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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A WBB Quiz for you today -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


As the University of Louisville women's athletic teams start to get into the part of the year where they aren't involved in competition against other schools, we get ready for THE CARDINAL COUPLE WORLDWIDE QUIZ segments on our Saturday radio shows. These have proven to be a lot of fun, have created controversy and generally take up about half the show in our broadcasts after Derby.


Yes, I know. There is still Cardinal women's sports activity going on.  Softball is still roaring along strongly. Women's golf and track still have meets to compete in. It seems something is always going on with swimming and diving as well, so not all Cardinal women's student-athletes are in off-season training mode. We'll go through a bit of training today, though -- call it our Spring Training Cardinal Couple Quiz.

You're on the honor system for these. If you do well, let us know about it. You get 10 points for each correct answer. You'll have a bonus question at the end where you can pick up another 10 points.

You can choose NOT to take the bonus question and, in a twist from last year, you'll lose 20 points if you get it wrong but GAIN 20 points if you get it right. I'll list the correct answers at the bottom of today's article. Good luck! Today's quiz topic will be women's basketball

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

   
THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR WORLDWIDE QUIZ -- SPRING TRAINING VERSION

1) Which Cardinal WBB student-athlete attempted the second most shots in 2018-19?

     a) Sam Fuehring  b) Arica Carter  c) Lindsey Duvall  d) Dana Evans

2) Who was Louisville WBB's leading rebounder for the 2018-19 season? 

     a) Sam Fuehring  b) Jazmine Jones  c) Kylee Shook  d) Bionca Dunham

3) Who was UofL WBB's highest percentage free throw shooter in 2018-19? 

     a) Sam Fuehring  b) Asia Durr c) Jess Laemmle  d) Arica Carter 

4) Which of these IS NOT a UofL WBB women's basketball recruit for 2019-20?

     a) Norika Konno  b) Carol Burnett  c) Nyah Green  d) Ramani Parker

5) Which of these players DID NOT attempt a three-pointer for UofL in 2018-19?

     a) Asia Durr  b) Jess Laemmle  c) Bionca Dunham  d) Mykasa Robinson 

6) Louisville WBB scored 107 points in a game last season. Who was it against? 

     a) Tennessee State  b) Western Kentucky  c) Notre Dame  d) Hartford

7) Samantha Williams was recently named the head coach at which University? 

     a) Carnegie-Mellon  b) Eastern Illinois  c) Eastern Kentucky  d) Drake

8)  WBB picked up 3 players thru the transfer portal. Which one isn't one of the three? 

     a) Liz Dixon  b) Danielle Patterson  c) Kianna Smith  d) Elizabeth Balogun

9)  Which one of these 2018-19 Cardinals DID NOT play in all 36 games? 

     a) Dana Evans  b) Sam Fuehring  c) Jaz Jones  d) Asia Durr

10) Beth Burns' official title for the UofL women's basketball team is: 
     
     a) Student Affairs Commissioner b) Practice Supervisor c) ACC Liaison d) Associate Strength and Conditioning Coach 

*****BONUS !!! *****

Sam Purcell had his first assistant coach job at which of these schools below? 

a) Kennesaw State  b) Georgia Tech  c) Tulsa  d) Georgia


*****************************************************************************************


Before we get to the correct answers, let's take a minute to give a shout out to the UofL women's golf squad. For the sixth consecutive year, they've qualified to play in the NCAA Regionals. 

The Cards will travel to East Lansing, MI as the #11 seed to participate in regional action May 6-8 on the Forest Akers West Golf Course.

 No, it's not a mis-spell on "Acres". It is "Akers". 

Louisville Football had a excellent kicker named David Akers who went on the play in the NFL for 17 seasons and six different teams. I wonder if he bought a golf course and named it after himself after he retired from the NFL? 

Anyway...the Cards hope to repeat or better last year's regional performance, where they took 4th in the San Francisco Regional and advanced to the NCAA Championships. 

The Cards did finish fifth in the recent ACC Championships. Head Women's golf coach Courtney Trimble is retiring after this season to spend more time with her family. Let's hope for the best for Margot Bechadergue, Olivia Cason, Lauren Hartlage, Mairead Martin, Meghan Nay, Delaney Shah, Lauren Thibedeau and Linda Trockel on the links! 



 *********************************************************************************************


ANSWERS TO QUIZ

1)  D   Dana Evans with 310 shots.

2)  A   Sam Fuehring with 258 rebounds

3)  C   Jess Laemmle was a perfect 2 for 2 (100%) from the charity stripe 

4)  B   Carol Burnett on a basketball court. That could be funny...

