SIX ACC PROGRAMS MAKE ACC TOURNAMENT -- LOUISVILLE LEFT OUT.
I guess... (and we correctly guessed on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast)... the Cards Softball season is officially over, The ACC got six schools into the 64-team tournament (FSU,VT, Clemson, Duke,ND and GT), four of them are hosting regionals but Louisville did not get their name called.
I know, we are the website that stresses the joy and excitement of Louisville womens' sports. Every once in awhile, though, there is not so joyful or exciting news that needs to be reported on.
Maybe ending the season 3-8 and bowing out in the first round of the ACC Tournament had a bit to with that. Maybe the committee saw losses (some of them five-inning blow-out losses} to tournament squads Kentucky, Ohio St., Florida, Arkansas and Illinois and that probably figured into the omission scenario..
Despite a season endeing RPI of 44, the 27-25 overall and 10-14 ACC record probably held more weight with the selection committee. As of a couple weeks ago, some bracketologist had the Cards "in" but that changed when the Cards stumbled over the last 1/4th of their season.
It was a season, though, that brought a lot of joy and excitement to the crowds that gathered at Ulmer Stadium. Louisville did go 16-8 in the ballpark that sits on the corner of Floyd St. and Brandeis Ave. We'll start with the wonderful hitting of Carmyn Greenwood and Kendall Smith, who both batted over .300 on the season. How fortunate we were to see Carmyn become the best hitter in the league and patrol left field.
Let's also recognize the pitching job Taylor Roby turned in as the ace of the staff. at 15-11. She'll have an additional season for Louisville also, a very good thing. The Cards started the season with six pitchers, but a season-ending injury to Gabby Holloway and Chardonnay Harris deciding to leave the squad left the Cards with Roby and three rather unproven hurlers in Felder, Booe and Hudson to enter the circle. Still, they survived and should all improve next year with a season under their belt. Holloway returning would be a plus as well.
There is an old baseball ditty that went "Spahn and Sain, then pray for rain." back in 1948 when Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain pitched for the Boston *(now Atlanta) Braves. Yes, Boston had both American an National league team back then. This year, Louisville could have gone with "Roby and who?...Felder or Booe? and, hopefully, a rain-out or two." late this season .
Louisville played as many as three freshmen in the infield at times -- Ally Alexander taking over at shortstop, and with Jenna Servi back at third base, it's an experienced infield, Hannah File returning could be huge as well. The outfield loses just Greenwood, but Korbe Otis, Vanessa Miller and Easton Lotus should all make for a solid grass-patrolling crew.
Behind the plate would appear to be the Cards only major need. Kendall Smith, Cassidy Greenwood and Rebecca Chung all graduating leave no experienced catchers on the squad for 2022-23. Fortunately, freshmen will come in, and the transfer portal could possibly bring in a couple. Remember, Greenwood and Smith were transfers-in.
Plenty of time for that, though. Those that are returning (we hope) will dedicate themselves in the off-season to getting stronger, more skilled at their respective positions and hone those batting skills.
|Nicole Pufahl and Sandy Pearsall|
They have a solid coach in Holly Aprile, very capable assistants, a great facility and supportive fans. We hope they can return to the heydays of Louisville Softball (2016 and earlier) when the Cards had players like Wolny, McNary, Becker, Hensley, Pufahl, Jordan, Fowler, Keller, Bemis, Collins, Roth and Trimble.
Their names should be on the outfield fences of Ulmer, along with several more. Some recognition also needs to be at Ulmer for Sandy Pearsall. So should Greenwood's and eventually Roby's names be on that outfield fence.
You listening, athletic department