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!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Kyvin Goodin-Rogers, Makayla Epps verbal to UofL Women's basketball


-Epps, Goodin-Rogers verbal to Lady Cards

They may just be finishing their sophomore years, but Makayla Epps and Kyvin Goodin-Rogers have
Kyvin Goodin-Rogers had 95 blocked
shots as a sophomore at Marion County.
a pretty firm grasp of the future. They announced verbals to the University of Louisville women's basketball team. The talented duo from Marion County High School in Lebanon, KY. are widely considered two of the best in the Class of 2013 basketball nationwide... not to mention Kentucky...and it looks like UofL head coach Jeff Walz has cleared the bases again with another recruiting triumph.

Epps is a steady, play-making
guard for Marion County.

Both have already played four years of high school basketball, beginning as 7th graders, and have shown interest in the Cardinals since freshmen. They've made visits to the UofL campus, played in AAU events there and are a part of the Kentucky Premier Select team...where they played on the same team as Cardinal signee Sara Hammond last summer.

Makayla is a 5'10" guard and the daughter of former UK men's basketball player Anthony Epps. She averaged over 16 points a game in both her freshman and sophomore years and she's been selected for the Courier-Journal Kentucky girls All-State team the last two years.

Kyvin is a 6'1" front line player who is the daughter of former UofL men's basketball player Tick Rogers. She averaged 11.5 points and 9.5 rebounds as a sophomore and 13.4 points and 8.6 rebounds as a freshman. She's also a two-time Courier-Journal Kentucky girls All-State team  selection.

The continued success story of Walz on the national and local recruiting scenes is unheralded in the history of UofL women's basketball. "Walz Ball" was a big factor in the girls' early verbals to the Cardinals, according to their head coach at M.C.H.S. Trent Milby:

"The system fits them both," Milby told the Courier-Journal. "They fell in love with Walz from day one. We went up there in November of their freshman year and I think from that day on they knew they wanted to go there." 

Louisville coaches cannot comment on verbal commitments until letters of intent are received and both Epps and Goodin-Rogers won't be able to sign those until November 2012.   

WE have been telling our readers here at CARDINAL COUPLE about these two since our inception of the site...and over at UofL Card Game before that. WE felt early on that the commitment level and interest levels in the Lady Cardinal basketball program was high and that both would eventually end up as Walz players. The nature of verbal commitments, being what they are, sometimes change...but WE feel these two are solid and you'll see both in UofL uniforms in the 2013-14 season.

Cards in NCAA track and field - Rucker, Braunies get honors

Gwen Rucker came to Louisville to
play hoops and volleyball but
the wide net sport won out.

-Four LADY CARDS get NCAA berths in Track and Field.

-Gwen Rucker, Taylor Braunies named to USA squad

-Atlanta Dream (minus Angel) romp Brits.

-California Girls....

Two UofL Women's Volleyball team members have been named to the 36 athletes that are competing in the USA Volleyball Open National Championships down in Dallas, TX.

Taylor Brauneis took over the
setter spot as a freshman.
Gwen Rucker, a middle hitter from Lexington, KY, and setter Taylor Brauneis are on the USA A2 roster. Rucker will be a senior this upcoming season and originally came to Louisville to participate in both volleyball and basketball. Rucker was a valuable post player for Jeff Walz's Lady Cards basketball team for two seasons...going to an NCAA Final Four with the Cards as a freshman. She decided to concentrate on volleyball her final two years at UofL and was a starter for Leonid Yelin's squad last year. With new coach Anne Kordes on board at UofL this season, Rucker's leadership and experience with the volleyball squad will be counted on for the Volleyball Cards.

Brauneis, from Crystal Lake, IL. came to the Louisville campus last year and quickly established herself as the Cards starting setter. She had 1100 sets for the Cards last season and has also sang the national anthem at Cardinal home matches. (Not while playing during a game...) . Congrats to both of these "wide-netters"!!


D'Ana McCarty will compete in
two NCAA Championship events.
Four UofL women's track and field squad members have punched their tickets for the NCAA Championships. The title seekers:

-Chinwe Okoro (Discus)
-Rachel Gehret  (High Jump)
-D'Ana McCarty (hammer throw and shot put)
-Khadija Abdullah (shot put)

The girls will move on to Drake Stadium, on the campus of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and compete from June 8th. -June 11th.


No Angel for Atlanta in\
the 31 point Dream win.
The Atlanta Dream had no trouble with the Great Britain National Team overseas...romping to a 82-51 exhibition team...but it's interesting to note that they did it without projected starters Angel McCoughtry and Erika de Souza. McCoughtry is on the shelf for awhile with a sprained knee and de Souza missed the trip to attend to some affairs back home in Brazil. Doesn't seem either was missed too much, though, against the Brits.

