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Monday, April 30, 2018

SWEEP! Softball Cards take Sunday, series against Boston College -- Shoni back? -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


HENSLEY, HITTING CARRIES CARDS IN 8-0 WIN


On a "Pink Out" Day at Ulmer Stadium Sunday, the Softball Cards scored early and often in the five-inning, run-rule win over Boston College. 

Junior pitcher Megan Hensley picked up her third win in three days over the Eagles and Louisville's offense scored in each inning and collected 11 hits to ensure that Hensley would pick up her 15th. win of the season. 

In the first frame, the Cards did damage with two outs on the board. Hensley doubled and came home on a Jenna Jordan base hit. Nicole Pufahl drove Jordan to the plate with a single to give UofL a 2-0 advantage. That would actually be all the runs Louisville would require, but the offense was far from being finished. 

The "Szyd, Syd ,Sid" syndicate was responsible for adding to the "plate touching" when Alison Szydlowski reached on a single and scampered home on Sidney Melton's sharp single. 3-0 after two for the Cards and Hensley was holding court on the mound. 

After a scoreless third, Louisville doubled the runs showing on the center-field scoreboard in the fourth. Successful bunts by Celine "Play that Funke Music" Funke and Kyra Snyder's sacrifice bunt to move her to second, a walk to Blaire Bass and a single by Melton had the bags full of Cards for Maddy Newman. She drove one back at B.C. pitcher Jessica Dreswick to score Funke and reach safely. That set the stage for a Hensley single that got Bass and Melton home and Louisville found themselves with a 6-0 lead after four frames. 

Hensley was briefly challenged in the top of the fifth when Boston College filled the bases with two out but a pop out to Melton squashed the threat and Hensley's shutout remained secure. 

Sandy Pearsall's sluggers brought the festivities to a close in the bottom of the fifth. "Poof" worked a walk off Dreswick and powered home on a Funke triple that caught the B.C. center-fielder by surprise...expecting the "slap" hit...the hard hit ball soared over the defender's head and rolled to the fence to make it 7-0 Cards. "Mike, Mike, Mike" Szydowski reached on a bunt single and Bass caught a fastball on the knee to load the bases to set the stage for Melton to sit there with the bat on her shoulder and work a walk to score Funke and end the affair. 


It's encouraging to see the Cards peaking as the season draws to a close. Louisville brings in Marshall for a Wednesday single game and then ends the regular season with a three-game series at Pittsburgh. The Cards improve to 31-17 on the season and upped their ACC record to 10-10, which has them in fourth place in the Atlantic Division and just one game back of Boston College for third. 

We previously but incorrectly told you (unfortunately a few times) that only eight teams make the ACC Tournament. The number is 10 schools. Beginning next Wednesday, May 9th in Atlanta on Georgia Tech's diamond, they'll follow the standard 10-team playoff format. What that means is that the #8 and #9 seeds, plus #7 vs. #10 seeds play first day to "make" the eight-team "round of eight". Then, its #1 seed vs the winner of #8 vs #9...#2 seed vs. the winner of #7 vs #10 and so on and so forth through the rest of the participants. 

Current ACC Standings below:

ATLANTIC DIVISION

Florida State   18-3
Notre Dame     13-10
Boston College 11-9
Louisville         10-10
Syracuse           9-12
NC State           5-15


COASTAL DIVISION

Pittsburgh        14-6
North Carolina  15-8
Georgia Tech    12-9
Duke                13-11
Virginia Tech     7-10
Virginia            3-12



Miami, Clemson and Wake Forest do not field softball teams, a bit surprising...since they're three of the "more warmer" locations to hold outdoor events. 

So the Cards still have a bit of work to do to ensure they'll be travelling to the "Peach State" next week. Best guess here is that the Cards are "in"...since the Virginia schools aren't tearing up the softball world this year and will likely be at least one and possibly both of the two that don't see post-season...with N.C. State in that dubious status as well. 

Wins are the answer and also important to gather if Louisville wants a NCAA Tournament invite as well. Here's hoping the bats stay lively and the arms remain sound. 

INTERVIEWS FROM SUNDAY:

SANDY PEARSALL

MEGAN HENSLEY

( Thanks to Jared Anderson for the interview feeds )



THE RETURN OF SHONI? 

After sitting out the 2017 season, Shoni Schimmel is back and at the NY Liberty WNBA training camp. 

" I needed a break, going from high school, to college, to the pros. Last year, we talked about it. I suspended myself.Being able to take that year off,  I want to thank the Liberty. I've come back ready to work" Schimmel said yesterday at practice.

She'll need to work hard. The Liberty have Brittany Boyd, Lindsay Allen and Bria Hartley on the roster and drafted Kia Nurse. 

A concussion to her plus the death of her grandmother were also factors in deciding to sit out last season. 

Schimmel did report to camp "in shape" Sunday, from reports...an issue that came to question during the 2016 season...when she split time with the Liberty and the Atlanta Dream. 

So, with Angel back in the Atlanta camp, two of the most successful players in Cardinal WBB history are back after a year off. Here's hoping Shoni and new Liberty head coach Katie Smith can work something out and Schimmel can make the squad. 

