We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Busy weekend for UofL women's sports

The softball Cards head to Tampa seeking to sink the Bulls in weekend softball. Louisville is 3rd in the Big East and recently had Chelsea Bemis selected as National Player of the Week.

Louisville sits behind Notre Dame and DePaul in the conference standings and will host the Big East softball tournament next week at Ulmer Stadium. Led by Bemis, Melissa Roth, Jordan Trimble and several other sluggers, the Cards look to finish strong against rival USF.


THe Big East track and field championships take place this weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio. THe women's squad has won the championships the last two years in a row and the men's team will be competing in Cincy as well.

Louisville is loaded in the hammer, discus and shot put events. Jere Summers and D'Ana McCarty lead a group of tossers that have the best three distances in the hammer and shot and the top two in the discus this year.


Lacrosse travels to Rutgers for a match against the Scarlet Knights. The Big East championships for lacrosse are being held there this year and even though Louisville is mathmatically eliminated for a chance to participate, a strong finish by returning stars Liz Lovejoy, Bergin Folly and Katie Oliverio could help build the foundation for what will be a veteran and strong team for next year. Plus, beating Rutgers in anything is always a plus.


Finally, it is Kentucky Oaks Day. Best of luck to you if you are headed to the spectacle and bring your sunblock. 85 and breezy. That won't be the case Saturday Derby Day, when rain is threatening to drench the onlookers and possible severe weather could affect the Louisville area.

Written by Paul

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Will Churchill Downs fan favorite Calvin Borel go back to back with Derby winners? He's on SUPER SAVER...who has won at Churchill and also won a sloppy track.

Let's face it, if all this wet weather comes in Saturday like the weathermen are predicting, it's going to be an absolute mess on Derby Day at the Downs. So, I'm going with a few "mudders" and scaling down what I'm normally invest in the race.

SUPER SAVER, DEVIL MAY CARE, DISCREETLY MINE, and BACKTALK have all won races on a off track. NOBLE'S PROMISE has the highest rating for wet track probability of winning. I'm going to use all five in an exacta box. After last year's MINE THAT BIRD upset...I don't think people will rush to make any of the twenty runners a overwhelming favorite, but I do expect LOOKIN AT LUCKY to be around 3-1. That'll make a nice win, place and show wager....just in case the mudders fail. I'm also going with NOBLE'S PROMISE across the board also. One more exacta box with LOOKIN AT LUCKY, NOBLE'S PROMISE, SUPER SAVER, DUBLIN and DEVIL MAY CARE and that will take care of the majority of my handicapping wagering. $52 total if you do a $1 exacta box and $2 across on the above selections.

Longshots? Yeah, I will give you a couple that could surprise at a price. JACKSON BEND has spent the last two races chasing ESKENDEREYA across the wire in second place. Since the "E" is scratched...veteran jockey Mike Smith could score with JACKSON BEND. Worth an across the board wager at least. ESKENDEREYA, in my humble opinion, would have beat this Derby field by at least 6 lengths, if he could have gone...

STATELY VICTOR won at huge odds at Keenland in his last outing. He's also run second on a wet track. Alan Garcia returns for the ride and could pay nicely if he shows the stretch kick that he did in the Bluegrass.

So, I'll be prepared to give $64 to the teller for the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby. To recap:

$2 across the board on LOOKIN AT LUCKY ($6)
$2 across the board on NOBLE'S PROMISE ($6)
$2 across the board on JACKSON BEND ($6)
$2 across the board on STATELY VICTOR ($6)

Good luck, enjoy the fastest 2 minutes in sports...stay dry if you are headed out there and remember...SONJA'S SELECTIONS are for entertainment purposes only. You know the drill...HAPPY DERBY TO ALL!

(I should probably have let Paul do the picks this year...he's been slaying them out there since the track opened last week...but his Derby picks are a more closely guarded secret than the Bush Beans recipie or The Colonel's chicken seasoning)

We'll return to women's sports on Friday...thank you for your kind indulgence...we tend to go a little crazy here in Louisville during Derby week. Lacrosse, softball and much more await our women athletes in the next couple of days and we'll tell you all about it.

Now, where did I set that Mint Julep I had?

Written by Sonja

Five to remember

Jeff Walz applauds Sonja's OAKS selections...OK, not really, but I had to start the column somehow.

(Note: SONJA'S DERBY SELECTIONS will appear Friday instead of today. I'm taking an extra day to pour over the post positions and past performances since there are quite a few possible candidates for the bouquet of roses. I was very big on ESKENDREYA and ENDORSEMENT...but both have dropped out of the race)

Jeff Walz will be holding a team camp for girls' hoops players from June 18-20. Girls in grades 9-12 will have the opportunity to participate in 6 games over the three day event, play in a Final Four tournament and receive instructions from Jeff and coaching staff. Contact Becky Bonner at 502.852.8355. Cost is $160 for overnight and $110 for commuters.

While we are on the subject of Lady Cards basketball, the word is that high school star Shoni Schimmel will be announcing her college pick next Wednesday. Louisville is in the running for the talented Portland (OR) guard, along with UCLA and several others schools. Schimmel could turn out to be one of the best guards to play at UofL should she choose the Cards.

I've listed below five of my favorite guards to ever put on the red and black and work the ball for Louisville Women's basketball. They may not necessarily be the five best guards in the history of the school...but,'s my list and feel free to comment on your favorites. Angel is not on this list...she was a forward sent from heaven.

1)SARA NORD. The Jeffersonville, IN. point guard led Louisville in assists all four years she played for the Lady Cards. She could also lead the fast break and hurt you from outside if you left her unattended. Nord was a pretty decent softball player, too.

2)PATRIKA BARLOW. Another assist machine, the Barren County star swung a pretty mean softball bat in addition to leading the Cards in assists her final two years. "PB" played the game hard and had a smile as big as her game.

3)DEZ BYRD. The best is yet to come for the Cincinnati, OH point guard. Two strong years directing the offense for Jeff Walz were enough to show me that Dez is fearless, talented and knows the game. She's recovered from her knee injury and she'll have two more years to delight Cardinal fans with her fiery, take charge leadership on the court.

4)CONNIE NEAL. The Louisville, KY. shooter had one of the best releases and shots in Lady Cards history. When Connie was "on", she was automatic. A tireless defensive stopper as well, Neal was one of those blue collar, overtime and a half players that didn't have the words "tired","lazy" or "defeat" in her vocabulary.

5)KRISTEN MATTOX COX. The original "mad bomber"...Kristen could and would shoot from anywhere on the court and always believed that it was going thru the net. You didn't want to foul her, she has the highest free throw % in Lady Cards history. She was an early version of Angel McCoughtry...all over the court, involved in every aspect of the game. If the dictionary had a picture of "effort" next to the description...the photo would be hers.


Hats off to the Uofl baseball team for their dramatic 10-9 over Kentucky last night. What a crazy ninth inning! Louisville leads 6-4 going in to the final inning, the Cats put up 5 runs and Louisville counters with 4 to win. Paul called it "the best college baseball game I have ever seen." Over 4000 in attendance. MAKE SURE and check out the photos and commentary over at Cardinal Dominance and UofL Card Game.
Well done, Zach Wasserman!

Finally, special shoutouts to Shannon...who probably blew out an artery in the final frame (the "Irish mafia" says "top of the morning to ya!") and also to Charlie, who refused to let Paul sit next to him and Barbara. A wise move, Charlie...

Written by Sonja

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ky Oaks draw and predictions

We don't normally offer two posts in the same day, but I wanted to get my Kentucky Oaks predictions up here since they've done the post position draw and the race will be run Friday. (Note: SONJA'S SELECTIONS are for entertainment purposes only and changes might occur if there are scratches or she gets late breaking news on one or more of the runners)

It looks like BLIND LUCK will be the post time favorite and got a very good starting gate draw, coming out of the 6 slot. The Jerry Hollendorfer filly will have Rafael Bejarano on board and her closing kick will be greatly aided in the long Churchill Downs homestretch. Do I think she is unbeatable? No, but that might be the way to wager if she goes off at 6-5 or higher. Doubling your money isn't such a bad thing, after all. I may plunk a few on her to win and place, but we'll see how the day is going financially Friday before I decide on that.

I will do a few exactas and trifectas, just in case she fails. Two horses I am very high on are TIDAL POOL and CRISP. CRISP gets Cailfornia leading rider Joel Rosario on her back and no one knows the horse better. She beat BLIND LUCK back on March 6th in the Santa Anita Oaks and hasn't run since. Her trainer, John Sadler, also trains ZENYATTA (who won't be at Churchill but is the best filly in the world) and Sadler knows how to get them ready. He saddled ZARDANA to a win over RACHEL ALEXANDRA in the Fair Grounds Oaks. If I get 6-1 or better on this could be a side bet.