CoCo Miller led the way for the Dream with 21 points, who are the first WNBA team to play in England.

The trip was part of spreading the WNBA brand to England and the game is the only tune-up the Dream will get before beginning WNBA play this upcoming weekend.


If it seems that the Cal Bears women's softball team has been in the commonwealth of Kentucky forever...they have been. With a 9-0 romp of Kentucky in the 3rd game of the Super Regionals in Lexington,
Cal pitcher Jolene Henderson adds
"Cat-Killer" to her resume. She also knocked
Louisville out of the NCAA Tournament
the Bears end a two week stay in Louisville and Lexington. Once again, Jolene Henderson proved her mastery of the pitching circle...limiting the Wildcats to just three hits in the final game. Kentucky forced the deciding game after beating Cal 8-0 in game two of the Super Regional. Cal won the opening contest Saturday 1-0. 

Cal moves on the the WCWS Championships with the win. If Henderson continues pitching like she's been lately...the Bears may not make it back home until fall...

The WCWS Championship Series participants are:

- Arizona State (Pac 10)
- California (Pac 10)
- Alabama (SEC)
- Florida (SEC)
- Oklahoma (Big 12)
- Oklahoma State (Big 12)
- Baylor (Big 12)
- Missouri (Big 12)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day


We give you this story today from a friend of CARDINAL COUPLE

It was a pretty crazy time in the history of America. The war was at full tilt in Vietnam and there had just been an election. Nixon was the new president. I was graduating from high school. No plans on college, no money to go even if I did and no idea what I was going to do after graduation. Louisville was a manufacturing town back then and I figured I could go to one of the plants...had friends at International Harvester, GE, Ford and Phillip Morris...get a factory job and take on the next part of my life. 

Uncle Sam had different plans for me. With a low draft lottery number and no physical disabilities, I was prime fodder for the armed services. And, sure enough, I got the notice, got the call and a couple of days after a wild "send away" party that a few buddies threw for me..I was on the bus and headed for basic training.

Me (sitting on right). Neville (middle) and Don (left)
Our drill instructors hated us, we all figured. I didn't know anyone in my squad but we soon started making friends, forming alliances. I was part of the "stoners" the underacheivers... and we got through basic training in North Carolina after a series of misadventures that had us in the bull ring more than once and doing more pushups than heavyweight prize-fighters. I was assigned infantry.

I ended up... after the longest trip in my Vietnam. I had never been past the state of Oklahoma in my it was all quite new and a little baffling to me at first. The first couple of weeks, it seemed advice, orders, and instructions were coming from everyone. Three of the guys from basic were with me in our unit. We soon formed a bond with a few of the "stoners" in the unit and the days went on.

We sat by that river in tunnels and cutouts day-in and day-out. We'd fire at them and they'd fire back at us. They'd try to come over the bridge sometimes, we never did..we were there to maintain control of the bridge and ensure safe river traffic and we did. Days went by slow. I was trained to be a tunnel rat...that's what they called us small guys. Taught how engage in tunnel warfare. Never got to use it, though until one day the shooting stopped. They weren't returning our fire. Went on for a couple of days. Air re-con confirmed they were gone. We finally went over the bridge.

We discovered the tunnels. They were really quite well designed...compared to ours...and seemed to go forever. None were rigged or booby trapped you got a false sense of confidence as we explored them. Days were pretty easy for a while. Mapping, charting and exploring and getting stoned. The guess was that they were gone for good. We still had to watch the bridge, and the river, we were split up on either side of it, doing that.  

Days went slow but very easy. We'd grill out almost every night. We'd barter with boats going up and down the river. Then, the Cong returned. With a vengeance. The early radio communiques were scary. Command decided to get us all back on our side of the river, but not before we set traps and explosives in the tunnels. I was back over for just a few hours before they came back. And, then it was hell.

I don't remember much about the explosion. I woke up as we were evacuating, in the back of a transport. Every part of my body hurt. They gave me more morphine and I woke up in a MASH Unit.
the next time. The doctors told me that they thought they could save my legs but weren't so sure about my left arm. My war was over.

I was one of the lucky ones. Two of the guys that I had done basic with...Don and Neville...and was in the platoon with in Vietnam...  died in that offense. I think about them from time to time...Don and his Bob Dylan impersonations. Neville lip syncing to the Temptations. Still talk to Don's wife from time to time...she re-married...second husband died of cancer last year. David, the third guy, got out unhurt. Hadn't talked to him in years. He's in Michigan still, I guess. He's a dairy farmer. Married his high school sweetheart.  After rehabilitation, and after they were able to save my legs and left arm, I was sent back to the states. Went back to Louisville, eventually. Ended up at the post office and just retired from there two years ago. We moved to Ohio and live next door to my wife Carol's sister Sally and her husband Dan now in their mom and dad's house. Three miles from my oldest boy. I miss Louisville sometimes. Had good neighbors and a nice little shotgun house there. Ohio is OK, though. Carol and her sister Sally are close and that's important.