LINK TO ASSOCIATED PRESS ARTICLE: SHONI RETURNS TO LIBERTY

(have a marvelous Monday and remember that life is full of twists and turns...something that everyone learns...when life is pressing you down a bit...rest if you must, but don't you quit.) 


paulie
xxxxx


















Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday Cardinal Couple - Softball Looking for Wins

Softball Looking for Conference Wins


Louisville Softball is in a battle for post-season play.  The Cards currently sit 8th in conference (if I'm doing my math right...2+2=5, right?), and 8 teams compete in the ACC Softball Championship hosted by Georgia Tech in Atlanta.

The Cards currently sit at 9-10 in conference play with 4 games left to play.  They're ahead of Syracuse who have finished conference play at 9-12.  They also have a chance of passing Duke, who are currently 12-11 with only a single conference game left to play (today at 1pm against UVA, who are bringing up the rear in Softball).

The Cards finish out the weekend series, and conference home finale, against Boston College (11-8 in conference).  The Cards have already clinched the series win for the feel-good points, but are trying to improve their record to ensure a place in post season play.  UofL still has a weekend on the road up at Pitt, who are currently sitting atop the Coastal division of play.

The Cards are currently at 9-10 in conference.  Wins today, and next weekend will be needed to
ensure a place in Atlanta (and perhaps a celebratory trip to the McCoughtry's ice cream shop).  There are enough scenarios to play out with games remaining that I can't sort them all out (and the ACC website does us no favors by not keeping up to date with games played, instead offering a weekly snapshot of the standings...more math!)  After the weekend concludes, it will be easier to get a read on what the Cardinals need to accomplish to get to play in the 2nd season of the year.

So far this weekend, the Cards have dispatched the Boston College Eagles, despite the Eagles holding a higher standing in conference.  Hope springs eternal for Pearsall's squad to collect some wins against Pitt, who despite their lofty conference standing, have a roughly similar overall win-loss record (28-16, currently) to UofL (30-17).

In yesterday's action, the Sidney Melton (go Team Sid/Syd/Szyd!), Maddy Newman, Megan Hensley combo carried the day.  The trio teamed up in the first to eventually get Hensley around the base paths to score.  Melton's presence on the base paths helped Newman advanced on a throw and tag out of Melton at home.  Similarly, Newman helped Hensley to advance in a fielder's choice.  Hensley would eventually score on an error in the opening frame. 3-2 Cards win!

The Eagles scored two in the 5th, but the Cards would answer in the home half with the Melton, Newman, Hensley trio again teaming up to get a pair across.  Melton hit and stole 2nd, Newman hit to advance Melton to 3rd, and a Hensley's hit let Melton and Newman show off their speed to score from the corners.  The trio of runs would be enough to take the game over BC's pair in the 5th.

UofL celebrated Senior Day yesterday, with today planned to be the pink game.  Jenna Jordan, Nicole "Poof" Pufahl, Ashley Nikolao the hometown hero, Jamie "The new pride of New Egypt, New Jersey" Soles, and Alison "Mike" Szydlowski were all honored.  Cardinal Couple has had the extremely good fortune to interview nearly all of that squad over the past few years...mostly at the annual Softball banquet.  We had a wonderful interview, and were struck by just how thoughtful and insightful Jenna Jordan is at this year's banquet.  The "Poof" has been interviewed multiple times by Paulie, and is always up for a fun conversation.  We were able to grab audio from Jamie Soles and the original "Pride of New Egypt, New Jersey", her older sister and UofL alumna Kayla Soles, at a banquet several years ago.  And, of course, "Mike, Mike, Mike" has been a favorite of the CC crew for some time, as well as one of the members of the All-Sid/Syd/Szyd team.

Jeff Walz was on hand to toss out the ceremonial first pitch and also in attendance was visitor Yacine Diop, previously of Pittsburgh WBB and a possible Cardinal transfer? NCAA recruiting guidelines prohibited Jared from getting a photo of Diop and Walz together but a visual sighting of the two was confirmed.

Today's game starts at noon and is available streamed on The ACC Network Extra. Go Cards, fly past the Eagles today and get the sweep!


Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


Three of the knuckleheads were in the Mellwood Mansion studio yesterday for a good show with great discussions on WCHQ FM.  You can catch a replay and see Floyd the Touchdown Squirrel hiding Jared's crumpled up breakfast paper bag from the camera.  I'm going to go ahead and start calling him Floyd the Touchdown Squirrel, as it's clearly the best name option that has been suggested (by yours truly, of course).  Watch the stream to see and hear me politicking for "Floyd" votes as well.

We discussed the post-season hopes for Softball, effectively wrapped up the year for Lacrosse with an eye to the future, and even found a copule of items of Women's Basketball news to throw in the mix.

https://www.facebook.com/WCHQfm/videos/2016762928346980/

--
JMcA

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Diop visiting Louisville WBB -- Softball beats Boston College 4-2 -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


PITT'S LEADING SCORER, REBOUNDER CHECKING OUT CARDS

There weren't a whole lot of bright spots for Pittsburgh women's basketball last season but the play of red-shirt junior Yacine Diop was one of them. Leading the Panthers in rebounds and points, she also torched the Cards for 26 points back on Jan.18th. in a 77-51 Louisville win at the Peterson Event Center.  She also had 18 against Louisville in the KFC YUM! Center back on Feb. 25th

I remember thinking then, and also when I watched her play in the ACC Tournament this March in Greensboro what a nice addition she could be to Jeff Walz's lineup. Maybe she read my mind. Maybe she wanted to witness Derby festivities up close and personal. In any event, sources have confirmed that the talented 5'11" forward is visiting the Cardinal campus this weekend.