5)  C   Bionca Dunham did not attempt a three

6)  A  107 points against Tennessee State on 12/02/18

7)  C   Eastern Kentucky University welcomed Samantha Williams

8)  B   Danielle Patterson is in the transfer portal but undecided where yet

9)  D   Asia Durr sat out one game. 

10)  D   Associate Strength and Conditioning Coach is Beth's title

BONUS   C    Sam Purcell was assistant coach at Tulsa from 2005-07


So, how did you do? 


All 11 --- You were sitting next to Coach Walz when you took this, weren't you? Or you are Coach Walz. 

9-10   ---  Not bad!  We'll consider you All-Cardinal Couple First Team ! 

7-8     ---  You know a bit about hoops. We'll offer you a preferred walk on spot. 

5-6     ---  You can do better!  Maybe it was just test anxiety. Take two aspirin, get a good night's sleep and try again tomorrow. 

3-4     ---  Hit the court and give us a few sprints, laps and layups. You need work. 

1-2     ---  Obviously a UK fan lurking here, aren't you?  



Have a tremendous Tuesday! 


paulie
xxxxx






     



Monday, April 29, 2019

Softball Cards beat UNC 6-1 -- MONDAY CARDINALCOUPLE



CARDS IMPROVE TO 33-17 WITH HOME FINALE WIN


Louisville Softball jumped on UNC early in the Sunday home finale with five first inning run to give pitcher Danielle Watson a nice comfort zone in the circle, and Watson responded with a five hit, one run shutdown of the TarHeels in Ulmer Stadium.

Watson retired the TarHeels with just one hit allowed in the top of the first and the Cards came out rarin' and ready to go in the bottom of the inning. Louisville "batted around" in their part of the inning. Beginning with a one-out double from Sidney Melton, UofL sent five straight batters to the plate. Sid, plus Megan Hensley, Taylor Roby, Kyra Snyder and Rebecca Chung all made their way around the bases on the Don Dobina Field to provide the early margin...getting four hits on ace UNC pitcher Brittany Pickett. 5-0 Cards !! 


From there, the contest evolved into a pitcher's duel from the circle. Louisville would add an additional run in the fourth, when Melton singled to left, stole second and advanced to third on a Hensley single to left. She scored on a Roby infield fielder's choice. 

The TarHeels came up with their run in the top of the seventh. Megan Dray doubled to left and scored on Zoe Goodman's single...but Watson recorded her fourth strike out of the day to end any threat and the game. Watson recorded her 11th. win of the season and allowed just two walks. 

Coincidentally, villainous umpire Bonnie Daye was at first base and not behind the plate on Sunday. 


When Watson has her control and confidence working like she did Sunday, backed by a Cardinal squad that made no fielding errors and some nice plays, she is one of the best in the the ACC from the circle. She faced four or less batters in all of the first six innings and only five in the final inning. She was also aided by a spectacular running catch by Hensley in right center. 

The Cards go to Raleigh, NC to conclude the regular season on Derby weekend.  Then, it's the ACC Tournament in Tallahassee, FL.  after that. Going into the final weekend of ACC action, Louisville is in third place in the Atlantic Division and in fifth place overall in the conference standings. 

(photos by Jared Anderson) 


                                                             *****************


THEY SAID IT 

I caught up with Head Louisville softball coach Holly Aprile, plus players Megan Hensley and Danielle Watson for post-game comments. You can see/hear those at the links below:

LINK:  MEGAN HENSLEY AND DANIELLE WATSON POST GAME UNC 4/28/19

LINK: HOLLY APRILE POST GAME UNC 4/28/19


                                                                 


                                                                         *************




TOOTING HIS OWN HORN



(photo by P.A. announcer Jason Puckett) 
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour regular and writer here on the site Jared Anderson is a man of many talents.

You see his photos here consistently on our website. He got the chance to demonstrate another one of his skills yesterday when he played the National Anthem before the game. He is classically trained on the euphonium and did a great job with it Sunday! 

Jared's no stranger to performing the National Anthem at UofL athletic events and performed admirably for the Cards' final home game this year at Ulmer. Playing the heck out of that "baby tuba", he was, he was...

We've got it for you below. Well done, sir!