Also in my exacta will be TIDAL POOL and BEAUTICIAN. TIDAL POOL is D. Wayne Lukas and Calvin Borel. Borel at Churchill Downs, a very lethal combination. TIDAL POOL ran second to BLIND LUCK last time out but trainer Lukas had reservations about how the horse took to the track that day and TIDAL POOL is working very well at Churchill. BEAUTICIAN beat BLIND LUCK last fall in the Breeder's Cup juvenile fillies and throw out the 8th place finish in the Ashland Stakes at Keenland for BEAUTICIAN, the horse didn't like the polytrack. Alex Solis gets the mount.

We'll box TIDAL POOL, CRISP, BEAUTICIAN, BLIND LUCK and AMEN HALLELUJAH for a dollar. Total cost: $20. We'll also do an $1 exacta wheel/box with BLIND LUCK and these other four. Total cost: $8. I include AMEN HALLELUJAH because of rider Julian Leparoux and the the fact she ran second to Derby bound filly DEVIL MAY CARE in the Bonnie Miss.

In the trifecta, I'll do a wheel that has BLIND LUCK on top and those four underneaath. $16 for a $1 wager. I also may consider a $1 tri box with BLIND LUCK, CRISP, BEAUTICIAN and TIDAL POOL. $24 for that one.

$68 total to offer the racing Gods. Let's hope for a nice return on investment. Paul is just betting Borel on TIDAL POOL. He's got a man crush on Calvin...

As always, Sonja's picks are for entertainment purposes only. Be prepared to lose, nothing is a sure bet or guarantee at the race track except the delicious burgoo and corned beef sandwiches at Keeneland and the vegetable soup over at Wagner's Pharmacy near Churchill. Don't try to bet and win every race and don't bet over your head.

We'll look at the Derby Thursday.

Written by Sonja

How would Big East changes affect UofL Women's sports?

Would the Big East shrink to the size of these little fellas if conference raiding parties are successful in diluting the talent pool in the Big East?

It's a question that I've heard more than once. If the Big Ten and ACC are looking at the Big East with acquistion in their badly would the league suffer. We all know the ramifications it would have in we'll look at our side of the ledger here and see what it might do to a couple of Big East women's sports.

First, let's identify the players. The rumor mill has Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Syracuse and/or West Virginia as possible targets. No mention of Louisville, Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, USF or any others being pursued rabbits.

A loss of several of the candidates mentioned above would have a noticable effect on Big East women's basketball...but mostly in terms of just who would be the league runner up each year. Geno's stranglehold on conference and tournament titles is as tight as the spandex jogging pants my Aunt Annie forces on before her 1/2 hour prowling the interior of a local mall with her walking club. Rutgers, West Virginia, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh have all had good basketball teams over the past several years...Rutgers winning a NCAA Championship several years back...but the league would still have Louisville, St. John, DePaul, Marquette, Georgetown and USF has competitors to see who fills out the 2-4 slots of the tournament bracket. All are programs on the rise and are bringing in very good recruits in 2010 and beyond.

Women's softball...well, it's just hard to say. DePaul, Notre Dame and UofL are the "big three" in softball over the last several years...and a defection by the Irish would hurt. Rutgers softball is marginal. Pitt...playing softball at a .500 level. Syracuse doesn't show any signs of cracking the top three rankings and although the softball list is 13 teams strong, it doesn't include West Virginia.
Big East softball would survive any raiding attempts...but Notre Dame is currently the league's best.

Notre Dame figures pretty heavily into quite a few of the Big East women's sports selections. They swim well. The Irish carry a mean field hockey and lacrosse stick and are adept at volleyball, soccer, track and field and tennis. A defection of Irish sports to, let's say...the Big 10...would definitely decrease the overall talent and competition level in the Big East. And, end a few heated rivalries currently out there.

Now, a quick look at the possible replacements. I've heard Memphis, East Carolina, Central Florida, Marshall, the service academies and even Southern Miss mentioned. Why doesn't any of these names thrill and impress me? What possible addition enchancement could they bring to women's basketball or softball?

The sad bottom line is that if and when changes come in Big East realignment, women's sports will be an afterthought and sitting at the table with no cards to play. You see, it is all about the money generators..and those are football and men's basketball. That's not changing and never will.

We wait, we wonder and we worry what might happen...but in the final chapter...we're not a major character and will have no say in our fate and destiny. We're not driving this car and we have no idea in which direction it is headed. All we can do is look at the continued building and improvement of Cardinal women's sports. And it is a very strong program. It has leadership, success, top notch athletes and a very bright future. We will protect this house, we will continue to build on to and make improvements on this house and it is a very strong and secure house at that.

Tom and Julie have made sure of that. Why not thank them the next time you see one of them...

Written by Sonja

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bemis bats her way to Big East Player of the Week

(A reminder that the Kentucky Derby post position draw is Wednesday. Steve Buttelman, the Churchill Downs bugler, would surely blow out a smoking rendition of "Anchors Aweigh" to salute the smoking bat of junior third base star Chelsea Bemis.

What a week at the plate for the Louisville slugger! Bemis batted .733 during the Cards 5-0 sweep of the competition and drove in 13 runs. Three homers against St.John in one game and a grand slam in another.

Bemis, out of San Diego, has started every game at third base since arriving on campus for the Cards. She's batted over .300 each season she's been here and was on the All Big East team as a sophomore.

Chelsea is one of five Cardinals batting over .300 this year, joining Melissa Roth, Vanessa James, Jordan Trimble and Alicja Wolny in the club. Louisville (32-15) has outscored the opposition 247-142 in games so far and the Cards are third in the Big East standings going into the finale of the year.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cards sweep St. John's on Sunday

Plenty to cheer about Sunday at Ulmer Stadium as the softball Cards take two from St. John...10-7 and 11-2. Chelsea Bemis connected with a grand slam to secure the first game.

Great day on the diamond for Sandy Pearsall's softball team with the sweep of the Red Storm. The action got started early for the two teams, with a 10:30 first pitch.
In a continuation of Saturday's second game rain delay which had Louisville leading 3-0 in the bottom of the second before the skies opened up...the Cards increased the lead to 4-0 on a Vanessa James single and Kristin Austin triple. St. John's put one on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth and Louisville got a solo home run blast by James in the bottom of the inning to make it 5-1.

The Red Storm woke their bats up in the top of the fifth with five runs to grab the lead at 6-5. Chrissy Montez's three run fence clearer gave the Johnnies the lead.

Louisville came right back at St. John, though, in the bottom half of the inning. Btrittany York led off with a walk and singles by James and Austin loaded the bases.
Melissa Roth's fly out scored York to tie it. Jennifer Esteban drew a walk to reload the bags and then Bemis cleared them with her first career grand slam to give the Cards a 10-6 advantage.

The Red Storm added a run in the top of the seventh but Tori Collins got the side out with no further damage and the Cards won 10-7.

In the second game, the Cards took control early and put five runs up in the bottom of the first. Alicia Wolny blasted a three run shot and Austin tripled in the inning to provide the fireworks.

St. John was able to cut the Louisville lead to 6-2 in the third inning but the Cards produced a 4 run bottom of the third to make it 10-2 and out of the Johnnies' reach. Louisville added a run in the bottom of the fourth for the final scoring.

Collins picked up the wins in each game, in relief of Kristen Wadwell. No word yet on the status of Cards pitcher Chelsea Leonard, who is out with a knee injury while pitching earlier in the week and did not participate on Sunday.

Louisville (32-15, 11-5) goes to Tampa next for a Derby Day visit to USF. They'll play three times over two days in the Sunshine State. Bemis has been absolutely pounding the opposing pitching during the Card' home stand and we hope the hot bat continues on the road.


On the south side of campus, Louisville lacrosse lost to #11 Syracuse 16-11. The Orange broke away in the second half from a 8-7 first half lead with four straight goals to begin the second. Louisville led early in the contest 4-1 and got five goals from Emily Dashiell and four goals from Bergan Folly in the match.

Louisville is in 6th place in the Big East standings with a 2-4 conference record. Only the top four teams of the nine member league advance to the Big East tournament that will be held at Rutgers beginning Thursday, May 6th. With only two games remaining, the Cards are mathmatically eliminated from catching 5-2 third place Notre Dame and Loyola, MD. and getting to the tourney.

The Cards do have a strong stable of returning players for next year, though...including Folly, Dashiell, Liz Lovejoy, Katie Oliverio and Danielle Pawliw.