You don't waste good. Diop is that good. If things work out, she'd be a great addition to a Cardinal front line that saw Myisha Hines-Allen graduate. There was no immediate information on where else, if anywhere else, she might be visiting. 

Hopefully, Diop has grown and matured from the shaky start she suffered as a sophomore at Pitt. 

LINK: Diop faces multiple charges

Everyone deserves a second chance, though, right? Diop hasn't had any further incidents and the real key here is if bringing her in, if she's interested, would it alter the great chemistry that the UofL WBB squad has built? 

It could be a boon to the Cards chances to regain a Final Four berth in 2019. Graduate transfers can often bring a year of inspired play to a squad and other successful coaches have benefited from additions from other programs. Walz has gone the transfer route before (remember Taylor Johnson, Briahanna Jackson ?)...so it wouldn't be a radical change in the philosophy of the Cards coach or staff.

And, as someone who could play several different positions and has a better-than-average outside jumper, she could pose another threat to Cardinal opponents.  

A big weekend in the city of Louisville. Plenty to see and do. a wonderful time to expose the city and the program to interested parties. We hope Diop has a great stay during her visit to Louisville. Maybe she took in the balloon glow. The balloon race and mini-marathon today. Opening night at Churchill Downs tonight. Cards softball on campus. 

A lot of things to sway a person's thought patterns to maybe spending a year in the area...not to mention getting the chance to suit up for a team that won over 30 games last year and was a missed foul away from a NCAA Championship game. 

Enjoy your stop, Ms. Diop. Spend a year with a team headed to the top.


SOFTBALL, HENSLEY GROUND EAGLES 4-2

Megan Hensley realizes the importance of this home-stand weekend for the Louisville Softball team. The ACC Tournament takes eight teams. Louisville was in ninth-place going into Friday night's game against Boston College. Wins, coupled with a few #8 Syracuse losses against North Carolina this weekend, were the only way the Cards could make the playoffs.

She took matters in her own hands last night. At the plate and in the circle. 

Mission 1/3 of the way there. A 4-2 Cardinal win at Ulmer, fueled by two Hensley home runs and 6.1 innings of strong pitching....plus a Syracuse loss to NC 5-1...have the Cards currently in eighth place in conference with a 8-10 ACC record. Syracuse is 8-12.

A solo blast by Hensley in the bottom of the fourth inning tied the game at 1-1. One inning later, a three-run "touch 'em all" from the Ashland, KY junior gave the Cards a 4-2 advantage that held the final two innings. 

Senior Day today at Ulmer. Jared outlined the accomplishments of the five who graduate this year in his Friday article. They, obviously, want to keep playing...to enjoy a post-season run...so the motivation will be high for them to take the Eagles to another loss today and Sunday.

Game time is 1 p.m. Catch it on the ACC Network Extra if you can't be there live for the contest.  



CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR

The knuckleheads return to the airwaves this morning to discuss the joy and excitement of Louisville women's athletics and other impromptu subjects that pop up on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR this morning at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM. 

3/4ths. of the "A" team in the studio with Paulie, Jeff and Jared...as Case continues to study on how to drive a train. 

We'll have softball, recruits, lacrosse and other stunning information for you on the show. Join us on Facebook LIve or radio, we're not picky...for a guaranteed good time by all. 

Have a Super Saturday and rejoice! It's Derby Week in Louisville! 

Mike Barry on horse racing: "I hope to break even at the track today. I could use the money".

paulie
xxxxx





  

Friday, April 27, 2018

Lax Falls to Boston College -- NFL Draft -- Softball Senior Weekend -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Lax Falls to Boston College

The Louisville lacrosse team bowed out of the ACC Tournament in the first round to one-seed Boston College.  The Eagles handled the Cards with ease, winning 19-6.  Boston College improves to 18-0 and are one of two undefeated teams remaining alongside Stonybrook (15-0).

UofL found themselves down 8-1 just 10 minutes into the game with their lone goal sandwiched by a pair of 4-0 Boston College runs.  The Eagles came out playing a fast-paced offense with hopes of jumping out to an early lead after Louisville lead the regular season game 5-3 at the half.

Tessa Chad (junior), Emily Howell (senior), Jillian Balog (senior), Ally Hall (freshman), and Madison Hoover (senior) all scored in the first half, but Louisville trailed 14-5 when they walked off the field at halftime.  Boston College added a trio of goals in the second period before Shayla Scanlan (freshman) temporarily halted the bleeding and ultimately ended up being the final goal of the game for the Red and Black.  Boston College would go on to score two more times before the final buzzer.

The eight-seeded Cardinals drop to 6-11 while riding an eight-game losing streak.  With their record and RPI the season appears to be over.  An NCAA berth is still possible, but is a long shot after Louisville failed to earn a win in the back half of the season.

Season one of the Scott Teeter era is over and they won six more games than some people expected.  In their final home game of the season a parent told me that he was okay with his daughter losing while under Coach Teeter because the atmosphere he is creating is positive, warm, and hopeful.