LINK: JARED ANDERSON PERFORMS NATIONAL ANTHEM 4/28/19 AT ULMER STADIUM


Have a marvelous Monday! 

paulie
xxxxx

Sunday, April 28, 2019

SOFTBALL SENIOR DAY -- Sunday Cardinal Couple

Softball Seniors


Yesterday was the Senior Day celebration for UofL Softball, celebrating the collegiate career endings of 5 UofL seniors; Blaire Bass, a transfer from Auburn who hasn't played this year due to a back injury but has remained with the team; Darrianne Hale, a pitcher that transferred from Butler Community College; Madison Cousineau, a catcher that transferred in from Mississippi State; Megan Hensley, who has been the ace of the pitching staff, from Paul Blazer High school in Ashland, Kentucky; and lastly Sidney Melton, the anchor of the team at 3rd base, and currently locked in a battle for most stolen bases on the team.

Sidney Melton did red-shirt a year during her career at UofL due to an ACL tear, so she is in her 5th year of eligibility, which makes her the highest seniority member of the team.

The Senior Day celebration was a pleasure, as they always are, with the opportunity to see
embarrassing pictures from the player's childhood and early careers.  Occasionally you get see evidence of a player's early experimentation with other sports, as well, such as a picture of Sidney Melton in a swim cap and goggles.  Over the past several years, UofL has also included a quick honor of the seniors from the opposing team, in this case, UNC, which I think is always a nice touch, and I'm glad to see the practice carry over to the new staff.

Credit where credit is due, much of the organization and planning for events like this, and plenty more, throughout the season for any UofL sports team, is done by the various Directors of Operation, which is Casey Bonk in the case of UofL Softball.

The game, though?  Well, there are a couple of bright spots, including a season high 3 home runs, with Darrianne Hale - playing at designated player, Megan Hensley - split time between right field and pitching, and Kyra Snyder - at first base, all taking one beyond the fence.  Ultimately, however, UNC came away with the win 10-7.  The general consensus, including from Coach Holly Aprile, was that UofL played better yesterday than they did Friday, but still have a few things they need to tweak.  Of course, UNC is a quality opponent, holding in 2nd place in the Coastal division of the ACC (VT, UNC, GT, Duke, UVA, Pitt) and 3rd overall in the ACC.

UofL, despite what feels like a really hit and miss season, though with more hits than many expected from this team, is 3rd in the Atlantic division, and 5th overall in the ACC.

The Cards have one more chance against UNC today at noon, and then will head to NC State next weekend to close out the regular season (NC St. is 5th in the Atlantic division) with a typical Friday, Saturday, Sunday series.  After that, the ACC Championship tournament kicks of May 8th through 11th in Tallahassee, FL.

A great deal of love and gratitude for these five seniors who contributed what they could during their time as student-athletes here at the University of Louisville.

Here''s hoping the Cards complete the regular season strong and do well in the ACC Tournament to propel them to success in the NCAA Tournament



                                                                 ****************


POST GAME WITH HOLLY APRILE:  http://thecrunchzone.com/video-sb-holly-aprile-unc-post-game-two/


                                                                 ****************

(THANKS TO DARYL FOUST - THE CRUNCH ZONE  - FOR THE VIDEO FEED)

(PHOTOS FROM JARED ANDERSON)


Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


The Knucklehead Squad was in effect at the WCHQ studios, yesterday, with Case, Jared, Paulie, and myself reunited as a group for the first time in some time, as the "A" team.  Daryl was missed, but we did catch up with her later in the day at Ulmer Stadium.

As always, we had a great time covering the current news in the UofL women's sports world, and I even refrained from derailing the discussion completely with a discussion of soccer field drainage and heating technologies and techniques, though the temptation was very real.

You can check out the stream at:

-- 
JMcA

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Softball Struggles; Track and Field Does Not -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Walks Haunt in Softball's 6-0 Loss


Coming off of yet another final inning victory over Marshall during the midweek, softball welcomed UNC to town while looking for a third straight series victory. Unfortunately, Louisville pitching was unable to find the strike zone for the entirety of the game, and the batters couldn't bring runners across the plate. Yesterday's game was one of those losses that feels like it could get much worse at the beginning, yet also seems to be one that slipped away by the end. 

The Cards started the game pretty well, with Danielle Watson picking up a groundout and a strikeout to open the series. Those were the only two outs Watson would record from the circle, exiting 6 batters later having given up a hit, four walks, and four unearned runs after what should have been the final out of the inning was instead a fielding error. After the error derailed the first inning, Louisville was completely lost for the second inning as well, as Taylor Roby walked five batters in the inning, including walking a run in with the bases loaded. Roby was lifted after the second inning for Megan Hensley, who was able to scatter 5 hits and 4 walks across 5 total innings, allowing no more runs.  