I miss my dad sometimes. He was like your Dad, Paul. He lived to 93. Outlived my mom by 14 years. My younger brother Larry and my sister-in-law took good care of him like you did with your dad. Larry is still in Louisville. I told you about my other brother "Slick". He's still in Owensboro. Dementia getting worse for him.

I get asked. Vietnam. Was it worth it? I'm probably the wrong guy to ask. I did what my country asked me to do. 37 guys died in that 36 hours of hell. I probably should have, too.

I'll spend this Memorial Day at my oldest son's house. I'll have a few beers, he'll cook out and I'll watch the cornhole games, may try my luck in a couple,  probably play a few hands of nickle and dime poker and talk about the Reds, the Cards and Cats and this latest news about Tressel quitting at Ohio State. Mostly, his and his families' friends. Ohio State fans. I'll get back home tonight and check out the war movies on AMC.

Was it worth it? I guess it was.  Would I do it again? Yeah, I guess I would. We lost that bridge, though and control of the river in that section. That's one thing I'd change.

(I hope this was the kind of stuff you were looking for, Paul. Carol helped me write it. You know how bad I write. Ha-Ha. Gotta tell you, I got choked up a couple of times...Have a great day, buddy,)


(You did just fine, Ken. Thank you.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day 2011 - Freedom Isn't Free


-We'll see you Tuesday.

-Paul, Sonja and David

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ord hires Devan Newman as assistant coach


-BethAnn Ord hires Cardinal special assistant Devan Newman as assistant at Weber State

-Rules changes approved for women's college basketball
Weber State Wildcats are beginning
to get quite a Louisville lineage.

-Mess with the Triple Crown? Two opinions

-UofL baseball beats Pitt 12-2

Weber State head women's basketball coach BethAnn Ord has hired special assistant to Jeff Walz Devan Newman as an assistant coach at Weber State. Newman held the special assistant to Walz position for two years and also served a year as a graduate assistant at UofL.

Ord was excited about the hire and commented:

"Devan is going to be a great addition to my staff. She is a young, up-and coming star that I have had the opportunity to work with at Louisville for the last three years. She is also a coach's daughter who grew up on the court."

Newman is no stranger to the northwest part of the United States, getting her bachelor's degree in business from Oregon in 2007.

We've really never noticed too much or understood what a special assistant to a head coach we asked a friend who has been in basketball for many years. A special assistant wears a lot of hats. They assist with coordinating team road trips with the Director of Basketball Operations. They aide in recruiting, helping players with academics and can be helpful with individual instruction with players. Special assistants also carry out specific duties and requests that the head coach has. Special assistants are the head coach's "aide de camp"...taking care of the little but important details that a head coach must deal the coach can concentrate on the major issues with a team.

WE here at CARDINAL COUPLE wish Devan the best of success at Weber State. Pretty soon, we're going to have to start calling the program up there "Louisville Northwest."


Those enterprising young men of the NCAA rules committee have followed through on the rules changes we discussed a couple of weeks ago here at CARDINAL COUPLE.

10 second clock in women's hoops?
We're against it.  
-The women's three-point line will be moved back a foot to 20 feet, 9 inches...same as the men's line.

-An arc three feet from the basket has been added, inside which a defender cannot take a charge.

-Terminology changes on intentional fouls...which will now be known as "Flagrant 1" fouls...and flagrant fouls are now "Flagrant 2" fouls. Same as claasifications that are used in the NBA.

-A 10-second half court shot clock will be experimented with in exhibition games this upcoming season.

Here at CARDINAL COUPLE, we feel that the first three listed above are big deal and shouldn't affect play all that much,   The 10 second shot clock during exhibition games is a poor choice, our opinion. Power conference teams usually schedule pretty weak opponents for exhibition games and usually rout them as a rule. With a 10 second shot clock, the stronger teams will have an even greater advantage now to capitalize on weaker opponents inferior guard play if they decide to full court press. 80-48 blowouts
may turn into 110-28 romps. If you're going to do this...maybe install a "mercy rule" also...where the clock runs continuously if a team takes a 40 or larger point lead and stop the game if a team falls behind by 50 or more. And, what good is doing this during exhibition games when it won't be used in the regular season? After all, the main purpose of exhibition games is to prepare teams for regular season play. How does
changing the nature of the game in exhibitions help for the regular season? We hope this proposed change does not go well and is dropped from consideration.