Expect great things to come in upcoming seasons.

Jaire Alexander and Lamar Jackson Get Drafted in the First Round

Juniors Jaire Alexander and Lamar Jackson chose to forgo their senior years to enter the NFL draft.  Both players have had excellent careers, each winning awards on their respective side of the ball.

With the 18th pick of the NFL draft the Green Bay Packers selected cornerback Jaire Alexander.  Alexander should be a starter for a Packers team that has not had a good defense since I've been alive.  Like the days of having Mr. Heisman leading the offense Alexander will have the luxury of having a talented quarterback leading the way with a healthy Aaron Rodgers back in the lineup.  He is tied as the seventh-highest Louisville player ever taken in the NFL draft.

With the 32nd pick of the NFL draft the Baltimore Ravens selected Lamar Jackson.  The Ravens traded the Eagles at the last second on a night where Cards fans began to panic for the famous quarterback, providing a feeling of relief around the city.  After breaking enough school records to keep you counting for days the 2016 Heisman winner is probably the best player in Louisville football history.  Media outlets often suggested that Jackson should transition into a wide receiver, which he rejected every time.  With a bit of a weight gain the NFL could see the next Michael Vick.

Congratulations to Jaire Alexander and Lamar Jackson!

Softball Gears Up For Senior Weekend

Hoping to go out with a bang the Louisville softball team hosts Boston College.  The Cards are 28-17 and sit at 7-10 in the conference.  Louisville hopes to have a 30-win season for the 15th straight year.

Louisville will honor five seniors this weekend:

Nicole Pufahl- the "Poof" is in her fifth year with the softball program after red-shirting her true freshman year.  In her four years on the field she is the only player to not have changed her normal position (center field) during that time frame.  She has 103 career RBIs.

Alison Szydlowski- "Mike" or "Team Syd/Sid/Szyd" member spent her first half of her Louisville career behind the plate gunning down runners attempting to steal second.  She then transitioned to playing third base and eventually into some right field.

Ashley Nikolao- The only local on the team "Nik" joined the Cards from Meade County.  Nikolao has played more of a pinch hitter role, but did see time at third base.  She has four RBIs on 13 hits in her career.

Jamie Soles- The "New Pride of New Egypt, New Jersey" came in as a sophomore after spending one season at Hartford.  Like her older sister Kayla, Jamie is an infielder and played second base with a magnetic glove.  She has batted close to .300 in her Louisville career.

Jenna Jordan- "JJ" transferred in from Northern Colorado as a sophomore.  She has been the primary catcher the last two years, known to snag any pitch thrown her way.  In her three years she sits just shy of 50 RBIs.

The series will be played Friday at 6:00 p.m., Saturday at 1:00 p.m., and Sunday at 12:00 p.m.  There will be an autograph session following Friday's game.  The senior recognition will be Saturday because of the Pink Out scheduled for Sunday.

Even though this is listed as senior weekend their final home game is actually against Marshall next Wednesday.

With post-season hopes at risk the Cards desperately need wins.  Only the top eight teams make it to the ACC Tournament and Louisville is ninth in the conference.  With their record and RPI the NCAA Tournament is not an option without a hot run to close out the year.

To the seniors, we will miss you, but we'll keep aiming.


What day is it? 

Today is an interesting day of holidays and observations including Prime Rib Day, Stop Food Waste
Day, Woody Woodpecker Day and Morse Code. Day.

To be fully in compliance, I suppose one should go out for a prime rib dinner, eat all of it, take a Woody Woodpecker stuffed toy and send your order to the waitress or waiter via Morse Code.

Just in case you wondered, "Prime Rib" in  Morse code is:

.--. .-. .. -- . .-. .. -...

Have a Fantastic Friday!!

- Jared -
.--- .- .-. . -..

"Bakers trade recipes on a knead to know basis"  

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Lindsey Duvall gets park named after her -- Lacrosse in ACC Today -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


2017 MISS BASKETBALL HONORED WITH MT. WASHINGTON PARK NAMING


Chris Stallings is one of those guys who you like as soon as you meet him. The Bullitt East head girls basketball coach has spent countless hours working with and developing the basketball skills of hundreds of basketball players in the Mt. Washington and Bullitt County area. He does it with a smile and encouragement. When a person loves what they do, it comes very easy and effortlessly. There's pride there. 

Ironically, one of the first times I met him, he was wearing a UConn women's basketball t-shirt. That's unique enough in Mt. Washington...but the fact that he had his star player Lindsey Duvall headed to Louisville to play for Jeff Walz in the fall of 2017 was enough  cause for me to do a double take and wonder if something was afoot and Geno had gotten to the affable skipper of the Chargers. Stallings relieved my fears instantly.

"It's just the first shirt I grabbed and put on this morning. I talked to my athletic apparel supplier this morning. There's a lot of red and black stuff on the way." 

Stallings relates this story about Duvall: 

"We do things a little differently here at Bullitt East. At halftime of games, we let the kids in the stands take the court and shoot baskets. Lindsey's older sister played for me her at Bullitt East and Lindsey would get out there when she was in the second or third grade and hoop it up. You could tell at that age, she was sticking with it and she was going to be a player. She was going to be something special. I'd tell folks that they had to watch that little girl out there and they stay in the stands and watch her shoot...not go to the concession stand. That's the beauty here. You get to see them early on. They go to the camps, middle school and end up playing ball for me here."