The offensive issues came almost immediately. The first inning saw UNC's starter on track to strike out the side after getting Celene Funke and Sidney Melton to go down swinging, but then Hensley belted a triple to right field. No matter, as she would become the first victim left on base when Roby also went down swinging. Louisville's offensive production never got much more exciting than that, as the team finished with just three hits compared to eight strikeouts. They added in six walks and a hit by pitch, but they ultimately left all ten runners on base in this one. Hensley and Kyra Snyder tied for the team lead by each getting on base twice. 

This was ultimately a game to forget for Holly Aprile's side. What more do you say about a game where you throw a program record 14 walks? Louisville has to put yesterday's issues behind them and move on to a fresh slate today. There are two games remaining in the series, and a pair of wins would put them right back on track.

The Cards are just 1.5 games back of Notre Dame for second in the Atlantic Division and they're tied on overall record with UNC. Louisville is very much in a position for a favorable seed in the ACC tournament, but they'll need to look more like the team that took down Florida State and Kentucky and less like the team that labored through wins over Georgia Tech and Marshall to do it. First pitch for the second game in the series is set for 1PM and is available on ACC Network Extra. Today's game is Senior Day for five Cardinals. If you intend to head to campus for any UofL events today, please note that the KDF Marathon and Mini-Marathon will be affecting traffic patterns and road closures throughout the day.

POST GAME COMMENTS FROM COACH APRILE: 

HOLLY APRILE 4/26/19 POST UNC GAME

(Thanks to Daryl Foust -- The Crunch Zone -- for video of post game
and to Jared Anderson for the photos) 

Cards Pick Up Three Wins on Day One


Louisville Track and Field is hosting the Lenny Lyles/Clark Wood Invitational this weekend at Cardinal Park and they opened yesterday's events with a bang. Three Cardinals picked up victories, and after the prelims, Louisville will have seven more winning chances in today's finals. Yesterday saw Anthony McRoberts grab a win in the Men's Long Jump and Carsen Cassell won the Unseeded Women's Hammer Throw. Dorcas Wasike continued to do what she has done for her entire career at UofL and dominated the 5000m by nearly half a minute, setting a meet record of 16:13.59. Louisville swept the podium in the event, with Ivine Chemutai and Bailey Beery taking second and third. Today's events are already underway at the time of posting, and results can be seen on the Louisville Track and Field Twitter feed.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


We're sans Daryl in the studio today, but the original four knuckleheads are all back for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour today prior to next week's Derby break. Just as quickly as they began, spring sports are already wrapping up, but we'll talk softball and lacrosse, plus other news that has come across the wire this week. Tune into WCHQ FM at 11AM for fun and games on Mellwood Avenue. The channel is available at 100.9FM, wchqfm.com, the WCHQ App, and is carried with live video on Facebook Live.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-


Jaz Jones roots on the Cards and supports former Cardinal Donovan "Spida" Mitchell

Friday, April 26, 2019

Softball's Final Home Weekend and Golf in NCAA -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Golf Prepares for the NCAA Championship


For the sixth straight year Louisville women’s golf will be playing in an NCAA Regional.  The Cards were invited to the East Lansing Regional, with Michigan State being the host site.  They will compete in the three-day event from May 6-8. This is Courtney Trimble's final season as their coach and hope they can send her out with a bunch of birdies and great shots. 

Louisville comes in as the 11-seed of the 18-team pool.  The top six teams will advance to compete in the 24-team NCAA Championship.  The top three individual finishers that are not on one of the six qualifying teams will also earn a bid to the NCAA Championship.

The Cards placed first in one tournament earlier this year, claiming the title at the Alexa Sterling Intercollegiate.  They finished runner-up at the Moon Golf Invitational and placed third twice this year.

The entire East Lansing Regional is:

1-Stanford
2-Arizona
3- Kent State
4- UCLA
5- Michigan State
6- Campbell
7- Illinois
8- Baylor
9- North Carolina
10- Georgia
11- Louisville
12- Augusta
13- LSU
14- Indiana
15- Long Beach State
16- Xavier
17- Harvard
18- IUPUI

Duke, USC, and Texas are the other three 1-seeds.  They will play at Auburn, Cle Elum (Washington), and Norman (Oklahoma), respectively.

Softball Hosts Senior Weekend


We will get to witness in person the thrill and excitement of Louisville softball for one final weekend.  The Cards are set to square off against North Carolina in their usual Friday-Saturday-Sunday slot.

Friday’s 6:00 game is Service Appreciation Night.  I expect Caitlin Ferguson’s father will be in attendance to throw out there first pitch.