Tough loss on Senior Day for the Cards, who honored soon to be graduates Danielle Hale, Colleen Nevin, Ashley King and Lyndsay Ward. The Cards finish the season with two on the road...Rutgers up next.


Pre-Derby favorite ESKENDEREYA will not run in the first Saturday in May leg of the Triple Crown of racing. Trainer Todd Pletcher indicated that the 3 yr. old has a slight swelling in the left front leg and hasn't galloped in workouts the way Pletcher feels the horse is capable of.

ESKENDEREYA'S defection throws the Derby picture wide open. Sonja will be getting out her dart board, crystal ball, channelling her psychic powers and consulting with the Yorkies' on Wednesday to provide her Derby picks. As for me, I'll tell you today that I'm "LOOKING AT LUCKY", honoring "NOBLE'S PROMISE" and giving a slight "ENDORSEMENT" to a trifecta with these three possible runners.

Written by Paul

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cards blank St.John 8-0

The rains eventually came to Ulmer Stadium Saturday but not before Chelsea Bemis slugged three home runs against the Johnnies in the first of two scheduled games. Game two was postponed until 10:30 Sunday morning when the teams will pick up action in the second inning and they'll play the final game of the series after that.

Louisville put five Spaldings over the fence in the contest and jumped on St. John early with a three run first inning. Melissa Roth led off with a deep centerfield blast over the fence and after a Jennifer Esteban walk, Bemis connected with a base clearer. The Cards went on to load the bases after that with no outs but St. John's got out of the inning without allowing any more runs.

Louisville (30-15, 9-5) struck again in the bottom of the third. Jordan Trimble reached first on a error and scored when Alicia Wolny doubled. Wolny found the plate when Kristin Austin tripled and the Cards led 5-0.

Bemis went to work again in the bottom of the fourth with a solo blast and Trimble connected for a tater in the alley also in the inning to put Louisville up 7-0. Bemis got her third of the game in the 7th for the final run in the 8-0 win. Tori Collins went the distance for Louisville on the mound, scattering three hits and getting her first complete game of the year.

The last Louisville player to hit three home runs in a game was Melissa Roth, back in 2009.

The Cards started the second game is fine fashion, jumping out to a 3-0 lead on St. John before the rains came.


While softball is playing at Ulmer, the Louisville lacrosse team finds itself needing a couple of wins to close out the season and make the Big East Tournament. #11 Syracuse visits today and the Cards go to Rutgers Friday and Villanova on Sunday.. A win over the Orange would help their chances to sweep the final three and end the season with five wins in a row.

Th Big East lacrosse tournament will be held at Rutgers beginning May 6th. Louisville is 9-5 on the season and 2-3 in the Big East.


We told you about Bob Baffert's HURRICANE IKE yesterday being a horse to watch in the Derby Trial at Churchill Downs and Calvin Borel got the job done, winning easily on a sloppy track and paying $13.80.

Cool Cal won five races yesterday on opening day for Churchill. He took the Derby Trial in typical Borel fashion, stalking the pace and zipping up the rail in the stretch to storm by the competition. AIKENITE, another one we loved, ran second...about three lengths back...making for a very nice exacta payout in the feature race. Neither AIKENITE or HURRICANE IKE will head on to the Kentucky Derby but trainer John Sadler says a run in the Preakness is a definite possibility for HURRICANE IKE.

Congratulations also to regular guy and trainer superb Paul McGee who saddled FOREST WARFARE to a very convincing win earlier on the card. In a driving rainstorm, FOREST WARFARE contested the early pace, drew clear and won for fun, skipping down the spashy Churchill stretch 10 lengths in front of the nearest competitor.

A great afternoon at the track despite the wet weather. Prowling the bricks by the paddock and meeting the fans were such notables as Chip Wooley, trainer of last year's Derby winner MINE THAT BIRD and TVG expert anaylist Frank Lyons.

Lyons genuinely seemed to relish the fan appreciation and held court in front of one of the Churchill concession stands...grinning broadly, posing for photos and offering his unique and colorful advice on racing and handicapping.
Written by Paul 4/25/10

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cardinal lacrosse downs Connecticut 15-8

Katie Oliverio is third in the nation in assists. She had four in the Friday win over the Huskies.

The Cards came out knowing that any chance of getting to the Big East tournament would only be possible if they won against UConn. They did not disappoint, rallying from a 4-4 halftime tie to put the Huskies away. Bergan Foley led the attack with 6 goals for Louisville (9-5, 2-3) and Liz Lovejoy added 4.

Foley is the all-time leading scorer in Louisville lacrosse and has already set a new season record for goals this year with one game to go. The Cards return to action on Sunday for their final regular season game, hosting Syracuse. If they beat the Orange, they are in the Big East tournament.


Much has been made about the sudden decision of high school basketball star Marquis Teague to go to UK in 2011 when it appeared Louisville was the front runner for his services. CARDINAL COUPLE doesn't usually do a lot of coverage on men's basketball but there are a lot of eyebrows being raised about the 180 Teague pulled. Always hate to lose a good one and it is only a verbal. We'll see what uniform he's wearing in 2011.

Written by Paul

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lacrosse part of a busy sports weekend

Louisville lacrosse hosts Connecticut Friday at 5 p.m. A busy weekend for women's sports at UofL with the softball team at home against St. John, the Cards track and field taking part in the Penn Relays and...oh, yeah...Saturday is opening day at Churchill. Read below for an exciting and important announcement, too...about another way to read about and discuss UofL women's sports.

The University of Louisville lacrosse team continues Big East action with UConn coming to town for a 5 p.m. match at the Cardinals lacrosse stadium. The Cards (8-5, 1-3) are coming off a win at home against Jacksonville and UConn rolls in after losing to Loyola, MD. on Sunday.

WHAS TV will show a delayed broadcast of the match Monday 1:30 AM with Gary Fogle and Patty Norton providing the commentary. Cardinal Bergan Folly leads the NCAA in goals scored per game.


You wanted it, you got it. CARDINAL COUPLE has joined forces with CARDINAL DOMINANCE to provide sports fans with a message board. This exciting endeavor now gives all Cardinal Fans another place to voice your opinion about UofL athletics. We have a link to CARDINAL DOMINANCE on our home page, once you get there...simply take a minute to sign up for the boards and follow the link. You'll find several links available, including the CARDINAL COUPLE women's sports board.

CARDINAL DOMINANCE is owned and operated by our buddy Shannon Rufra. He devotes a great deal of time covering UofL sports and provides top flight coverage of Cardinal football, baseball and basketball. Both Sonja and I were regular posters and are still avid readers and contributors to his site. We'll provide daily updates over there as well and we invite you to take part in the fun we expect to create over there.

Shannon has a great photo gallery up of the recent UofL baseball teams win over WKU Wednesday night and a couple of pictures of me and head basketball coach Jeff Walz. While you are there, make sure to check out the videos he has of Louisville football and baseball.

One thing is for sure, Shannon's commentary and coverage of Louisville athletics is unique, comprehensive and never boring. We are happy to be his "source in the know" for UofL women's sports and to be working with him again.


I know, I's a busy weekend ahead with the marathon, balloon race, opening day at Churchill and all kinds of UofL sports activities. Almost impossible to get to all the activities going on this weekend but CARDINAL COUPLE will definitely at opening day at Churchill. The Derby Trial, which has diminished in importance over the last several years, is once again a viable road to the first Saturday in May, and a full field of ten horses are expected to enter and try to earn a spot for the Derby. PLEASANT PRINCE, AIKENITE and EIGHTYFIVEINAFIFTY could gain entrance to the Derby with a win in the Derby Trial. We love EIGHTFIVEINAFIFTY but also will be on the lookout for GAME ON DUDE..a Bob Baffert horse that gets Robby Albarado in the saddle and HURRICANE IKE with Calvin Borel getting the assignment.

Happy Derby Week to you!

Written by Paul

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cards sweep Syracuse in softball 6-2, 7-4

Kristen Wadwell finished the first game for Louisville and got the win in the second as the Cards take two from the Orange at Ulmer Stadium Wednesday.

Although the start was shaky for the Cards, the end result was sweet against Big East rival Syracuse. Starting pitcher Tori Collins worked her way out of a bases loaded, no outs top of the first inning...keeping the Orange scoreless. Louisville drew first blood in the bottom half of the first, using a Melissa Roth leadoff single and Syracuse throwing error to take a 1-0 lead.

Louisville held that slim lead until the bottom of the fifth. The Cards exploded for five runs, keyed by a two run Chelsea Bemis homer and a two run producing double by Kristin Austin. Syracuse would challenge with two runs in the top of the sixth, sending Collins to the bench...but Wadwell pitched the Cards out of danger and secured the win.