Mt. Washington has gotten larger over the years. From a small, sleepy town with a two-lane Main Street...hardware store, funeral home, Dairy Queen (which was a Burger Queen way back when) a Baptist church, several locally owned businesses and restaurants and surplus store to a thriving, small community with major shopping malls, a bypass around the main street and huge high school that sits right off the bypass. Where Bardstown Road meets Hwy 44. But, it still has a small town feel. Kids still run the court at halftime. Coach still shakes your hand and treats you like your kin. When people ask you how you're doing, it's a sincere and honest inquiry. A part of America I do love so. 

Duvall grew up also. She starred at Bullitt Central and was heavily recruited by both Kentucky and Louisville. She was always in a particular park shooting baskets whenever the weather allowed and she wasn't in the gym practicing her craft. Staying to watch Coach's son play baseball in that same park when she had exhausted herself after hours of dribbling, shooting and rebounding. You could say it was one of her homes away from home. 

And now it's named after her. 

The Mount Washington mayor and city council made it so. Stallings hasn't come out publicly and talked about his involvement in the naming...but one could probably correctly surmise that he was an integral part of the idea and it's rise to fruition. 


Duvall enters her red-shirt freshman season at UofL after sitting out last year due to some knee issues. She had a tumorous growth removed from her left knee while in high school but some remaining fragmentation needed to be cleaned out that was causing pain during her freshman year on the Cardinal roster. She recovered nicely and probably could have played for the Cards around the beginning of ACC season in 2017-18 but chose to continue to learn and develop without wasting a year of eligibility. Oh, the things she saw! The memories made and places visited. A year wiser and ready to go, she'll ply her trade for a team that was one missed foul call and one tip-in attempt that barely rolled out from a NCAA Championship game against a foe already twice beaten earlier in the year. 

There will be cookouts and pickup basketball games in Lindsey Duvall Park this summer. Elderly people out for a stroll or walking their dogs. Children playing tag or attempting to fly kites or playing catch. Baseball games and cheering. 

There just might also be the next Lindsey Duvall. A young girl, time after time, throwing a round orb at a round rim. Practicing the dribble so the other kids won't steal the ball from her. Perfecting the shot. Scraping a knee occasionally and contesting a foul during a one-on-one or pickup game. Maybe even Lindsey herself will drive by, stop the car and watch for awhile. Maybe hear that little girl yell out to another young girl:

 "I'm Lindsey, you're Asia and I'm going to hit this jumper to beat Notre Dame!"

Legends. Dreams. Hometown heroes. It's what America is made of. How many of us spent time in the backyard, or at a small park or parking lot throwing an old, worn-out rubber basketball at a rim with no net. In barely-above freezing weather. When it was so hot that the sweat from your head rolled into your eyes and made the basket blurry. When you challenged the kid who always beat you to just one more game of "21'...even though the light was fading from the sky. 


Lindsey's honor is an honor, in a way, to all those kids and adults out there who ignored the call for supper, in order to get a few more shots up. Who played against every kind of competition available. Who played for love of game and the thrill of seeing that long or contested shot drop through the rim. 

I'd like to think that a decade or so from now...a young mother takes her child for an afternoon walk and the child looks up and says: "Mommy, your name is on that gate overhead!" Knowing Lindsey, she's smile and tell her young charge: "C'mon, now. We need to get to the court so you can shoot the basketball." 


LACROSSE ENTERS ACC TOURNAMENT PLAY TODAY.

The Louisville Lacrosse team has safely arrived in Durham, NC and is preparing for their first game of the ACC Lacrosse Tournament. A tall order, indeed, in front of Scott Teeter's LAXERS...facing #2 in the nation and #1 in the ACC Boston College for an 11 a.m. contest this morning.

The Cards need a win today, and most likely need to win the ACC Tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament. They have two players that received second-team All-ACC Honors yesterday in freshman Caroline Blalock and Emily Howell.

Boston College placed (4) on the All-ACC first team. 

Today's action will be shown on Fox Sports South. Here's hoping the LAXCards can get off to a great start and hold on to the lead as time expires. An upset in the brewing? We'll know around 1 p.m.this afternoon. 

Have a tremendous Thursday. 

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." 


paulie
xxxxx











Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Condi Rice -- From Softball to Cardinal Couple, My Story -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


A MEMBER OF THE "A" TEAM AND A KNUCKLEHEAD

(Jared Anderson brings us the story today on how he met up with and became a "knucklehead"...my affectionate term for the crew that handles The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour each Saturday and most of the articles here at Cardinal Couple. Jared is always on the go...also working non-stop for the River City Cards website, taking photos at Louisville Bats games and (as we like to tease him) turning $20's into fives and tens at a local financial institution. The "A" team is a fluid and strong group...all four members juggling the site, the radio, their "paying jobs" and life with the aplomb of Asia Durr dropping a "trey" on a bewildered defender. Enjoy his story today. We're pleased as punch and proud as papas to have him with us!   -- Paulie)  


When most people picture a fan at a game cheering the first thing that comes to mind is someone at a football or basketball game standing on the chair hooping and hollering.  However, there are numerous other sporting events in which you'll find fans.  For me, you can catch me at almost any sporting event.  If I'm not taking pictures I guarantee you will hear me yelling.

