SOFTBALL CARDS FACE SYRACUSE TO OPEN ACC TOURNAMENT
Louisville Softball opens ACC Tournament play today as the #8 seeded team and will face #9 Syracuse in Pittsburgh at 1 p.m. The contest will be shown on the ACC Network.
For the Cards, it comes down to three simple thinhs -- three of the major tenants in softball or baseball
1) Get runners on base 2) Get those runners across the plate to score runs 3) Do that more often than Syracuse does.
They weren't able to do much of those three in their season-ending series against Notre Dame, scoring just two runs in three days against the Irish, but, Louisville plated 15 runs against the Orange in a three-game sweep of them at Ulmer Stadium a few weeks ago-- 8-0, 4-1 and 3-2.
The Cards have the power and hitting ability to do it again. Carmyn Greenwood, Taylor Roby, Kendall Smith and Korbe Otis have led the offense most of the season and have accounted for 167 RBI's and 117 Runs scored for the Cards in 51 games and the Louisville squad outscored opponents 276-258 on the season
One of the keys, tomorrow is going to be limiting the number of runs the Orange are going to be able to push across the plate. And, obviously, good pitching and accurate fielding are the major factors involved in keeping foes from touching home plate. The "ace" of the staff -- Taylor Roby -- has shown in the past she can deliver the effective pitching to limit opponents from tallying up runs scored. Let's hope she's "on" again tomorrow.
An interesting philosophy was tossed my way earlier today, when someone expressed the hope that Roby WOULDN'T start today and Taja Felder would be given the assignment of containing Syracuse. that way, you could sane Roby for #1 seed Virginia Tech, who would be the Cards next opponent, if they get by Syracuse. An interesting thought, since Felder and Sam Booe split and shared strong performances in a win over Syracuse in the middle of April..
You must win today to play tomorrow, though, and Roby probably gives you the best chance of doing that, She had two wins over the Orange earlier in the season and I think you go with your strengths in "the second season".
Good luck to the Cards tomorrow ! Survive..and advance. .
(Thanks to Jared Anderson and Ryan Greenwood for the softball photos used in the article)
AHLANA SMITH TO MISSISSIPPI STATE
When Ahlana Smith entered the transfer portal, the gang at Cardinal Couple discussed the possibility of her joining up again with Sam Purcell -- at Mississippi State.
It has come to pass.
It'll be her fourth school in her time as a collegiate student athlete. Her journey began at aT UCLA,, then Gulf Coast, two years at Louisville and now at MSU.
Purcell gets a capable guard who scored 4.3 ppg at Louisville last season in 32 games, which was seventh-highest on the team. She was a reserve who usually entered if Kianna Smith, Chelsie Hall or Hailey Van Lith needed a rest or got into foul trouble. A very capable ball-handler with much better than average speed and a decent three-point shot.
The thing is, with both Kianna Smith and Chelsie Hall graduating, you just couldn't see Ahlana as a starter. Too much incoming talent, the development of Payton Verhulst and Kasa Robinson returning seemed to indicate that Ahlana would keep the same role, only with a different cast of starters to spell.
So, she's off to a fresh start with a head coach who she's familiar with (and who recruited her out of Gulf Coast) -- in a situation where an experienced guard just might help Purcell fill one of the gaps in defining capable players for a Bulldogs team that went 15-14 overall, 6-10 in the SEC and lost their last six games.
She's the sixth guard listed on the latest 2022-23 MSU roster.
Wishing Ahlana a lot of luck under Sam with the Bulldogs. Beating UK twice would be a great start.
(WBB photos of Ahlana from Jared Anderson)
Have a wonderful Wednesday
Hope the best for softball today. They'll get creamed tomorrow if they do advance.ReplyDelete
Ahlana obviously wanted more playing time and may be Sam can get her that.
I hope Ahlana gets some meaningful playing time.ReplyDelete