Wadwell entered the second game for Louisville when starter Chelsea Leonard had to leave with an injury and benefitted from a four run fourth inning by the Cards to break away from a 1-1 score. Bemis swatted another two run blast, this one down the left field line, to help give the Cards all the runs they would need for the win.

Syracuse managed a run in the sixth and two in the seventh off Wadwell but could not catch the Cards. Wadwell finished with 11 strikeouts.

Louisville (29-15, 8-5) moves to 3rd place in the Big East with the wins and returns to action on Saturday with a doubleheader against St. John.


A nice win last night also for the men's baseball team over WKU 7-4. I was lucky enough to run into Lady Cards head basketball coach Jeff Walz while at Jim Patterson Stadium and we chatted briefly about the upcoming season. We also discussed a certain Cardinal recruit but neither of us are going to mention her by name or the possiblility of her arriving on the Cardinal campus just yet. Don't want to jinx it, but if it happens...Cardinal women's hoops will benefit greatly. Hopefully, the pictures our buddies Shannon over at Cardinal Dominance and Charlie at UofL Card Game took of me and Jeff turned out OK and they'll send me a copy. And, yes...Sonja was disappointed she wasn't there to be a part of the photo shoot.

Written by Paul

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Women's Golf wins Big East Championship

Sara-Maude Juneau fired a closing round 75 to finish as the low scorer in the three day event. She dusted the competition by six shots...finishing with a three day total of 220. It is the junior's first Big East title.

The Cards finished strong in the Big East Championship, carding a 304 for the final day, good enough to defeat runner up USF by eight stokes. Notre Dame took third place. Anna-Karin Ljungstrom matched Juneau's 75 in the third round for the Cards, who captured their 4th Big East title.

Freshman Candace Wiley knocked the ball around 80 times in the finale for Louisville and Laura Anderson, who had to withdraw from round two with a sore wrist, came back Tuesday to end with a 80 also. Daphine Parker shot a 74 for the Cards Tuesday.

All five golfers return next season for Louisville, who advances to the NCAA Regionals. Juneau. Parker and Ljungstrom were selected to the Big East 1st team Squad.

The Cards led from day 1 in the Big East Championship and gave head coach Kelly Meyers-Rothberg her fourth Big East title. A UConn women's basketball type dominance for Louisville on the links.


Softball at Ulmer Stadium Wednesday with a doubleheader against the Syracuse Orange. First game is 1 p.m. and if you can't make the action, it will be televised on ESPNU.

Syracuse (23-17, 7-4) comes to Louisville in possesion of third place in the Big East standings. The Cards (27-14, 6-5) could leapfrog the Orange in the standings with a sweep of today's games.

Melissa Roth continues swinging the hot bat for Sandy Pearsall's team, with a .455 average and 14 home runs. Four Cardinals are batting over .300 so far this season. Louisville leads the all time series against Syracuse 8-1 and have never lost to them in Ulmer Stadium.

Cardinal pitchers Kristen Wadwell, Tori Collins and Chelsea Leonard have tossed 272 strikeouts this year.

Why not make it a bat and ball day? The weather is calling and you can head over to Patterson Stadium after the doubleheader to catch the guys in 6 p.m. action against WKU.

Written by Sonja

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cardinal women's golf leads Big East Tourney after Day 2

Anna-Karin Ljungstrom sits atop the leaderboard with her UofL women's golf teammates after 2 rounds in the Big East Championship. Ljungstrom fired a 75 to rise to seventh place in the second round. Sara-Maude Juneau fired a 71 in the round to take a five stroke lead over the competition halfway thru the event. Is there a correlation between hyphenated first names and good golf scores?

The Cards lead South Florida by three strokes, despite losing Laura Anderson early in the second round because of a wrist injury. Daphine Parker finished with a 78 and Canidce Wiley used 81 strokes to complete the Innisbrook Resort course in Innisbrook, FL.


The downtown basketball arena has been named and they did not call it SONJA as many had hoped. Instead, it will be known as the KFC Yum! Center. For you out-of-towners YUM! Brands owns KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and several other fast food restuarants. Don't forget the exclamation point when you discuss YUM! either..they get really picky about that.

The corporation ponied up $16 million for the naming rights...just a wee bit more than we could come up with. They'll also get a half dozen or so concession stands in the get ready for A&W Root Beer, Taco Bell and plenty of chicken choices when you attend the games there starting this fall. They own a few other food groups as well...but a foot long dog with a root beer and maybe an order of grande nachos ought to slay any hunger pains I might encounter there. Interesting sidebar...since it is YUM!...will they allow Papa John's Pizza in there?

Jim Host originally expected that the naming rights would fetch $40 million but in this tough economy the value dropped. I know what he's going through..I recently had someone try to get me to trade two $10 bills for a $5.

You know the place is going to end up with a nickname or two. Louisville already has the Kentucky Center of the Arts right down the street from the KFC YUM! Given the nature of some of the food that will be served in there...maybe we could call it the Kentucky Center of the Farts? "The Bucket" will be another monicker for the center. NAming it SONJA would have been so much simpler...


The Lady Cards will face Tennessee in their debut downtown. Rick Pitino announced yesterday that NCAA Men's Tournament runner up Butler will be his first opponent. Isn't the idea to start with a win? Maybe Rick thought he had Butler High School on the slate instead of the Indianapolis university that came within 2 points of defeating the Dukies in April. Speaking of the Dukies, Coach K turned down the offer to be the inaugural foe. Do you think he's still upset about the 1986 loss to Denny and Never Nervous Pervis? Or maybe the schools couldn't work out a return trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium on the Duke campus. The men's team will be returning the favor and visiting Hinkle Fieldhouse to play Butler. The Lady Cards travelled to Knoxville last season (no matter how hard I try to forget) and got romped by the Vols in Pat's Palace.

Written by Paul (who is getting increasingly aggrevated at the mockingbird swooping at him when he goes to fetch the morning paper. Mama's nesting and she ain't happy...)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Softball loses to Irish 3-1

Although the senior infield hails from Glenborg, Illinois...she has made Ulmer Stadium her second home over the last four years. Her three run blast against UofL Sunday led the Irish to a 3-1 win in the series final.

The bats failed to fire again for the Lady Cards softball team Sunday, as Notre Dame took the final game of the three game set. Christina Lux connected with a three run blast in the top of the 4th inning to give Notre Dame all the runs they needed to take down the Cards.

The Cards could get nothing going until the bottom of the seventh against Notre Dame. Colby Wherry scored on a fly ball to left by Jordan Trimble.


A tip of the hat to the UofL women's golf team. They lead the Big East Championship by seven strokes after the first round. Louisville got a 74 from Sarah-Maude Juneau to pullaway from the second place Irish. She's atop the leader board down at Innisbrook, FL. Laura Anderson carded a 78 and Daphine Parker finished with a 79 for the Cards.


One of our favorite trainers, Paul McGee, saddled Dubious Miss to a victory in the $150,000 Ben Ali at Keeneland Sunday. On board for the win was Churchill Downs legend Calvin Borel. Borel got Dubious Miss out to the lead early, saved ground by going to the rail in the stretch run and held off Kiss the Kid by 1 1/2 lengths for the victory. The six year old gelding is 8 for 19 lifetime and has earned almost $450,000 for owner David Holloway.

Calvin on the rail with a favorite. How many times has that scenario been played out over the years? A nice win for St. X grad Paul McGee, who still continues to send out his throughbreds on the Kentucky circuit despite the ridiculous inability of the Kentucky state legislature to pass rack track casino gambling here in the Commonwealth. More and more horse trainers are headed to the out of state tracks who boost racing purses with the casino monies. McGee is one of the good guys in horse racing...doing it the right way and devoid of the arrogant and superior attitude some trainers possess. Hanging in here despite dwindling purses and smaller fields.

As Mark Twain once said:

"When the world comes to an end, I want to be in Kentucky...because they're 20 years behind the rest of the nation."

Written by Paul (who still has a sore arm from throwing cornhole bean bags all day Saturday)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Softball Cards split doubleheader with Irish

Notre Dame pitcher Jody Valvidia tossed a one hitter at Louisville in the first game at Ulmer Stadium Saturday, leading the Irish to a 5-0 win. Louisville rallied in the second to defeat the Irish 4-1.

On what was a perfect day for softball attending, UofL's women's softball team split a doubleheader with the Big East leading Notre Dame (33-7, 11-1) squad.