Lynn Soccer Stadium
When Louisville moved to the ACC the pep band stopped attending soccer games.  No, it was not a decision by the Louisville coaches or administration, but a decision based off of a league meeting.  Not wanting to drop soccer altogether, I joined the Louligans, the supporter section of UofL soccer.  We were in attendance at every men and women's game with our drums shouting and singing.

During the winter season of the 2014-15 year athletics hosted an event where student athletes would call season ticket holders of different sports thanking them for their support and would invite them to attend other sporting events.  Nicole Pufahl wound up with calling a member of the Louligans.  With "Poof's" personality she was able to persuade him into coming out to a softball game.

Louisville Louligans
That softball season rolled around and a small group of us took our seats in the middle section just a few rows behind home plate.  This was the first softball game for all of us so we had no clue what to do at the game or what cheers were part of the 'norm'.  We kicked off the first inning with our staple, "We Love Ya".  Immediately, heads popped out of the dugout like meerkats on the lookout.  We cheered between innings and the remainder of the game as the Cards topped Ball State.  On the patio by the front entrance we met up with the now-famous "Poof", who was a red-shirt freshman at the time.

Ulmer Stadium
We continued attending the games the rest of the season to cheer on the Cards.  With the positive feedback we returned the next season to do what we do best.  This was about the time that Mr. Worldwide
(Jeff McAdams) started to zone in on us to see what we were all about.  I interacted with him and Paulie on social media before receiving an invitation to join them on the radio for the first time.  I would guest appear a couple other times that season, eventually calling in from the ACC tournament down in Raleigh.  Coincidentally, that was also a time I called in while spending time with the lovely Katy.

I guess I didn't scare away Paulie and Jeff because they kept asking me to come back on occasion for the next year.  Around the springtime/summertime of 2017 my position with Cardinal Couple grew.  I became a regular part of the "A-team" on Saturday's and started writing once per week, giving my insight from the Jared perspective.

Louisville Lacrosse Stadium
Going into the current school year I had obtained a camera of my own and a couple of lenses.  Wanting to add updated pictures to our arsenal, I asked if I could become the site's photographer.  I was able to get field hockey and volleyball season passes for the fall semester (my Louligan duties kept me busy during soccer).  More often than not I was the only photographer in attendance other than the team photographer while Paulie and Worldwide were typically the only outside media at the press box or media table.  Our "captain Paulie" and I made the trip to see volleyball in Lexington and found ourselves covering the ACC field hockey tournament in town

Winter season brought us to basketball, where women's basketball just added their new SID Nick Evans.  The ambitious new SID worked with us to make sure I could get season media passes for women's basketball and we ended up being some of the very few media people in attendance EVERY home game.  This year's successes resulted in us traveling to Lexington for the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight and Columbus for the Final Four.

Cardinal Arena
Now onto springtime we have progressed to other sports.  Lacrosse and softball have kept us busy and all of us running around like crazy.  We have had a representative at almost every home game for both teams the season.  Down by the little Yum we have kept a close eye on new coach Scott Teeter and what he has brought to the table for this restructured lacrosse program.  With softball, our supporter crew has slowly drifted apart with all of us upgrading to real jobs and some moving out of town so my role has shifted to covering them from a media perspective.  My travels have led my to Lexington and Tallahassee.

My main purpose to go to Tallahassee was to spend a few days with the girlfriend, which I did and enjoyed very much.  While there, Katy painted faces on the fans at the games while I went off and met up with Lori Korte about passes for the games.  Now that I have returned home I prepare to cover their senior weekend and send off "Poof" for her final time at Ulmer Stadium, bringing my story full circle.

I went from a young, energetic fan who was just learning the rules of many sports to a semi-experienced media person that is a common sight at many UofL sporting events eager to get pics or the new article up.


RICE COMMISSION -- WHAT DID THEY SAY?

Condi Rice delivered her commission's "state of the NCAA" address this morning and outlined some changes and ideas that the committee recommends. Some powerful stuff. The highlights (as I saw them)

-- An end to the "one and done" rule.

-- Payments for players for the use of their images

-- Regulating contact with agents:

-- Overhauling the sanctions system and summer "club" basketball.

-- Getting shoe and apparel companies out of summer "club" basketball

-- Getting full financial accountability out of summer "club" basketball events.

-- Appointing outsiders to the NCAA board. 

There are some pretty bold (and long overdue) ideas here. Your take? Let us know in the comments section. 

(Paulie)  

LAST BUT NOT LEAST


Happy National Penguin Day!  The only penguin I know of is a former UofL volleyball player who begins the next step of her journey in Youngstown State, home of the Penguins.

Penguins are birds. They have feathers. Even though they spend their time on ice, water and land. They can ONLY be found in the Southern Hemisphere. None in the Arctic Circle. Certainly none on the Belknap Campus but you can go to most zoos and watch them cavort about.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are a popular NHL team. They used to call former L.A. Dodgers third basement Ron Cey "The Penguin" because of his gait and stance at the hot corner. Or maybe he liked fish and ice?

Are you familiar with Pingu? Or Chilly Willy? A couple of popular penguins from screen and lore.

Practice your penguin walk today, if it pleases you, and find a snow bank or ice flow to go sliding over! None of that available in Louisville today but be creative!