Saturday’s 1:00 game will be Senior Day and the five seniors in Sidney Melton, Megan Hensley, Blaire Bass, Madison Cousineau, and Darianne Hale will be recognized.  Sunday’s noon game will be Bark in the Park as fans will crowd the outfield berm with dogs of all shapes and sizes.


Louisville boasts a 32-15 record with an 11-7 conference mark.  They are winners of six straight games and eight of their last nine.  Recent highlights include a victory against Kentucky and a series victory against Florida State.

Celene Funke’s 10 triples on the season is an NCAA-high and tied a Louisville program-best.  Sidney Melton’s 25 successful steals is two shy of tying for second in program history in a single season.  Her 58 career steals is third best in UofL history and three shy of moving into second place.  Funke has 23 successful steals.  Her 43 career steals is sixth best in program history.

At the plate, Megan Hensley's four career grand slams is tied for a program best.  Her 34 home runs stand fourth in UofL history and she needs two more to move into a tie for third.  She is fourth in career RBIs with 165 and needs one more to move up into a tie for third.


The Tar Heels are nearly identical to the Cards, holding a 15-6 record in the ACC and are 31-15 overall.  They are 7-8 against ranked teams and do have wins over Florida State, Virginia Tech, Georgia, and Michigan.  UNC bats .295 on the year and has posted 232 runs.

The pitching staff is stingy.  They combine for a 3.86 ERA and have allowed 274 hits.  Opponents have been limited to 150 runs on the year, an average of 3.125 runs per game.


You can catch most of the Cardinal Couple crew on Floyd Street this week as well as the "A-team" on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour together at 11 a.m. Saturday on WCHQ 100.9 FM or live on Facebook Live.

Happy Friday and Go Cards!

Jared

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Lacrosse Season Ends -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


LOUISVILLE LACROSSE FALLS TO BOSTON COLLEGE 15-4

(DAVID WATSON FILLS IN FOR PAULIE TODAY WITH THE THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE COLUMN)

The second season of Scott Teeter's stint as UofL head Lacrosse coach came to an end yesterday in a football stadium. 


I know, the sport vs. facility doesn't quite match up -- but the home field for Boston College's gridiron squad (Alumni Stadium) was the venue for the ACC Lacrosse Championships. This isn't the regular location for BC LAX. The vast majority of their home games are played at the Boston College Newton campus on the Lacrosse and Soccer Field -- although the Eagles did play their final regular season game, also against Louisville, in Alumni Stadium. 

Alumni is a much bigger, in terms of seating, spot to host the eight teams vying for the conference championship. From what I could see on the ACCNE broadcast of the event, though, the place was not nearly packed. Regardless of the attendance, though, the Eagles results against the Cards mirrored last week's match with BC taking a 15-4 win. 

Boston College is the nation's #1 ranked women's lacrosse squad and also #1 seed in the tournament, so the Cards' work was definitely cut out for them before either team took to the pitch. Using the defensive skills that got them to an undefeated regular season, Boston College shut down any semblance of offense for Louisville and roared out to an 8-0 first half lead. It could have been 9-0 (who's counting at that point?) but an apparent Eagles score at the end of the half was reversed by the officials after reviewing the time clock and whether the shot got off before the clock went to 00:00. 

Boston College has a knack for finding cutters in front of the opponent's goal and Louisville was also forced to play "a man down" for significant stretches of the half because of over-aggressive defensive tactics. The Cards may have been getting skunked on the scoreboard but they weren't being passive at all. 

What do you say to a squad at halftime in a situation like this? One can surmise that Teeter implored his squad to continue to play hard, play smart and work the ball.


Louisville seemed almost tentative with their passing and shot attempts in the first 30 minutes and when you couple that with a Boston College goalkeeper that was stopping any Cardinal attempts to score -- the results are usually not going to be in your favor. B.C. was double-teaming UofL's leading scorer, Tessa Chad, as well -- to compound the Cards offensive woes. 

The Cards did come out with a spark of energy in the second half and found success with Ally Hall in front of the goal. Her two scores in the first four minutes of action trimmed the Eagles lead to six. The Cards were passing the ball much better and getting some stops defensively.

The rally was short-lived, though. Boston College pushed the lead back to 10-2 before Kayla Marshall connected for Louisville. Caroline Blalock also found success for the Red and Black with six minutes remaining by mirroring what BC had been doing most of the game. She sprinted the length of the field with the ball and got off a shot with scant defensive coverage by the somewhat surprised Eagles and found the back of the net.