We recently sat down with Alan Patterson, respected handicapper and race analyst and discussed the Triple Crown. The main point of discussion was centered around the issue of lengthening the days in between the races. Currently there is a two week period between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. Then, three weeks between the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. For those who participate in all's three races in a six week timespan. As Patterson points out:
Does the Triple Crown need changing?

"Most of these will never run three races in six weeks again for the rest of their you're asking a young horse to go further distances than they've ever gone in their racing careers and less time to rest in between them. It's destroyed horses in the past. I know that "that's the way it has always been" but it needs to be changed. Remember, the way it used to be is that we all had to use pay phones if we needed to make a call away from home and now everyone has cell phones. Remember when women's basketball had a center jump after each basket? Remember when there was no three point line or designated hitter in baseball?
Things change. The Triple Crown format needs to change also."

Patterson is in favor of still running the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May and then moving the Preakness to Memorial Day Weekend...building in a little extra "rest time" for those who attempt both races. Then, he's in favor of moving the Belmont Stakes to the Fourth of July weekend.

Veteran handicapper Norm Stienberg disagrees...

"You can't go and change the nature of these races and the tradition involved...because it would mean very little if a record happened to be broken. What if a horse breaks the time record for the Belmont after having that extra five weeks off to rest? Do you put an asterisk by that? The only change I'd like to see is probably going to happen soon enough..and that is moving the second leg of the Triple Crown to somewhere else than Pimlico Race Track. that place is on the verge of going bankrupt...the racing is inferior up there all year and it's time to get this race moved to a better track...maybe out in California or Gulfstream in Florida.

WE can see both handicapper's points here...but disagree with certain aspects raised by each. We say, leave it alone except for moving the Preakness to the west coast. Maybe Del Mar or Santa Anita. West coast horses come east to participate in the Triple Crown, no reason that east coast horses can't go west. And, Pimilco is a crappy track. Period.

Congrats to the UofL baseball team...12-2 winners over Pitt yesterday in the BIG EAST Tournament. They advance to play St. John's today at 10 a.m. Eat your Wheaties, fellas and come out with the big bats again today....Charlie Springer's UofL Card Game has a recap of the romp at


Friday, May 27, 2011

McCarty qualifies for NCAA Championhips


-D'Ana McCarty qualifies in Hammer throw
D'Ana McCarty has qualified for the NCAA
Championship in the hammer throw.
She'll also try in the shot put and discus.

-Finalists named for USA Women's U 19 team

Track and Field events are under way in Bloomington in the
East Preliminary round and UofL's D'Ana McCarty has qualified for the NCAA Championships already in the hammer throw. Her toss of 58.76m was good enough for ninth place and that'll move her on to DesMoines, IA for the championships.

She was the only Cardinal women to qualify yesterday. Louisville athletes fell short in the 400m hurdles, 100m dash and long jump. Jenna Wargo will try to qualify today in the javelin.


After three days of trials and 32 of the nation's best 19 yr. olds and under competing against each other, there is now an official roster for the USA Basketball U19 World Championship team. The squad is listed below. All are high school seniors unless a college is listed beside their name:

Jordan Adams
Cierra Burdick
Diamond DeShields
Stefanie Dolson (Connecticut )
Bria Hartley (Connecticut)
Mo Jefferson
Alexis Jones
Betnijah Laney
Ariel Massengale
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis
Meighan Simmons (Tennessee)
Imani Stafford
Breanna Stewart
Morgan Tuck
Elizabeth Williams

Geno gives Jen Rizzoti a plaque before his
UConn team beats the living daylights
out of her Hartford team
Failing to make the squad was Louisville signee Bria Smith. Shoni Schimmel was invited to tryout but did not attend because of illness. Head coach Jen Rizotti (Hartford) has stacked the lineup with plenty of east coast talent and UConn and Tennessee players and players to be. Expected nothing less of "little Geno"...who went on to say after the announcement of the squad:

"I think this team is great. I'm really excited. I think the committee did a great job. We have a really nice mix of experienced USA Basketball players, a few college players and then some new guys."

This is Rizzo...from the movie
"Grease" She and Jen Rizotti are
not the same person or related.

OK, then... Not sure how "some new guys" ended up on the women's team...but I guess you just never know these days...

The team will reconvene on June 1st at the ESPN Wild World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, FL. and practice a few days before playing Brazil in an exhibition game. Then, they'll take on Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Rebecca Lobo and a few other Disney characters in a scrimmage. (Just kidding on the last sentence).

Our summation... as long as this team has Stefanie Dolson and Duke signee Elizabeth Williams available for the front line, they should whip up on the rest of the world. Bria Hartley and Meighan Simmons are capable enough guards to get the ball to them and it really doesn't matter who the other wing is...
Word is that Esther Monney Niamke will play for the France U 19 squad. The UofL signee was recently named "best young player" in France.