Louisville (27-14, 6-4) couldn't get the bats untracked in the opener, falling behind to the Irish in the top of the 3rd inning after Katie Fleury doubled home two runs. The Cards would give up two more scores in the 5th inning on a Brianna Jorgensborg two run homer to left field. Notre Dame added an insurance run in the 6th when Christine Lux got to the plate on a Kristina Wright single.

Valdivia allowed Kristin Austin the only Cardinal hit of the game and struck out five Cardinals while going the distance for her 26th win of the season. Kristen Wadwell took the loss for the Cards.

The Cardinal rallied in Game Two, striking early when Chelsea Bemis singled home Vanessa James in the bottom of the first for a 1-0 lead. James would give the Cards two more runs in the 3rd with a bases loaded single. Notre Dame cut the margin to 3-1 off a 6th inning Heather Johnson home run blast. The Cards tacked on a run in the bottom of the 6th when Jennifer Esteban doubled down the left field line to score Katelynn Mann to complete the scoring.

Tori Collins tossed a five hitter at the Irish for her 9th win of the year. Esteban had three hits for Louisville.

A noon Sunday game completes the series.


Louisville Lacrosse was busy at the other end of the Cardinal campus and delivered a 21-9 win over Jacksonville. The Cards surged out to a 14-4 halftime leads against the Dolphins. Bergan Folly tossed seven goals into the net for Louisville on fourteen shots and Liz Lovejoy added four goals for Louisville, who improved their record to 8-5.

I didn't get down to the lacrosse field to watch the action but Paul did make the walk and reports that about 300 fans were in attendance to watch the match.

Cardinal Lacrosse continues on Derby Eve (Friday) against the UConn Huskies.


Hope everyone had a great Thunder Over Louisville. Despite the technical glitches that delayed the 9:30 fireworks start, it was another spectacular show. It was also pretty cold down by the river and it might have been a good year to view it on TV. We haven't missed one yet, though..and have been then for much colder viewings than last night's.

Thunder is the official kickoff to the many Derby festivities and events that lead up to the First Saturday on May race at Churchill Downs. It is one of my favorite, as well. We've gotten together with a group of friends that has steadily grown over the past 21 years to watch the air show and fireworks. Although the venue when we meet up and tailgate has changed several times...the abundant food, beverage and good times never fail to please and delight. Grills smoking, cornhole games being contested...the delightful mix of young and old laughing and camping out in never gets old or stagnant.

And, thank goodness for the roaring firepit that greeted us last night after the walk back from the river. I do love this time of year so...

Written by Sonja

Saturday, April 17, 2010

From the mail bag...

Even Ferris Buehler gets a day off every once in a while, so we're going to catch up on a few e-mails from our readers before we head out to watch Cardinal softball and Thunder Over Louisville. We've almost dried off from the rains that put a damper on the football Spring Game last night...

LISA writes:

I really enjoy the coverage that you provide for UofL Womens' sports. Have you ever thought about adding a message board to your blog?

Well, LISA..we have thought about it and may eventually get to it. We'd also like to hear from a few more readers about adding one. Shoot us your opinion in the comments section below or e-mail us at: or

Our buddy JOE writes:

Hope things are going good with you all in Louisville as Derby events start to fire up. I am in Naples with my girlfriend and won't be up there this year...have a mint julep for me and when will Sonja being giving her Derby picks?

(Joe is our friend who owned an English Pub in Gatlinburg that he sold in January. He is now living in Florida with his girlfriend and next door to his elderly mother. Joe is one of the biggest Cardinal fans we know.)

Sonja will have a clearer idea of how she thinks the Derby could go probably after the post postion draw the Wednesday before Derby. She did a brief review of several horses in a column a few days back. She has since added ENDORSEMENT to that list (because John Asher likes that one) and JACKSON BEND. We'll see if both get in the field of twenty. As for case you asked, I am all over NOBLE'S PROMISE still...but his trainer Kenny McPeek is 50/50 on whether he'll go or not as of yesterday...according to one of the buddy, Dr. Tom.

DONNA writes:
I hope you'll be giving women's voleyball and field hockey the same amount of coverage as you do the other women's sports when they start playing this fall.

DONNA...We plan to and I'll be shooting UofL coach Pam Bustin an e-mail in a few weeks to get her prognosis on the upcoming season. As far as Leonard Yelin's volleyball team...we plan on attending as many games as we can this year.

KEITH writes:

Do you think that the women's NCAA Tournament is going to consider expanding to more teams like the men?

KEITH: I haven't heard but I would be severely disappointed if they did. They had three women's post season tournaments this year and even though UofL played in WBI...I think that three is too many. Let's face it...attendance was very low for Louisville's game vs. Bradley, the Lady Cards didn't seem too fired up about it and no one could tell you who won the thing unless you read it on here...(Appl. State, in case you missed the article.) 64 teams is plenty and 32 for the NIT is fine.

OK, that's all for today. Have a great day, enjoy the fireworks and games today and
good luck to longshot PRINCE WILL I AM in the Lexington Stakes at Keeneland today. Trained by Michelle Nihel and ridden by Calvin Borel...this one just might upset at a huge price.

Written by Paul

Friday, April 16, 2010

Do fans need to pay for more UofL athletic events?

"Hey, Abbott! Let's go see the UofL softball team this weekend!"
"What...and fork out $2 when we can catch Bellarmine softball for free?"
"But...Abbott...Bellarmine doesn't have Melissa Roth or Kristin Wadwell..."
"OK...but the $2 is coming out of your hot dog and soda allowance..."

(Please note that UofL softball IS NOT charging for the games this weekend. The above parody of the popular comedy duo is only a segway to the question on whether UofL should consider charging fans for the sports that are considered "non-revenue" right now. God forbid we start a college women's bobsled team...but I'd probably go watch them if we did. Summer practice facilities might be hard to come by.)

With the news that UofL baseball coach Dan McDonnell wouldn't mind seeing the University charge admission for UofL baseball games, one wonders what is next.
Currently, you can walk right in and watch baseball (unless it is Kentucky) free.
Same goes for most of the women's athletic events at UofL...excluding basketball and volleyball. All but one UofL softball game each year is "on the house" (Kentucky, again) but there will be a charge to watch the Big East softball tournament at Ulmer Stadium. That...most fans are OK with. But clouds are forming on the horizon.

I will acknowledge that season ticket holders for women's basketball and volleyball aren't being gouged too badly at all. Lady Cards basketball is the best value for your entertainment dollars out there. That changes, though...if you are a football or men's basketball attendee. Expanded and new venues are well under way for the main two revenue drawers at UofL. Someone's gotta pay for it.

God forbid that the day comes where one has to plunk down a few bucks to go view a lacrosse match or field hockey game. I shudder to think that you might have to flip down a Lincoln or Jefferson to watch the Cards softball team play DePaul or Dayton.

The non-revenue sports. They stay mostly out of the limelight at most major universities. The vast majority of them don't receive live play by play radio or TV coverage and they get scant mention of their results from the major media outlets. If 600-700 show up for a softball game or lacrosse match...that is considered a very good attendance. By how many numbers would that decline if someone is collecting a five spot or couple of Washington's at the gate?

I can't tell you whether McDonnell will win his quest to convince Jurich to start charging baseball fans to watch the Cardinal nine to take the field. What I can tell you is that the athletes do like it when there are people in attendance to watch them participate. The more the better. Katie Oliverio and Melissa Roth are excellent athletes but receive nowhere near the attention that an Angel McCoughtry, Brian Brohm or Terrance Williams did. I'd put Pam Bustin's field hockey bunch up against all comers in terms of endurance and agility. How many times, though have you seen them on TV? Would collecting $2 at the gate get them on Wazoo or Fox Sports South?

I'll say it again. Would charging money to watch them play change that?

I hope McDonnell fails in his attempt to charge for Cardinal baseball. If he wins, he has started a cancer that might spread to other sports that don't draw nearly the crowd attendance.

We pay a CAF fund each year because we have football and basketball tickets. I always thought that the CAF fund helped out the lesser attended athletic events. Many of the teams also have preferred organizations you can join (for a fee) associated with their sport. The Fastbreak Club for women's basketball. Softball and volleyball...even baseball has these donor based clubs. I like the idea of these clubs. I don't like the idea that the door is trying to be forced open where I'm going to have to shell out a couple of dollars to take in a field hockey or tennis match.

Where does the money trail stop?

Written by Paul

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Softball Cards go 1-1 at Rutgers

Senior catcher Melissa Roth slugged an 11th inning two run homer to lead the Cards to victory in the second game 6-4. The Cards dropped the opener 3-1 to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Louisville split the doubleheader at Rutgers Wednesday. Kristen Wadwell drew the starting assignment for the first game and although she allowed only three runs on five hits, the Cards could only manage three hits in the first game. Wadwell struck out seven Rutgers batters in the contest.