By then, though, the score was 11-4 Boston College. The Eagles dominated the final minutes of play after that, including two "rub it in" goals with less than 90 second to play. Yes, you play to the final buzzer, I get that and BC was a few goals short of their season average -- but Jeff Walz never runs it up at the end of games and one has to wonder if the B.C. coaches were doing so to punish the Cards for their aggressive "chippiness" earlier in the match. At 13-4 and 1:30 to go and with a 90-second shot clock in pay, why not just run the clock out with an 11 goal advantage? 

The four goals wasn't Louisville's lowest offensive total of the season, the Cards managed just two goals in snowy Denver against the Pioneers back in February.

Other ACC Tournament action had Syracuse getting by Virginia 12-10, North Carolina beating Virginia Tech 19-9 and Duke squeaking by Notre Dame 14-13. The winners get a day off and will match up in the semifinals Friday. Syracuse faces Boston College and Duke gets North Carolina.

Louisville's season ends with a 5-13 mark. The good news is that Teeter gets everyone back next year but Chad. Let's not forget that he had to basically start from scratch with this squad two years ago in the toughest conference in College women's lacrosse and, as his recruits fill the program and they gain experience, the fortunes of Louisville Lacrosse will improve.


Chad was an invaluable leader and scoring machine in her two years at Louisville and will be hard to replace -- but hope springs eternal and it will be up to the returnees to improve, work hard in the off-season and sharpen their game and skills. To compare it to women's basketball, she was the Asia Durr, Arica Carter and Sam Fuehring of the Louisville Laxers. 

It's good to be back with you on these pages once again while Paulie and Sonya take a few days away from the site. I especially enjoyed watching the contest with my daughter Abby, who played at the DI level, and was pointing out nuances, sets and schemes on the pitch that I never would have noticed on my own. She kept giving me examples of how lacrosse was similar to basketball -- with passing, zone defenses, fast-breaks, shots in the lane and other aspects. Yes, ol' Dave O learned something, remarkable that! 

Best of everything to you!

Dave-O 
David Watson  

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Softball's Theatrics -- Walz Presser -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cardiac Cards Do It Again

Louisville softball sure has a thing for late-game theatrics this year. In this week's edition of the Cardiac Cards show, we find Louisville rallying in the final inning to take the 5-4 win at Marshall yesterday.  The Cards rallied from 2-0 and 4-3 deficits before holding on in the bottom of the seventh to secure the victory.

The Thundering Herd was quick to get to a 2-0 lead just three batters into the first inning following a hit batter and a home run.  Starting pitcher Megan Hensley would surrender nothing else during the time in her circle as she finished with five innings, allowing two runs on three hits.

Louisville's first rally came in the fifth inning as Kyra Snyder, Cassady Greenwood, and Maddy Newman all singled.  A throwing error plated the Cards' first run.  Celene Funke hit into a fielder's choice ground out that drove in the tying run.


Rebecca Chung sent a deep fly ball out of the park in the sixth inning to pull the Cards ahead 3-2.

Taylor Roby came to the circle for the sixth inning.  After Sidney Melton had trouble fielding a grounder, Marshall had the go ahead run at the plate.  They made the most of the opportunity with a home run that barely snuck out over the left wall field by a few feet to retake the lead, 4-3.

Louisville came up to the plate in the top of the seventh trailing by one.  The first two batters grounded out, leaving the Cards with one out to spare.

Show time.

Funke doubled left center with a 1-2 count on her.  Melton followed by belting a game-tying triple into right center.  Fellow senior Hensley followed with a double to give the Cards a one-run edge.

With the Marshall crowd silenced, Roby came to the circle for a second straight inning.  She made quick work of the batters, downing them one-two-three and earning the win to improve her record to 13-1.

Louisville improves to 32-15 on the season and will return home to host an evenly-matched North Carolina team.  The weekend will recognized the five seniors in Sidney Melton, Megan Hensley, Blaire Bass, Madison Cousineau, and Darianne Hale.

Following the weekend series they will travel to NC State for their final regular season games, followed by a trip to Tallahassee for the ACC Tournament.

The Cards sit 29th in the latest RPI.  Reaching the 35-win mark and winning their round game in the ACC Tournament should be the mark to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament this year.

Walz Holds Postseason Presser


With Paulie on a mini vacation and the rest of us obliged to our daily work duties, Jeff Walz decided to hold a press conference.  No, it wasn't to mess with us, but it did come at an unfortunate time for us.  Luckily, the women's basketball team Facebook page went live during the event for all of us to follow.

Right off the bat Coach was asked about the eligibility of the incoming transfers.  UofL has not started the process to go about trying to get the players immediate eligibility.  If approved, they'll be playing in the fall.  If not, they'll redshirt a year before playing.