Congrats to the UofL baseball team, still alive in the BIG EAST Tournament. They beat Cincinnati yesterday (not the Reds) to stay alive in the losers bracket. They get a rematch with Pitt today, who put them there.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nikki Burton transfers to Wingate University

Thursday Edition of the nearly world almost famous Cardinal Couple.
Nikki Burton had enrolled
in D II school Wingate

-Nikki Burton lands at Wingate

-Women's Track and Field sends 12 to
NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in Bloomington, IN.

...We KNEW Nikki Burton was leaving Louisville. Now, we know where to... 

Former UofL women's basketball program guard Nikki Burton has enrolled in Wingate University, a small, liberal private University located in Wingate, NC.
They play in the NCAA Division II classification, so Burton will be able to play immediately for the Bulldogs.

Burton played her high school ball at West Charlotte and was a member of the North Carolina 4A State Championship team. At Louisville, she played in 18 games her freshman year, starting 11 of them. Injuries slowed her down the remainder of her freshman year and sophomore year at Louisville.

Head Bulldogs women's basketball coach Barbara Nelson had this to say about Burton:

"Nikki is a special player who is always willing to put the team first. Her ability to create shots for herself and others will make an immediate impact on our team. Nikki is a tough defender who can guard any spot on the perimeter. Her BIG EAST experience will raise our level of competition daily in both practices and games. She's a winner, proven by her leadership in West Charlotte's state championship season. I look forward to that same mentality in our program."

And, we hope you get it...Barbara. Here's hoping the hip and groin injuries that sidelined Burton for a season and a half at UofL have healed and she can be a contributor. Jeff Walz, UofL head women's basketball coach,  had made comments during the original transfer notification indicating that she was unable to handle the rigors and daily demands of preparing to play in the BIG EAST because of those injuries. D II is a lot less competitive from a player skills standpoint...maybe Burton will fare well at Wingate. We hope so...

No word (that we can find) on where other transfers Rachel Story or Polly Harrington have landed or are going to land as of yet. If you know something we don't...please share it with us in the comments section or by e-mail at


D'Ana McCarty will throw in the NCAA
East Preliminary rounds in Bloomington
Louisville women's track and field, as we noted several days ago, is sending a platoon of athletes to Bloomington. IN to participate in the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds that get underway today. The Cards best chances appear to be in the field events....where D'Ana McCarty, Khadija Abdullah, Chinwe Okoro and Amashi Kendall will throw in several events each.

Louisville's "tossers" in the shot put, hammer, weight and discus throws are nationally recognized as being one of the best units in Division I NCAA Track and Field.

Good luck to the Louisville participants in the events at IU!


Hoping our readers in the Louisville area survived the big winds and storms that blew through the Louisville area last night. WE found our trash cans out in the middle of the driveway this morning, empty plant containers scattered out in the yard and driveway and tree branches down. The monsoon seasons continue...Paul still hasn't been able to get the annual vegetable garden planted yet...soil too wet to till and work. Can't remember a spring this wet...grass cutting has become a hit or miss proposition and it grows so quickly this time of year....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shoni Schimmel not participating in Colorado Springs FIBA U 19 tryouts


Shoni and Ceci Moses addressed attendees at the mid-year
conference of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.
-Schimmel not in Colorado Springs

-Schimmel and Mom speak at conference.

Maybe we should re-name the site Shoni Couple today or Cardinal Schimmel, since both articles are about the talented UofL guard....


Shoni Schimmel is not at the tryouts in Colorado Springs, CO for the U19 USA FIBA team. WE noticed that early reports on the tryouts made no mention of her. Then, a reader informed us that a Connecticut newspaper made mention of her absence from the event. Several other readers also e-mailed to inform us that Schimmel wasn't there. WE went to work on the story and soon found out that Shoni woke up Sunday morning and was ill and missed her flight to the tryouts. No injuries or other complications in this story...just a sick Shoni. We hope she gets to feeling better soon...the Louisville sinus syndrome this time of year is enough to make anyone sniffle and suffer most days (just ask UofL public address announcer J-Bone) and we hope it isn't one of those pesky summer colds that seem to drag on forever. Get well, soon Shoni and take your Vitamin C every day!

We do know that USC target Alexyz Vaioletama also missed the tryouts...why, we're not sure...and that Cardinal signee Bria Smith is "looking impressive and playing well" in the camp.


Shoni and her mother Ceci Moses did address the Mid-Year Conference of the Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians. The conference took place from May 15-18th in Worley, Idaho. and covered such topics and issues that involved the conference theme..."We need one another in these crucial years on Indian Affairs-we must plan jointly in the spirit of unity and divine guidance."