The Cards fell behind in the opener 2-0 in the second inning because of a couple of errors that allowed the Scarlet Knights to plate the runs that would be the difference in the game. Louisville did manage to push a run across the plate in the fourth inning when Jordan Trimble scored on a Chelsea Bemis single.

Louisville jumped on Rutgers early in the second game when Roth scored on a Trimble single in the first and Louisville increased the lead to 2-0 in the third on a Roth solo homer. Rutgers, though...rallied with four runs in the bottom of the inning, largely due to a three run base clearer over the fence by Rutgers pitcher Brittany Lindley.

Louisville tied the contest in the fourth on a Kristen Austin single that scored Colby Wherry and Bemis. The teams went scoreless until Roth's two run blast in the top of the eleventh.

Tori Collins went nine innings for the Cards, allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out nine. Kristin Wadwell got the "W" for Louisville with two scoreless innings of relief.

Louisville returns to action Saturday with a doubleheader vs. Notre Dame at Ulmer Stadium. It is also "Bark in the Park" day at Cardinal Park...bring your dogs for a romp on the grounds...or just run around and bark by yourself...if you prefer. Plenty of time to catch the action and then head down to the river to watch Thunder over Louisville.

If softball isn't your thing...the lacrosse team will be in action Saturday Jacksonville.


Today is the first day of the late signing period for high school seniors still uncommitted on their college basketball choices. The open period runs thru May 20th. Jeff Walz could add a couple of recruits to the class of 2010, including one that would be a real catch, guard Shoni Schimmel from Franklin Portland (OR) high school.

Good luck, Jeff. Come to the 'Ville, Shoni. You'll be playing in the new SONJA downtown arena in front of some of the most knowledgable and supportive fans in women's college basketball and going to school in the best college sports town in America.

Written by Sonja

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Softball Cards travel to Rutgers

Wednesday brings one of those up and back mid-week road trips for Sandy Pearsall's UofL softball Cards. A doubleheader against Rutgers...then back to Louisville to prepare for a weekend series against always tough Notre Dame.

Rutgers (13-21, 1-4) enters the game after going 1-2 against UConn. They'll be facing a Cardinal squad that is currently on a five game winning streak. #25 ranked UofL romped in state rival UK last Wednesday 6-0...the final non-conference game of the season for the Cards.

Today's doubleheader will give Pearsall a chance to use all three of the Cards pitchers. Kristen Wadwell is the Cards ace hurler, with a record of 13-7, and the senior has struck out 98 batters in 127 innings pitched. The other main pitcher for the Cards is sophomore Tori Collins (8-3) who has recorded 83 swing and misses in 82 innings on the mound. Freshman Chelsea Leonard (4-2) completes the Cardinal pitching staff with 58 KO's in 39 innings of work. Collins looked very sharp after a rough first inning against UK and both Collins and Leonard are averaging over 1 strikeout per inning.

Melissa Roth leads a potent Cardinal offense that has outscored the opposition 193-141. Roth leads the team in batting average, slugging average, on base percentage, hits, home runs and triples. The Cards (25-12, 4-2) have five players with batting averages over .300 and five players with slugging percentages over .400.


The ballpark is going to the dogs. At least it will on Saturday when Cardinal fans are invited to bring their canines to Cardinal Park for a free doggie bag and watch the Cards doubleheader against the Irish and the UofL lacrosse match against Jacksonville.

No word yet on whether the dogs will be able to run the bases after the game.


Our buddies Shannon over at Cardinal Dominance and Charlie at UofL Card Game accompanied other members of the media on a walk thru of the renovated Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Tuesday. Leading the trip was UofL athletic director Tom Jurich. Great recaps and photos are featured on their sites. PJCS will hold over 57,000 when completed later this summer. You can access their web sites over on the left side of this page.

Hard to believe, but the UofL Spring Football game is this Friday. Admission is free and the gridiron action begins at 7 p.m. First year coach Charlie Strong has the guys out there hitting and hustling with a renewed purpose according to the reports I'm getting and I invite you to join Sonja and I out for a great evening of fun and Cardinal football action. Strong will be holding a seminar for women interested in learning more about football later this summer.

No need to worry, won't need to put on the pads and do windsprints. I've heard Strong speak on several occasions and found him to be an informative, knowledgable and entertaining speaker. He also knows how to motivate his football players. Who was that other guy here before him?


Another sign that I'm getting older:

Tony Dow, who played Wally in the sitcom "Leave It To Beaver" has turned 65. No word on whether he and Eddie Haskell are planning a party at the Cleaver household. If they do, someone better keep Lumpy away from the sandwiches and chips. Wonder why no one has attemped to make a 21st. century series remake of the popular sitcom? I still remember falling for the urban legend that Eddie Haskell moved on to be Alice Cooper after the series ended. (Jeez, little dope!)

Written by Paul (One day left to get your taxes in the mail, folks.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cardinal Caravan reappears for 2010

Late signing period for high school basketball seniors starts Thursday. The Lady Cards have their eyes on Shoni Schimmel, a highly ranked guard out of Portland, Oregon. So do about another half dozen schools...

Shoni Schimmel would absolutely love the Cardinal Caravan tour that the University of Louisville has reintroduced for spring 2010. Coaches, players and spirit groups from the University of Louisville's sports teams will make six stops this late spring to meet and greet and talk to Cardinal fans in the area, beginning with a Wednesday, May 12th apperance in Owensboro at the River Park Center.

The other dates:

Thursday, May 13th. Captain's Quarters, Louisville, KY.
Wednesday, May 19th. Molly Malone's Irish Pub, Covington, KY.
Thursday, May 20th. Three Putt Willie's, Elizabethtown, KY.
Wednesday, May 26th. Huber's Orchard and Winery, Starlight, IN.
Tuesday, June 1st. Shelby County Fairgrounds Pavillion, Shelbyville, KY.

The popular fan events offers food, drink, registration drawings and a chance to get get up close and personal with Cardinal athletics and fellow fans. One of my favorite memories from a couple of years ago is holding an impromptu court with about half of the Lady Cards basketball team. I'll never forget Angel McCoughtry telling me point blank that she wanted to help take the team to the national championship game.

5:50 p.m. or 6 p.m. is the start time for the gala, depending on the location...but you'll want to get there plenty early to enjoy watching the Ladybirds, having food and drink and getting the chance to talk Cardinal with your fellow fans.


We mentioned Schimmel earlier in this posting. Information on where the talented senior is headed and when she'll make her announcement is still hard to come by. Various sites and blogs have her interested in Louisville, Oklahoma, Stanford, Baylor, Rutgers, UCLA, Colorado, South Carolina and Oregon. Some recruiting gurus believe that Louisville is at the top of Schimmel's list but also point to Baylor's late surge in recruiting her.

Schimmel will be an innovator in women's college basketball. Her talent skills, beginning during her freshman year in high school, have been way past the high school level for the last four years. An excellent shooter from anywhere on the court, Schimmel also distributes the ball well, plays a ball hawking defense that creates steal and turnovers and is a natural leader on the court. She's been compared to Notre Dame freshman guard Skylar Diggins and UConn junior Maya Moore with her skills and ability to take over a game.

She also has a younger sister that has a big time game as well and most believe that wherever Shoni shows up, her point guard sister Jude will follow. Louisville hosted Schimmel for the UofL vs. UConn game at Freedom Hall and Cardinals head coach Jeff Walz has made several visits to Oregon to meet with her and her family. Also hot on her trail are coaches C. Vivian Stringer, Sherri Coale, Dawn Staley, Kim Mulkey.

himmel's mother Ceci Moses is the head coach at Portland Franklin, her high school and the native American superstar doesn't be in any apparent hurry to make her decision. Maybe she ought to meet a certain Mr. Teague from Indy. Both players have Cardinal fans guessing and speculating.

Written by Paul
(Help me save and protect Polar Bears. Read Richard Ellis' "On Thin Ice.")

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lacrosse falls to Georgetown 17-13

Shouldn't wearing a jacket like this get you a free bowl of burgoo? It's Kentucky Derby Festival time again in Louisville. Abandon all hope ye who enter here.

It was a perfect afternoon for the lacrosse match between Louisville and #14 Georgetown on Sunday but the results weren't exactly what the Louisville lacrosse team wanted to acheive. The Cards started out slowly against the Hoyas and found themselves on the short end of a 15-6 score at the end of the first half.

Louisville coach Kellie Young knew that the defense had to pick it up if Louisville was going to get back in the contest and they did respond in the final half...holding the Hoyas to just two goals...but Louisville couldn't get enough shots in the net to catch the Georgetown team at the end.