It was mentioned that Kylee Shook had a minor procedure to "clean her knees up" and Bionca Dunham will go about that same process later in the summer.  This is not expected to affect their return in the fall.

Boise State and Western Kentucky are a couple of the non-conference games at home this year while Kentucky and Northern Kentucky will be road games.  There is the possibility of a Thanksgiving tournament, but is not yet finalized.

UofL is not yet set to face Sam Williams and EKU and that may be a few years in the making as Coach Williams hopes to build up the program.

The leaders for next year are not set.  Coach is hopeful that Jaz, Dana, and Kylee might be some of the players to step up next season.

There was no breaking news, good or bad, during the press conference.  It was just the normal. Or, as normal as anything that Jeff Walz is in can be. See Walz below:


VIDEO:  WALZ PRESSER 4/23/19


Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

Jared

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Louisville Softball vs. Marshall -- Walz Presser Today -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


SOFTBALL STEPS OUT OF CONFERENCE


One of those games that can give a coach and team a chance to get in a little strategy and competition out of the ACC today when Louisville travels to scenic Huntington, WV to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd Softball squad at 3 p.m. today. 

After the weekend sweep of Georgia Tech, the Cards RPI moved up to #29 in the nation. Louisville -- although not cracking the top 25 yet in the USA Today, ESPN or Softball America polls -- is getting votes in the three polls. . 

With 29 runs scored over the Easter Weekend, Louisville went to 31-15 for the season and 11-7 in the ACC . That puts UofL in third place in the Atlantic Division of the conference (behind FSU 13-5 and Notre Dame 12-6) and fifth overall in the ACC -- with Virginia Tech 17-4 and North Carolina 15-6 from the Coastal Division leading the overall standings. 


Today's opponent, Marshall, is  28-16 for the season and currently is second in Conference USA Eastern Division standings at 11-7. WKU leads the C-USA East at 14-3. Louisville, of course, defeated Western Kentucky 7-2 back on 4/3/19. 

Midweek games have been kind to the Cards lately. They've won five out of their last six and are 2-0 in them against "in-state" teams WKU and UK. Toss in a win over IU and doubleheader sweep against Morehead...the only blemish was the inexplicable loss to Lipscomb on 4/2/19. 

Viewing for this one is listed as being on HerdVision through CUSA.com and also available on Facebook Live for Marshall University Softball. 


WALZ PRESSER 11 A.M.

Back in Louisville from a recruiting and skiing trip, Jeff Walz is ready to wrap up the 2018-19 University of Louisville WBB season and has called a presser for Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the media room of the Planet Fitness/Kueber Center. That's the "Little YUM" to us old timers.

Paulie, unfortunately, won't be in attendance for this one....but is hoping one of the connections with Cardinal Couple can attend and see what Coach wants to talk about.

Today's session is being billed as a "season wrap up news conference"...but, like most Walz speaking engagements -- has the distinct possibility of morphing into a variety of different subjects and topics. I don't expect any earth-shattering or breaking news...but, I've been wrong before. 

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Paulie
xxxxx 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Louisville Softball Wins Three -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


CARDS SWEEP DAY, SERIES AGAINST THE RAMBLIN WRECK

It is a rarity in the college softball world to play three games in one day.

It's even rarer for one team to win all three contests, but that's what the Louisville Softball team did on Easter Sunday at Ulmer Stadium on the Don Dobina Field against Georgia Tech.



Louisville head coach Holly Aprile couldn't ever remember doing it in her college coaching career. Cardinal third baseman Sidney Melton had never played in and won three on the same day.  A 6 1/2 hour time frame on the same day was long and tiring for the teams. But, that's what the Red and Black accomplished...with a 11-7, 7-2 and 11-10 whitewash of the YellowJackets from Atlanta. 

Action began promptly at 10 a.m. yesterday, a swirling and almost mysterious fog sweeping across the dirt infield from the warming dirt and humid but dry conditions.You couldn't see downtown from the press box -- that much fog still remained in the Louisville area -- but the Cards held a 10-5 lead from the Friday afternoon came that was stopped because of rain. The scenario began with no outs, Georgia Tech at bat and runners on second and third.

Danielle Watson was in the circle for the Cards and promptly walked the first batter she faced. With the bags full of YellowJackets, the situation looked ominous and the atmosphere tense. 

Watson and her teammates got out of the dire circumstances, though, getting three straight outs, two of them strikeouts, and allowing just one run. The ominous monster had not risen from the fog and engulfed the Cards. They still led 10-6

Charley Butler began the top of the fifth with a single and proceeded around the bases to score for the Cards, using a Tech throwing error and run down of Melton trying to steal second after a walk. 11-6. The visitors loomed large again in the top the sixth -- a double and single cut the Cards lead to four again. 

