its core and unity. The Cards will have plenty of strengths on their (as of now) 12 player roster. Some of you have even started discussing starting line-ups for 2017-18. We won't go there just yet. Coach Walz and staff still have Hines-Allen, Durr, Shook, Jazz Jones, Fuehring, Carter, Zambrotta, Dunham and Laemmle on the roster and add Duvall, Evans and Kakala. That's a very strong roster of 12.
Will there be more attrition? Any add-ons? Not that we know of as of this morning. Anything, of course, is possible in the world of college basketball. Everyone was ready to hand UConn the 2017 NCAA women's basketball crown. Transfers much large than the trio of Cards leaving have already occurred this spring.
We will follow women's college basketball with a dutiful interest the rest of the spring, through the summer and the rest of the year. But, we will also explore the end of softball, lacrosse and the other spring sports currently taking place on campus.
There's a lot of joy and excitement still to report. We're on it!!