Liz Lovejoy led the Cards with five goals and Katie Oliverio dished out five assists.

Louisville continues the home stand Saturday against Jacksonville. Game time is 1 p.m.


Cardinal women's tennis wrapped up the regular season on the road against Miami, OH. and brought back a 5-2 win against the Redhawks. Mandy Brown won in both singles and doubles matches for Louisville, who evened their record to 10-10. The tennis team is idle until April 22nd. They'll travel to South Bend to participate in the Big East Championships.


With the recent low attendance at the Derby Classic and Night of the Future held this weekend for high school boys basketball...isn't it time to include the best senior high school girls in the area and around the nation in the event?

This debate surfaced again as several friends, Sonja and I sat with the 6200 Saturday night and watched the action in Freedom Hall. It's the lowest amount of people I've seen at the game and we've been going since the inception. The talent level was slightly down from past years..but there were still 3 Cardinal signees, 1 UK signee, and 1 IU signee playing. The UofL fans turnout was particulary disappointing. I attended the Night of the Future Stars Friday, and there were plenty of empty seats for the slam dunk, two on two and three point shooting contests over at Bellarmine.

With the low attendance for both events as a lead-in, we discussed and debated another question that surfaced about holding the Friday night event at Bellarmine University's cozy but antiquated Knights Gym instead of Cardinal Arena or the Yum Center. Bellarmine hasn't had a participant in this event as far back as I can remember...but each year they play the Friday night contests in a place with poor accoustics. You could not understand one word of the player introductions...being hyped up by a local radio station rap DJ. No problem with the revved up, hip hop player intros, mind you...but they should at least give the emcee decent accoustics so it's enjoyable and not nerve grating.

With the advent of the downtown SONJA arena, it is high time to get the girls involved in this thing. The committe also needs to lower ticket prices (preferred seating at $17 for this thing is too high for what you're receiving) and make the Friday night events free for all, instead of having to have a ticket for the Saturday night game to gain admittance on Friday. Especially in a tough economy...where the idea is to make this affordable and attended instead of holding the gun to the potential consumers' head. Group pricing, senior citizen discounts...c'mon use a little imagination here.

Getting people in to watch the Friday night festivities free just might spur them to purchase a Saturday seat, especially if you've got the girls from around the area involved in the two on two and three point contests. Attendance for Louisville, Kentucky, Northern Ky and Bellarmine women's basketball has never been higher and the McDonald's All-Star classic did the smart thing and involved the girls several years ago.

Of course...we are dealing with the Kentucky Derby Festival Committee here. New and exciting ideas are like castor oil to this bunch. At least they toned down the gaudy and garish colors of the "official Ky. Derby Festival sports coat" this year. Still think they look like a bunch of misplaced fraternal lodge convention attendees. Much is made of the countless hours of hard work that festival organizers put in each year for the Derby, in return...they have to dress like lounge singers when they make appereances at these events? Do they really need the attention that badly? Being snobby and aristocratic is one thing (and a manuever they've got down to a "t")...but looking foolish while doing just makes you wonder. Derby Festival should rightly be a time for Louisville to showcase the activities surrounding Derby...not the time for a bizarre fashion show by pompous promoters of the annual event. Get matching polo shirts or maybe a logo on white dress shirt...gang.

OK, Monday Morning Arm Chair Quarterback endeth...Go in peace and be nice out there today.

Written by Paul (who isn't wearing a Derby Festival jacket and never will.)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ky. Girls' All-State team a mix of young and old

Ebony Rowe received the most votes for the Kentucky Girls' All-State basketball team. She averaged 21.0 points a game for Lexington Paul Dunbar and 16.2 rebounds her senior year.

The 2010 version of Kentucky's Girls' All-State basketball team has 4 seniors, 2 juniors, 1 sophomore and 3 freshmen. Top vote getter a bit of a surprise with Ebony Rowe, a 6'0" forward out of Lexington's Paul Dunbar high schol narrowly selected over Sarah Barnette (Lexington Christian), Antonita Slaughter (Christian Academy) and Samantha Drake (Nelson County). The top four vote getters were all seniors.

Filling out the squad are: Rebecca Greenwell (Owensboro Catholic, junior) Makayla Epps (Marion County, freshman), Kyvin Goodin-Rogers (Marion County, freshman), Sara Hammond (Rockcastle County, junior), Sydney Moss (Boone County, sophomore) and Chastity Gooch (Franklin-Simpson, junior).

One thing the girls have in common is interest from several universities in the state. UofL has signed Slaughter and has made contact with Epps, Goodin-Rogers, Greenwell, Hammond, Gooch and Moss. UK has inked Barnette and is pursuing Drake, Epps, Goodin-Rogers, Greenwell, Hammond and Gooch. WKU has interest in Epps, Goodin-Rogers, Hammond, Gooch and Moss.

Rowe has signed to play at Middle Tennessee State. Drake originally committed to Kentucky but reopened her commitment and included Georgia and Michigan State.

Although Louisville Mercy won the state tournament this year...they only have one player listed on the top three teams...5'11" senior Therese Montano, who hasn't picked a college yet.

Other Louisville area players selected were senior Molly Ernst (Assumption) and sophomore April Wilson (Manual) for the second team.

Written by Sonja

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Zenyatta romps in the Apple Blossom

The mare proved why she is the simply the best female in horse racing with an easy 4 1/2 length romp in Oaklawn's Apple Blossom Handicap. Jockey Mike Smith still believes he hasn't seen her best race yet.

One couldn't blame Zenyatta owner Jerry Moss if he was walking around the Oaklawn winner's circle humming the song from the movie Space Jam "I Believe I Can Fly" yesterday. Moss owns A&M Records and he's got a chart topper also in Zenyatta. His 4 year old filly seemed to have wings as she flew from last to first in the short Oaklawn stretch yesterday and blew by the competition in the $500,000 Apple Blossom Stakes at the Arkansas race track.

Maybe it's good Rachel Alexandra didn't show up to test the Street Cry mare yesterday in Hot Springs, AR. Zenyatta is running on all eight cylinders right now and it just doesn't matter if the racing surface is dirt, polytrack or even lime Jello...she confidently stalks the other horses in a race, knows when to make her move without any urging from jockey Mike Smith and then goes to work.

Sixteen wins in a row now for the horse named after a recording by The Police. Maybe she'll top the UConn women's basketball team's winning streak before she's through. No word on her next outing from trainer John Shireffs...but wouldn't it be great to have her at Churchill to maybe meet up with Rachel Alexandra on her favorite track?

Hoping for big things today in the Arkansas Derby from NOBLE'S PROMISE. Local trainer Kenny McPeek sends the hard luck 3 year old out as the probable favorite Saturday. NOBLE has had the misfortune of running against LOOKIN AT LUCKY the last several times out and narrowly going down to defeat. No LUCKY today in the Oaklawn field...but he'll face plenty of competition from DUBLIN, SUPER SAVER and NORTHERN GIANT in the 1 1/8 mile race that attracted 9 runners. Quite a rags to riches story here for the owners of NOBLE'S PROMISE...10 partners invested $1,000 each to buy the horse as a yearling. NOBLE has banked over $700,000 in earnings for the investors.


Tough loss for Louisville lacrosse Friday to #13 Loyola at the Louisville lacrosse stadium. The Cards go down 17-10 after being tied with the Greyhounds 5-5 at the half. The Cards jumped out to an early 3-0 lead against the visitors but could not sustain the momentum and were outscored 12-5 in the second half.

Bergan Folly led Louisville with five goals but the deciding factor in the match was Louisville's inability to stop Loyola from scoring late in this one.

The Cards return to action Sunday hosting Big East foe Georgetown.

Written by Paul (who will be wearing his NOBLE'S PROMISE hat today) Happy Birthday Park!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Louisville lacrosse opens homestand Friday

Freshman goalie Danielle Pawliw was recently selected Big East defensive player of the week. The Plainview, NY product will tend the net against Loyola Friday at 1 p.m.

THE GIRLS ARE BACK IN TOWN...(the girls are back in town) With apologies to Thin Lizzy for the rewording of the classic rock song...Louisville's women's lacrosse team is finally off the road and ready to do battle this afternoon against the Loyola Greyhounds. Spread the word around...the girls are back in town...

(Who's Thin Lizzy? Google it and listen to a few downloads. Paul's thumbnail description of the band...They were a rough and tumble Irish hard rock band from the seventies. Give an ear to "Jailbreak" and "The boys are back in town") Whatever happened to the "wah wah" pedal, anyway?

