Thursday, May 9, 2019
Time for Softball to start a win streak -- Alicja Wolny Named to Great Britian National Team -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
CARDS LOOK TO START A WIN STREAK
Winning games is essential in any sport. Winning games at the end of the season is even more important, because it means your team is still alive and competing for a national championship.
Louisville women's basketball coach Jeff Walz is fond of saying that only one college women's basketball team can produce a six-game win streak at the end of the season. Louisville Softball looks to go on a win streak starting today in Tallahassee when they face North Carolina in game four of the ACC Softball Championships.
This one won't be easy. UNC came to Louisville to face the Cards in Ulmer Stadium two weeks ago and took two of the three games the squads played. Tar Heel pitcher Brittany Pickett (19-11) had the Cards number in the first game, tossing a 6-0 shut out. The good news is that Louisville got to her in in the third game of the series, pounding out a 6-1 win. If North Carolina head coach Donna Papa (who has been at UNC 33 years) decides to go in a different direction, she can bring Hannah George (13-4) into the circle
The Cards are the #5 seed in the ACC Tournament, UNC the #4 seed. Both teams come into the championships on losing streaks...the Cards dropped all three in the regular season series final against NC State and the Tar Heels dropped their final game (surprisingly) to NC Central.
it will be essential for the Cards to find the bats that didn't make much of an appearance in Raleigh, NC. With a hitting core of Celene Funke, Sidney Melton, Taylor Roby, Megan Hensley, Kyra Snyder and Rebecca Chung...Louisville is certainly capable of putting runners on the bases. The key is getting them to home plate. UofL stranded 10 runners in the 2-1 loss in the final game against NC State, and "touching home" has been a bit of a problem all season.
When it comes to entering the circle, Louisville head coach Holly Aprile has Danielle Watson, Taylor Roby or Megan Hensley to call on. All three have been brilliant at times this season...but, consequently, the trio has also had outings they'd prefer to forget.
A 1:30 start for this one is scheduled. The skies in Tallahassee are clear, the forecast is for no rain until Sunday, and the temperature expected to hit the high 80's all three days. It'll be shown on the RSN Network, here locally that means Fox Sports South. Yesterday, I had to watch the opening round on my laptop at Fox Sports Go -- since the Spectrum TV version of Fox Sports South chose to show other stuff.
Speaking of yesterday, in first round action -- #8 seed NC State struck early against #9 seed Syracuse and held on to advance 5-4 and will face #1 seed Virginia Tech today at 11 a.m. #7 seed Georgia Tech had no problems with #10 seed Virginia with a 8-0 win and gets #2 seed Florida State tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Best of luck to the Cards today!
ALICJA WOLNY SELECTED FOR GREAT BRITAIN SQUAD
Cardinal Forever and UofL Softball great Alicja Wolny has been named to the 2019 Great Britain National Team. It's the second time Wolny has been selected for the squad, that will compete this summer to try and qualify for the European Cup, World Championships and the Olympics. Her previous honor came in 2013.
During her four year career as the Cards fist baseman, she gained top five all-time standings in hits, doubles, home runs, RBI's and walks. She was a four-time (2010-13) All-Big East Selection. Seeing Wolny at first base became as common as seeing traffic on I-65 during rush hour.
Born and raised in El Dorado Hills, CA. (about an hour from Sacramento, CA), Wolny remained in Louisville after her playing days and is part of the staff at fiveOtwo Softball here in town as one of the founders and a hitting instructor.
She remains on Paulie's "Top Five Cardinal Softball players of All-Time" list and can be seen from time to time at Cardinal softball games...prowling the right-center berm in the outfield with her dog Kona May.
My favorite Wolny memory is from 2012. The Cards were hosting Valparaiso in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It looked bad for the Louisville nine going into the bottom of the seventh, trailing 4-3. But, the Cards got two on base and with two outs, Wolny came to bat. She absolutely crushed one to deep right that won the game. I remember watching from the Cardinal press box and wondering if it would hit I-65. That ball was GONE!
Another side of Alicja that probably a lot of you don't know...
She was in attendance at the horrific 2017 Las Vegas shooting during the Jason Aldean concert. For a revealing glimpse on what she went through, see the link below:
Wolny and Roberts Survivors
Best of luck to "the Big Wol" in merry ol' England! We anticipate that there will be a lot of fences in danger at British and European ballparks with her on the scene.
WOMEN'S GOLF SEASON ENDED
Although the Cards did not qualify for the NCAA Championships, they still had a good third day in East Lansing's Regional to finish 11th of out 18 teams. The top six advanced.
Louisville shot a 293 for the final 18 holes, after two days of plus 300 scores and Lauren Hartlage led the way with a one-under-par 71. She finished tied for 23rd. place overall.
Louisville went in as the 11th seed and that's were they ended up. The Cards lose just one senior for next year (Olivia Cason) and have a couple of talented freshmen coming in for the 2019-20 season. They'll lose head coach Courtney Trimble, who is retiring...but the program is in good shape for recently named head coach Whitney Wade Young.
Have a tremendous Thursday!