The event featured keynote speaker Raul Labrador, Idaho freshman congressman, who commented to the attendees that the federal government "doesn't understand what you're living through" in regards to the high unemployment rate and lack of funding delegated for programs in the Indian County" and Labrador expressed hope that Congress' new members can provide a much-needed change in perspective.
Mark Few is the head men's basketball
coach at Gonzaga.

Also addressing the conference was Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few.

It is a sad state of affairs when we can spend billions of dollars overseas
rebuilding countries that we've been at war with but not provide sufficient funding for our own Native Americans. The phrase "Think Globally, Act Locally" doesn't seem to carry much weight when it comes to taking care of those in our own country who are in need.

There are Americans going to bed hungry each night, who don't have clothing, housing or jobs. My late uncle Page once told me that "you take care of yours...your family and friends...first...before you try and save the world" back when I was a wild-eyed college idealist.

Those words have never rung truer and need to be followed in aspect to our own problems here in the United States...instead of throwing money at third-world countries who will never repay it and don't appreciate it.


If you live in the Louisville area, you might want to get out to the "Neutral Zone" by the end of the week. 1/2 off all Cardinal (and UK) merchandise. Paul meandered over there yesterday and got (2) nice Cardinal polo shirts at a very nice savings. It is rumored that they are the first additions to his wardrobe since Jimmy Carter was president.....

The Neutral Zone is located off Blankenbaker Parkway, near Shelbyville Road, in the shopping center that also houses Beef O' Brady's. (This is in no way an advertisement for the store...We just figure that anytime one can save money in these tough economic bears sharing.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sara-Maude Juneau All-American golfer, Dream looks to defend title, Catching up with Candyce


Sara-Maude Juneau graduates as one of
the best UofL women's golfers of all time.
-Sara-Maude Juneau selected as NGCA Honorable
Mention All-America golfer.

-Atlanta Dream looks for repeat.

-Catching up with Candyce Bingham

Louisville senior golfer Sara-Maude Juneau has been selected as a honorable mention All-American by the NGCA. This is the second straight year she has been honored with this award. Juneau, who was also selected BIG EAST golfer of the year two time in a row, led the team and the BIG EAST with a 73.2 scoring average. She finished in the top 20 in all of her matches this season and was in the top five finishers five times this year. She recently finished 20th in the NCAA East Regional.

Juneau won the William K. Warren Irish Invitational earlier this season and finished sixth in the BIG EAST Gold Tournament.

Congratulations to Sara and all of her UofL women's golf teammates for an outstanding season. Sad that the season has to end just when it's getting to be great golf season around the Louisville area...but we know Sara will be out there chipping for birdies and sinking long putts as a UofL graduate somewhere...who knows, maybe on the LPGA?


Harding was the #1 pick in the WNBA draft in 2007
and is considered one of the top defensive guards
in the WNBA, She's a Dream now.
The Atlanta Dream goes in search of back-to-back Eastern Division titles this WNBA season...but will spend a little time in England before the league begins. Angel and crew are headed over to Manchester, England to face the British National team. It will be the first time that an WNBA team has gone over there for competition and it will be the only preseason game the Dream plays before the regular season begins. (Are you listening NFL?).

To enhance their chances of scoring a repeat, the Dream has signed former Duke and Washington Mystics guard Lindsey Harding to the roster.

Harding lands with the Dream in exchange for guard Kelly Miller and Dream draft pick Ta'Shia Phillips from Xavier. She is a speedy guard that can fill up the hoop...averaging
12.1 for the Mystics last season. She'll fit in well with the Dream's frantic up-and-down-the court, fast break style of play. Her steady point guard play will give the Dream a dimension they were missing at times last year and along with Iziane Castro Marquez in the back court...the Dream will have one of the best guard combos in the league.

This hasn't gone unnoticed by Dream superstar Angel McCoughtry. When asked about the addition of Harding to the roster and her transition from being a Mystic to a Dream, McCoughtry was frank and to the point:

"Transition was easy for her. She's already done that." McCoughtry replied.

Both Harding and McCoughtry are among the group of players being considered for the U.S. Olympic team.


Candyce Bingham plays professional
basketball in Europe
CARDINAL COUPLE ran into former UofL great Candyce Bingham at the recent NCAA Softball Louisville Regional over last weekend. Bingham, who recently finished a season of European basketball in Luxembourg, plans on going back to the continent later this year and playing again. She'll be a fixture around campus until then and when asked about future WNBA possibilities, she just smiled and said:

"Maybe next year."

Bingham averaged 29.2 ppg for Amicale, second highest player point total in the league. No one could find her way to the basket for the close-in scores and put-backs like C.B. at UofL and, apparently in Europe as well....

