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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Softball sweeps on West coast

SATURDAY with your friends at CARDINAL COUPLE:

-Softball takes two in San Diego

-Bergstrom in NCAA Swimming
-Watson previews the Lady Cards v. Vandy

Louisville Softball won twice on the opening day of the San Diego Classic II, downing Cal-State Northridge 4-1 and blanking San Diego State 7-0.

The Cards (16-8) got off to a great start against CS-Northridge by tallying two runs in the first inning. Katie Keller doubled to start the game, Jennifer Esteban singled to put runners on the corners and Chelsea Bemis delivered a base clearing, two RBI double.

The Matadors got a run back in the third and the teams remained scoreless until Louisville tacked on a couple scores in the top of the seventh. Bemis walked, sprinter Tesha Payton came in to run for her and scored when Alicja Wolny smashed a double. Colby Wherry followed with another double to make it 4-1 and complete the game's scoring.

Carlisa Connell (6-2) got the start and the win for Louisville. The freshman gave up one run, two hits and KO'ed four in five innings. Tori Collins had two strong innings of relief to secure the winning...allowing no hits and fanning three batters.

In the San Diego State contest, Louisville continued the hot hitting with a run in the top of the second. Maggie Ruckenbrod and Taner Fowler provided singles and Kristin Austin reached on a fielders choice to load the bags. Hannah Kiyohara grounded out, scoring Ruckenbrod...but the Cards could not produce any additional runs in the inning.

They made up for it in the top of the third. Bemis and Wherry singled and Fowler belted a three run homer to deep left to make it 4-0. Louisville added three in the sixth. Austin drew a walk and scored on a Kiyohara double. Bemis beat out a ground and she and Kiyohara scored on a long double by Wolny....making it 7-0.

Collins went the distance for Louisville, allowing only three hits and fanning seven. It was her fifth shutout of the season. The Cards have three more games to play over Saturday and Sunday.

Therese Bergstrom finished 13th. in the 100 meter breaststroke in the NCAA Championships at the University of Texas yesterday. Bergstrom, the BIG EAST 100-Breaststroke champion, posted a time of 1:00:70 against the nation's best. She competes in the 200 meter breaststroke on Saturday.


David Watson, special correspondent to CARDINAL COUPLE, will be in the stands for the LADY CARDS basketball game against Vanderbilt on Sunday. WE'LL wave to him from media row. Here are some Watson thoughts on the game, and hoops in general:

It's not often that I get to spend the greater part of four days watching college basketball. My wife is glad that this is not a monthly occurrence. She's been a trooper, though, as we have reached the halfway point of this dribble, drive, shoot and score marathon. Dutifully bringing snacks and suggestions to the basement "man cave" where me, the kids, my father-in-law and assorted friends and friends of friends file in and out to participate in this roundball holiday. We've got the pizza guy on speed dial and the cans and bottles are routinely hauled out to the recycling bin by my son. It's the most wonderful time of the year.
The Watson Invitational, where we fill out the brackets and clutch our rosary beads hasn't gone as well for me. I'm tied for second to last out of the 17 participants. The madness will continue for one more day here at Hoops Central under my direction, then it's off to Cincinnati to watch the University of Louisville women's basketball team. My father-in-law Gussie, assisted by my son, will assume the duties of making sure all four TV's are working correctly and that no one overflows the basement toilet. Me and my oldest daughter will make the trek to Xavier. Wouldn't be surprised if my wife and youngest daughter escape to the malls after Sunday Mass and run up the Visa card. It's give and take this time of year. The family pooch, Wilson, has had constant indigestion the last two days from a variety of sources. All well meaning, but offering a vast array of delights and treats that differ greatly from his regimented Alpo diet. I may need to send him to a fat farm for the month of April. I may tag along.

How will these Cardinals do? I expect a hard fought victory out of Jeff Walz and his troops. Walz has had a ton of time to diagnose, review and scout the Commodores. He's usually pretty awesome when given 5 or so days to prepare for an opponent. We'll look for Louisville to use their quickness and the inside scoring punch of Monique Reid to take the fight to a well balanced Vandy squad. If Louisville can manage to grab a few boards, stay out of serious foul trouble and hit a few threes, all the better. People speak of Louisville's youth and inexperience but there are no freshmen this late in the season. Plus, you have Keisha Hines, Monique Reid and Becky Burke on board. They road the rails to the Final Four two years ago. Their leadership and experience will be counted on.

Will the Cards conquer on Tuesday night against (most likely) Xavier? An early season loss to the giant Muskies should give Walz a road map on what to do to beat them. Don't be surprised if this one is closer than expected and Louisville is in a position to win at the end. Let's not put the cart before the horse, though. Beat Vandy first. Survive and advance. It's the call of duty this time of year. Now, where did I put that bottle of Febreeze and who's been sticking chicken wing bones under the slip covers?

DAVID WATSON refuses to reveal how he got four TV's hooked up in his basement to cable. We're thinking he's got an "in" with an installer in Central Indiana somewhere. Sometimes, it's just best not to know...


CARDINAL COUPLE will have reports from the Cintas Center on Sunday. GO CARDS!


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