Enjoy your Wednesday and Go Cards!

- Jared -

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Scott Teeter Interview -- Louie Awards -- Softball vs. FSU -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


A busy Monday for UofL Athletics...which translates out to a busy day for Paulie in keeping up with events and such to report here at Cardinal Couple. From campus to downtown to Tallahassee, FL, though...we've got you covered with reports on the joy and excitement of UofL Athletics. Let's fasten the seats belts, put the chairs in an upright position and hurdle down the runaway, shall we? 

SCOTT TETTER INTERVIEW


The Louisville Lacrosse squad goes into ACC Tournament play beginning Thursday in Durham, MC on the Duke Campus. The first round opponent is undefeated Boston College. 

Cardinal Couple's Paulie caught up with head Lacrosse coach Scott Teeter in his office on campus to get a preview of the tournament and recap the season and future needs of the Laxers. 

Coach and the team are excited to start what they refer to as "the second season". The emphasis was to be playing their best Lacrosse of the season by the end of the regular season and to carry that into the tournament. Louisville faces a strong foes in conference leader and #2 in the nation Boston College but Teeter does think the Cards match up pretty well against them. 

Coach mentioned confidence as a key when facing the Eagles. In the regular season, the Cards held a halftime lead against them...saw that lead disappear and eventually lost but learned from the experience and will try and correct the things that led to the defeat. 

Coach says that the seniors need to step up in the playoffs. Most of them have experienced the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament and Teeter hopes they bring their "A" games and that experience and leadership to the battle on Thursday. He did mention that he thought Alex McNicholas did a good job for them in draw controls against Syracuse on Sunday and that they had re-aligned their formation to secure more of those and gain ball possession after scores. 

When asked about the importance of height in draw controls, he also joked that Myisha Hines-Allen would definitely compete for ground balls and draws and we joked about finding her a grad season year to compete in Lacrosse for the Cards.

On recruiting, Coach Teeter knows and recognized he has a lot of holes to fill with the depleted roster and graduation of ten seniors. He and the staff are out with the commits, possible commits and the possible transfers-in to the program to fill those needs as much as possible. He also mentioned, in addition to the immediate needs, the plan to recognized and obtain players for two and three years down the road to address future needs and build a roster that wouldn't be so heavily impacted by graduation each year. 


On the challenge of ACC recruiting, he noted that it was a much different area of concentration nationally than when he was at Cansius. He pointed out that the advantage of presenting the lure and advantages of selling a recruit on ACC competition was great but, if they were of the talent level to play ACC Lacrosse, then, most likely...the other ACC conference schools had identified them and were also in the hunt to obtain them on their campuses. 

Uncovering stones and hidden treasures, finding diamonds, polishing them into their full potential when they arrive and throughout their stay as a student-athlete. The duties of a head coach, not only in Lacrosse, but in any sport -- are not too different than that of a gemologist or geologist. 

Scott Teeter and his staff are on the trail for those gems. Don't be surprised if they find a gold mine or two and stake a claim to mine and develop these valuable assets. The process is one that doesn't happen overnight...but Teeter has the temperament and patience to succeed over the long haul, the duration -- and make the Cards a shining emerald in the already quite-jeweled ACC Conference. 


Click below to hear the entire interview:  

The Scott Teeter Interview 4/24/18


LOUIES SHOWCASE CARDINAL ATHLETES ACHIEVEMENTS.


Many accolades and honors to go around at the Louies last night. In case you are wondering just what a "Louie" is...be advised that it's an award show and setting, not unlike the Oscars or Grammys, that recognizes the successes and achievements of the University of Louisville individuals and teams.

Held at the Louisville Palace and emceed by Sean Moth, it is a gala affair. Since we concentrate of women's sports here, we'll mostly list the award winners for them.

HIGH PERFORMANCE ATHLETEs OF THE YEAR -- MALLORY COMERFORD and BRENDAN MCKAY

L1C4 AWARD - REGGIE BONNAFON 

SENIOR OF THE YEAR -- MYISHA HINES-ALLEN

JUNIOR OF THE YEAR -- ASIA DURR

SOPHOMORE OF THE YEAR -- DORCAS WASIKE (cross country)

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR -- LAUREN HARTLAGE (golf)

BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE -- MELANIE MCHENRY (volleyball)






CARDS CARE INDIVIDUAL -- LINDA MUTTER (track/field) 

CARDS CARE TEAM -- WOMEN'S SOCCER

LEADERSHIP AWARD -- KIRSTI HARRISON (rowing) 

SENIOR CHEER AWARD -- HEATHER AARON

SENIOR LADYBIRD -- RYLEIGH VERTES

SENIOR PEP BAND AWARD -- BETHANY WALKER

Congratulations to all these teams and student-athletes for their hard work, dedication and perseverance! 


SOFTBALL FALLS 3-1 to FSU

One squad absent from the Louies was the Louisville Softball team. The "Hit and Pitch" Cards concluded their three game series against the Seminoles last night in Tallahassee with a 3-1 loss to #8/#10 home team, but did limit the powerful 'Noles to just three runs and five hits. The Cards took the early lead in the first inning when Megan Hensley went fence and beyond to center field and the lead held behind the strong pitching of Hensley until the bottom of the third...when FSU gathered a solo home run shot. 