Here's something you probably didn't know. Loyola is a member of the Big East. Don't expect the Maryland school to grace Charlie Strong's football schedule in the future or top the standings in Big East women's hoops...but they are a part of the Big East makeup at least in women's lacrosse and they visit Louisville today to kick off the Cards five game homestand. (Don't worry,'ve got nothing to worry about until the cards get ready to play this upcoming hoops season. But, I digress.)

Loyola is not to be taken lightly. The Greyhounds narrowly lost to Notre Dame in their last game, falling 11-10 to an Irish goal with 6 seconds remaining in the game. Notre Dame topped the Cards 11-9 in South Bend earlier in the season. Loyola's Grace Gavin was named Big East offensive player of the week for her efforts against Cincinnati and the Irish.

Louisville (7-3) enters the game coming off a 17-10 road win against Longwood. Bergin Folly and Liz Lovejoy have been supplying the offensive punch lately for the Cards and Katie Oliverio leads Louisville with 21 assists.

Louisville is averaging 14.7 goals per game so far this season and allowing only 10.3 scores. After Loyola, the Cards will host Georgetown on Sunday. Jacksonville, Syracuse and Connecticut will also visit Louisville lacrosse stadium during the Cards' home schedule.

Admission is free for all Louisville lacrosse game. The lacrosse stadium is on Floyd Street, next to the YUM Center and not too far from the football Cards practice facilities, the Trager Center and Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

If you've never attended a lacrosse match, you're missing out on a very fast paced and exciting game. I like to refer to it as "field hockey on steroids"...there's a lot more scoring, more shots on goal and a faster pace to the game. If it had been around when I was in high school, I definitely would have gone out for the team. (We were having a hard enough time getting bodies to show up for our field hockey team back in those days and some guy named Edison was touting something called electricity.)

Get out today and support your University of Louisville women's lacrosse team. Viggo Mortensen and Charlie Sheen will be making guest apperances at the game. (Just kidding...but still show up anyway!)

Spread the word around...the girls are back in town! I'll have that song stuck in my head all day now...

Written by Sonja

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Too good to pass on...

Found this candid of our buddy Shannon over at Cardinal Dominance and Louisville sportscasting legend Bob Domine mugging for the camera at a UofL football practice shortly before Domine left to attend the University of Louisville softball game Wednesday night.

Not enough can be said about Bob's devotion and attendance to the University of Louisville's womens' sports programs. You see Bob at all the Lady Cards basketball games, he also attends Cardinal volleyball, softball...well, it can be said that Bob is a huge fan and we thank him for his attendance, support and loyalty.

Shannon, the owner and managing editor of Cardinal Dominance keeps his plate full with excellent coverage of Cardinal football, baseball and hoops. He's a must read, his breakdown, analysis and coverage of practices, games and team makeup and posistion depth is well research and very insightful. We here at Cardinal Couple owe Shannon a BIG debt of gratitiude for helping us get our feet wet with blogging and, along with Charlie Springer at UofL Card Game and Howie Lindsey at Cardinal are our patron saints of journalism.

Charlie Springer taught me pretty much everything I know about writing a concise, informative and relative sports column and it's always a joy to run into him and his lovely wife Barbara at UofL sporting events. He always puts up with my occasional cantakerous nature and gladly posts my articles about Lady Cards basketball on his site.

Before I get all misty eyed and start blabbing about all the wonderful opportunities these guys have so graciously provided us with over the years, I'll leave you with this...

Please patronize their sites (You'll find a link to them on the left hand side of our posts) and tell a buddy, invite a friend.

Written by Sonja

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Softball Cards blank UK 6-0

Brittany York contributed to the Cards first inning rout of UK starting pitcher Rachel Riley before an overflow crowd in Ulmer Stadium Wednesday night.

The University of Louisville softball team has developed a propensity for jumping on opponents early in games this year. Wednesday night was no different as the Cards tallied five first inning runs and coasted in for a 6-0 win over the Wildcats.

Cloudy skies and pleasant temperatures greeted the record setting crowd tonight for the rivalry game which was announced at 1134 in attendance, plus several hundred more in the outfield berm area behind the fences. Although neither team sent one over the fence tonight, Louisville batted around in the bottom half of the first to jump out ahead of UK and chased starting pitcher Riley to the dugout when leadoff hitter Melissa Roth appeared at the plate for the second time in the inning.

Roth started the firworks for Louisville by leading off the bottom of the first with a single. Although she was forced out on Vanessa James' fielder's choice, James scored on a booming double by Alicja Wolny. A single by Jordan Trimble put runners on first and third and both scored on Colby Wherry's line shot single to give the Cards a 3-0 lead. Chelsea Bemis followed with a single and York's fielder's choice scored Wherry and left Bemis safe at second because of a fielding error. Bemis scored when Roth singled to put the Cards up 5-0.

The Cards put Tori Collins on the mound to face the Wildcats and despite a shaky
start for the sophomore righty, she and Kristen Wadwell combined to limit the UK nine to just three hits for the game. Collins (8-3) gave up two singles in the top of the first but would only allow one more hit in 5 innings of work. Wadwell retired all six batters she faced and struck out three.

Chandra Bell came on in relief of Riley for UK and limited UofL to just one run in 5 innings on the mound.

Louisville tacked on the insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when Jennifer Esteban drilled a longshot triple to the center field fence and scored on a throwing error when Melissa Roth successfully stole second after reaching first by getting hit by a Bell pitch.

The big crowd was treated to rousing performances from the UofL Pep Band thruout the game and dozens of UofL t-shirts and hats were tossed out to attendees from the press box and sideline areas. Notables in the crowd enjoying the rivalry game included Lady Cards basketball stars Monique Reid and Becky Burke and Cardinal women's basketball assistant coach Stephanie Norman.

"It was just a wonderful night for softball and a great win for our girls against the Cats." commented long time Cardinal athletics fan Bill Hancock after the game. "It's always good to sweep the in-state rival." Louisville defeated Kentucky 3-0 earlier in the season in Lexington.

And, indeed...Paul and I had fun at the game and with the rowdy crowd tonight while watching the Cards extend their win streak to five games. Although the "big guy" didn't get a t-shirt thrown to him...I thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the ol' ballpark tonight and the chance to root for the Cards victory.

Louisville (25-12) returns to action next Wednesday with a doubleheader at Rutgers.

Written by Sonja and Paul


UConn takes title game

No upset for you, Stanford!

It was not as thrilling or exciting as the men's championship game Monday night, but the UConn Huskies overcame a horrible first half and put the hammer on the Stanford Cardinal last night in San Antonio. Let's face it, how many of us were hoodwinked into believing that the Cardinal, the Tree...whatever you want to call the Stanford squad would put together a final twenty minutes against Geno's kids like they managed in the first twenty?

It turned into the Maya Moore show in the second half and the junior showed why she is the best player in women's college basketball. 23 points, 11 boards and the spark that started the Connecticut engine after halftime.

For what Moore does on the court, there is no better player right now in the college women's game. Argue Brittany Griner's post domination if you want, they fell to the Huskies in the semis. Moore put the Huskies on her shoulders, lifted them from a 12 point first half effort, down by eight and carried them to a 6 point lead before the popcorn in the microwave had cooled. No fear. Congrats to our Big East fellow school.


Speaking of Stanford, what is up with that psychadelic tree that they have as a mascot? I did a little research on it, turns out that each year students submit designs and ideas for how the tree mascot should look and the winner gets to build their own tree and be the mascot for a year. Imagine if we did that with our Speed School students and the Cardinal Bird? This year's "tree" looks like something that came off the set of "The Wizard of OZ". And Jane Appel looks like Dorothy, right?
OK..never mind. Just keep in mind that Tiger Woods is a Stanford grad.


Don't forget Cardinal softball tonight at 6 p.m. vs. the Kentucky Wildcats. The rain isn't supposed to come in until later, so get out there and support the Lady Cards on the diamond in this rivalry game. Need a little payback for the trouncing UK put on the guys yesterday in Lexington. Last night was quite a workout for the remote control, switching back and forth from Cardinal baseball, the NCAA Women's Championship game and my Tuesday night favorite...NCIS. I swear I had a dream that Gibbs was playing point guard for UConn in the title game against the Baseball Cards.


Got a nice e-mail from future Lady Card basketball player Quaneisha McCurdy. The 6'6" junior post player that stars for Northwest High School in Dalton, Georgia is getting a reputation as a supreme shot blocker and will be one of the best players south of the Mason-Dixon line during her senior year. Was talking about Brittany Griner's shot blocking ability in the middle and McCurdy responded:

"They haven't seen nothing yet."

What we like to hear. Have a great AAU season, tear them up in 2010-11 at Northwest and get up here to Louisville!

Written by Sonja 4/7/10