Bingham is one of several former UofL players that toil in the European leagues...Angel McCoughtry and Jazz Covington also travel overseas to hoop it up for several months each year. Bingham, McCoughtry and Covington....sounds like a pretty solid front line to us....the three never played on the court at the same time, Cardinals. Covington played two years with Angel, McCoughtry and Bingham were both on the court together for two years...but Covington had already graduated when Bingham arrived as a transfer from Xavier.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Louisville softball loses to California 3-0...


Cal Bears pitcher Jolene Henderson shuts out
 UofL softball for the second day in a row.
-Cards fall to Bears 3-0

-The NCAA Tournament at a glance

-Vonk came a long way to be a Bear

Different day, same result. California pitcher Jolene Henderson got her second shutout over UofL in 24 hours with a 3-0 whitewash of the Cardinals. The Cards did have more hits today than California in the loss...but couldn't push home the base runners to the plate. Cal took a 1-0 in the second when a costly throwing error by Chelsea Bemis on an attempted putout at first led to a Bears score. They tacked on a second run in the fourth when a wild pitch by Louisville starting pitcher Tori Collins allowed Frani Echavarria to score from third base. They added an insurance run in the fifth when a Jace Williams single to center plated Jamia Reid.

Louisville had their chances, especially in the final three innings. The Cards got back to back singles in the bottom of the fifth from Taner Fowler and Kristin Austin  to have runners at the corners with no outs. Henderson got Katie Keller to pop up in foul territory for an out, though...a fielder's choice by Jennifer Esteban moved pinch runner Tesha Payton to second...but Fowler couldn't score on the play. Chelsea Bemis lifted a long fly to center next...but Echavarria caught up with it for the third out.

Louisville tried again in the sixth to dent the scoreboard. Alicja Wolny smashed a double to the wall in right center. Chelsea Jordan came in as a pinch runner and got to third after a Colby Wherry single. A groundout by Maggie Ruckenbrod sent Wherry to second but Jordan couldn't score on the play. Once again, Henderson pitched her way out of the trouble by sending Hannah Kiyohara back to the dugout on strikeouts.

Collins pitched well enough to win...and the Cards were getting to Henderson in the late innings but it's the most runs that wins you the game and the Bears capitalized when they needed to. Louisville left five runners in scoring position in the last two innings...and that proved to be the key stat of the game.

The game was stopped before the seventh inning began because of severe weather headed in the ballpark's direction and lighting strikes. We took cover in the hospitality room and got the chance to run into UofL Marketing's Adrienne Johnson. Always good to see A.J. with the bright smile and she reports that her Mom is doing well and hanging in there.

Louisville came back out after the delay and did get a bottom of the seventh inning single from Katie Keller but Jolene Henderson then retired Esteban, Bemis and Wolny in a row to get the win.

Louisville outhit Cal with eight hits to five for the Bears. Wherry and Austin had two each for the Cards..but UofL left nine base runners in the game...California eight. Tori Collins struck out 10 Bears batters, a new UofL record in NCAA Tournament play...but Henderson topped her again...sending 11 UofL batters back to the dugout after strike three.


-Cardinal shortshop Colby Wherry on Henderson:

"She's really good. She was working really hard with her change-up today..more than yesterday. She knew what to throw and she had a great game."

-California pitcher Jolene Henderson on UofL's scoring threats:

"I like to make things interesting. I don't really get too concerned. Our offense was on today and got runs early. I still felt in control...even when there were runners on base. I don't get too worried because I know what I can do and I don't doubt myself or my teammates at all."

Despite not advancing to the Super Regional...a good season, nevertheless...for Sandy Pearsall's squad. Strong pitching and hitting return for Louisville next year and the only starters leaving are from the left side of the Bemis and Wherry. A mighty loss, granted...but you can't keep them forever. Bemis and Wherry accomplished a lot of great things in their four years as Cardinals...and will go on to do great things after graduation...

64 go in, 16 advance. None of them from the BIG EAST. The University of Kentucky advances out of the South Bend regional and will get the California Bears and Jolene Henderson. They join SEC members Georgia, Alabama and Florida in the Sweet Sixteen. Besides California, the PAC 10 sends Stanford, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State into the Super Regionals..six out of the 10 schools in the conference...which is pretty amazing when you stop to think about it. Also well represented is the BIG 12...Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor, Missouri and Texas A&M. Five schools out of that conference. Houston also advances...from C-USA.