The bottom of the fifth inning was the pivotal point of the contest. Hensley allowed a lead-off walk, followed by a two-run homer to give the ACC's best softball team a 3-1 lead that they would not relinquish and that ended the scoring in the contest. 



The Cards (28-17, 7-10) return home to face Boston College for a three-game series beginning Friday. Sunday is Senior Day and Jenna Jordan, Ashley Nikolao, Nicole Pufahl, Jamie Soles and Alison Szydlowski will be honored and recognized for their incredible achievements as Cardinals. 

What happens to the time? It seems like it was just yesterday we were commenting about the red-headed "Poof" in center, the "NEW" Pride of New Egypt, New Jersey, "Mike, Mike, Mike" , justifyng Jenna behind the plate and sitting at Ashley's table with her and her folks when she was a freshman at the Cardinals softball banquet...

Have a terrific Tuesday. Jared Anderson returns to these pages tomorrow. 

"You do not need a parachute to sky dive...unless you plan on sky-diving a second time." 


paulie
xxxxx







  

Monday, April 23, 2018

Softball, Lacrosse, NAAK all suffer losses -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

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SOFTBALL SHUTOUT AGAIN BY NOLES


Tough weekend so far for the Softball Cards...falling 8-0 to Florida State yesterday in Tallahassee. 

The Cards were held scoreless with just two hits by FSU pitcher Meghan King in the run-rule, five inning affair. Coupled with Saturday's 4-0 loss, it's the first time that Louisville Softball has gone two games without a run since 2015 against Virginia Tech. 

Danielle Watson went the distance for UofL, giving up six hits and eight walks, to drop to 14-8 on the season. Maddie Newman and Sidney Melton produced the only two Cardinal hits. 

Down 4-0 after two innings, the Cards did manage to hold the Noles scoreless in the third but a two-run homer in the fourth and two more runs in the fifth gave FSU the win. 

They'll try it again tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. 


LACROSSE ENDS REGULAR SEASON WITH 19-8 LOSS AT SYRACUSE. 

A familiar story line for Louisville Lacrosse yesterday in the Carrier Dome against the Orange in lacrosse. The Cards hung tough with Syracuse for 36 minutes....tied at 8-8....before the Orange put up a 11-0 run to win on Senior Day. 

With a smaller than normal roster, Louisville Lacrosse experienced a bit of late-game fatigue against the Orange in the final 24 minutes...head coach Scott Teeter's squad has basically improved each outing this season but in the ultra competitive, talented and experienced ACC...you need a squad that has experience, tons of talent and depth. All things Teeter is developing at UofL -- but the process doesn't happen overnight and, after a 5-1 start to the season, the Cards went 1-9 to end the year...mostly against the powerhouse and nationally ranked ACC gauntlet of seven foes...all who will mostly likely make the NCAA Tournament. 

Seven Cards scored in the loss, Sarah Blalock finding the net twice for Louisville (6-10, 0-7). 

The Cards draw undefeated Boston College in the ACC Tournament, which begins Thursday in Durham, NC on the Duke campus.


N.A.A.K. ELIMINATED IN SEMIS OF USA 3X3 TOURNEY

Asia Durr's USA 3x3 experience comes to an end with a 21-19 semifinal loss to the Bye Felicia foursome in the Colorado Springs Tournament. 


Her squad (with Napheesa Collier, Arike Ogunbowale and Kristen Angiwe) won the play-in games to the final four convincingly with 21-8 consecutive victories to face the veteran Bye Felicia squad, which had (3) players aged 28 and (1) aged 27. Danika Dale (Liberty), Kristen McCarthy, Shaqweda Wallace (both from Temple) and Vershaundra Young (Martin Methodist) engaged N.A.A.K. in a thriller that came down to the final play of the contest. 

The Championship went to the Oregon Ducks in a 21-5 blowout of Bye Felicia. Hodgenville, KY standout Erin Boley teamed with Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard and Otiona Gildon for the win. 

Boley was impressive, getting all eight of her points from beyond the arc. The scoring is a bit different in 3x3...with free throws and shots inside the arc counting for one point...while "trey" makes count for two points. Ionescu, who was named MVP of the tournament, had six points in the final game...where the Ducks jumped out to a 7-0 lead en route to the 16-point victory. 

Good experience for Durr...who has plenty of basketball ahead for her this spring and summer. Jeff Walz was in attendance for the shootout weekend (like he needs an excuse to go to Colorado).

Durr's N.A.A.K. sqaud went into the semifinals with a 4-1 record in preliminary action, losing only to the eventual champions 21-17 on opening day.

There was good representation from players around the local area and state with Lakin Roland (Princeton) from Jeffersonville, IN and Alexis Robinson (Colorado) out of Ashland, KY also participating for two of the 12 teams in the tournament. 

Alexis is Cardinal signee Mykasa Robinson's older sister and averaged 12.1 points for the Buffs as a junior, despite sitting out the entire summer of conditioning recovering from an ACL injury and surgery. 

Have a great Monday, I'll either be back on these pages tomorrow or we may get some commentary from our buddy David Watson...you never really know around the topsy-turvy, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants protocol and lineup here at the C.C.  

(Softball photo courtesy of Jared Anderson) 


paulie
xxxxx