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:
Florida State 18-3
Notre Dame 13-10
Boston College 11-9
NC State 5-15
North Carolina 15-8
Georgia Tech 12-9
Virginia Tech 7-10
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:
( 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.)