The Cards went down in order in the bottom of the sixth, producing three attempts that never got out if the infield, but held court in the top of the seventh as Watson collected two more "K's" and just a walk. It was an early preview of the kind of day Watson was going to produce in the circle and the Cards won 11-7 in the "continuation" game. 

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Louisville started game two with Watson in the circle again and decided to put this one out of reach early. After she set the Jackets down with a 1-2-3 top of the first, Louisville exploded for five runs on three walks and three hits. Bulter's single to right drove home two Cardinal runners and a booming double from Maddy Newman to right center had the Cards in great shape. 

Watson was "on" in the circle and was dispensing strike outs. Tech managed just two runs and two hits in the seven-inning second contest, the sophomore pitcher from Osceola, IN. punched out 11 Tech participants to tie her career strike out record. Louisville tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth when Newman and Celene Funke scored -- aided by a clutch single from Melton and a run-down on an attempted steal of second by Melton. 

7-2 Cards, with Watson going the distance and picking up her second win of the day.


************************************************************************************************************


Georgia Tech decided they'd try the "big lead early" scenario in the final game of Easter Sunday. They rocked starting pitcher Megan Hensley, who was relieved in the circle with just one out by Taylor Roby, and when the fog had cleared, the Cards found themselves in a 5-0 hole.

Louisville was undaunted, however. They struck back for four runs in the bottom of the first. Doubles by Funke, Melton and Roby, a walk to Hensley and a Taylor Roby single produced the damage. 

While Roby held the G.T. squad scoreless over the next few innings, the Cards continued to chip away at the lead and regain it. Roby smashed a home run to left center to tie it in the second. The Cards took the lead in the bottom of the third 6-5 when Rebecca Chung powered a double to deep center and scored on a Cassady Greenwood sacrifice fly. 

Then, Tech woke up for the second time in the game. Three singles filled the bags and a sacrifice fly tied it up again. Crosby Huckabay came to the plate and absolutely crushed a ball to left center that bounced off the top of the Ulmer Stadium scoreboard for a grand slam. UofL found themselves in a 10-6 trailing situation going into the bottom of the fourth.


These birds weren't done flying, though.

Back-to-back home runs from Hensley and Chung cut the Tech lead to 11-8. After holding the softball version of the Rambling Wreck scoreless in the top of the fifth, Louisville came to the plate needing two to tie and three to take the lead. 

At this time, another aspect developed. 

The visitors, it seemed, had a flight to catch back to Atlanta. They needed to end this one at 4:25 p.m. to get to the airport in time. The Georgia Tech assistant S.I.D. sitting next to me in the press box was nervous and watching the clock. Holly Aprile decided not to tell her squad about the intended Georgia Tech sudden departure until the Cards came to bat in the bottom of the fifth. Why put any undue pressure on the squad, right? 

This bottom of the fifth inning started out pretty rough for Louisville. Funke grounded out to the Tech pitcher. Melton lifted a lazy fly to center that was caught. Two down. But Megan Hensley wasn't ready to tote the equipment bag back to the Koetter Center yet and drilled a sharp single to left. Roby followed suit and singled to center. Caitlin Ferguson drew a walk from Tech hurler Brooke Barfield. With the bases loaded, Chung came to the plate and calmly drove one deep to right center. It soared past the fielders and the Cardinal runners were flying as well. Chung had emptied the bases with a double and Louisville led 11-10. 

The teams started the top of the sixth -- but with Georgia Tech batting, with one out and one on -- Georgia Tech head coach Aileen Morales came out of the dugout at 4:26 p.m., motioned to the home plate umpire that they were done and the teams lined up for the post game handshakes. 

Tech scampered to the bus. 11-10 the final tally and the Cards had swept the day.

A full day of Softball. A total of 53 runs scored in the series. The Cards go to 31-15 and 11-7 in the ACC. That's a pretty good Easter Sunday. As if in agreement, the sun broke out and smiled down upon us as we conducted the post game interviews. 

A Cardinal squad that is 9-3 in April. UofL Softball has won seven of their last night. It would seem that Aprile is doing well in April. 


(TODAY'S PHOTOS BY JARED ANDERSON)



THEY SAID IT 

Holly Aprile discusses the wins:  HOLLY APRILE POST SERIES 4/21/19

Sidney Melton Post Game (with a cameo by Celene Funke): SIDNEY MELTON DISCUSSES THE WINS 4/21/19



paulie
xxxxx