Here's the way the Super Regionals set up:

At Tempe, AZ....#1 Arizona State vs #16 Texas A&M

At Tucson, AZ...#8 Arizona vs. #9 Oklahoma

At Columbia, MO...#5 Missouri vs. #12 Washington

At Gainesville, FL...#4 Florida vs. #13 Oregon

At Stillwater, OK...Oklahoma State vs. Houston

At Athens, GA...#6 Georgia vs. #11 Baylor

At Lexington. KY...Kentucky vs. #5 California

At Tuscaloosa, AL....#2 Alabama vs #15 Stanford

Some surprises along the way as the teams are down to 16 now. UCLA sent to the sidelines - after a 33-17 season - by #4 Florida. #10 Michigan and #14 Tennessee both hosting regionals and not advancing. It is abundantly clear that the power conferences of NCAA Division I college softball are the PAC 10, Big 12 and SEC. 15 of the 16 Super Regional teams are from these three. The BIG EAST had four teams participate...but Notre Dame was tossed out by Kentucky, DePaul sent home by Missouri and Syracuse by LSU.

California, despite winning the Louisville regional and being ranked #5 in the nation...must play the Super Regional on the road in Lexington against Kentucky. The reason? Their softball facilities don't meet NCAA requirements for hosting a Super Regional. Seating the major issue. No worries, though...for the Bears. Head coach Diane Ninemire...who told reporters on Friday night that her team was used to being a road team and would not be affected or intimidated by having to travel after advancing. Truly a shame that the University of California can't come up with the means or funding to build a suitable facility for the #5 team in the nation that plays in one of the best, if not the best, conferences in college women's softball. Coach Ninemire was effusive in her praise for Ulmer Stadium and the way that host Louisville ran the regional.

There wasn't much of a Bears fan contingent in the stands at Ulmer Stadium for the tournament...but they were a vocal group. Leading the cheers and chants was California starters and twins Jamia and Elia Reid's mom...dancing and exhorting for her daughters and the Bears each and every inning. Almost 500 attended the final game on Sunday, maybe 20 of them were Bears fans, but they put on a show and were active in cheering on their team.


California freshman shortstop Brit Vonk is only one of two Bears that isn't from California. She hails from Enschede, Netherlands and playing softball and studying in the United States has always been a dream of hers. Why did she choose Berkeley, California?

Brit Vonk has proved to be a impact player in her
freshman year at Cal. The Netherlands import
is one of the fastest players on a speedy Bears team.
"I chose Cal because of the history and reputation of the school. The combination of both and Coach Ninemire made it an easy choice for me. I also discovered when arriving here that the San Francisco area is quite similar to the geographical makeup of hometown... and that has helped.." Vonk relates.

Vonk played on the 2008 Netherlands Olympic team and was on the Dutch National championship team in
2010 with the Tex Town Tigers. Her father played professional soccer in the Netherland, her mom played professional water polo and her brother plays professional soccer. She spent a year living in Spain when her father was a soccer coach for a Spanish team.

She arrived from the Netherlands a day before freshman orientation... and the jet-lag and newness of her surroundings had her in a bit of a quandry at first.

"I remember walking around campus, not knowing anybody or anything and thinking to myself...'What am I doing here?'"

Her teammates made up for that in a hurry and even incorporate Dutch cheers and chants in between innings in the dugout. Teammate Jace Williams confides:

"Some of the Dutch words...they're a little bit difficult for us to pronounce, but we give it our best shot...and we get some looks from opponents."

Vonk reports her team's success back to family and friends in Enschede but laments:

"I tell them that we beat UCLA in a series and they say...'That's nice...what is a UCLA?'"

No wooden shoes for this infield specialist...she's started in all 51 game this season for Cal...batting .416 on the season and having the highest team slugging percentage at .516. Vonk has scored 43 runs for the Bears this season and stole 26 base in 31 attempts. She also has drawn a team high 26 walks and produced 62 hits. This little Dutch girl plugs the hole quite well for Cal on the left side of the infield...We at CARDINAL COUPLE will be Bears fans in the Super Regional and hope that they can eliminate the Kentucky Wildcats.
Tough to envision a trip to Lexington to watch softball for us...but we'll be cheering for Cal and hope to catch the action on one of the thousands of ESPN networks out there. Paul, a huge Bears fan (Chicago, that is) has vowed to wear his BEARS hat and t-shirt each time they play. No Ditka or Cutler...but "Da Bears" will win...according to him.

(Parts of this article are from the California Bears official softball website and
Graham Hays @ .

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Louisville romps JSU 12-0


-Cards romp JSU 12-0

-Shackleford wins Preakness Stakes

-Morning has broken

The rains came to Ulmer Stadium Saturday night but after the delay the clouds opened up for the University of Louisville softball team with a 12-0 demolition of Jacksonville State. Louisville found the bats that were missing in the afternoon game against California...tagging JSU for fourteen hits in just four innings at bat.

Alicja Wolny and Colby Wherry led the Cardinal attack with three hits at three at Louisville put two runs on the board in the first inning on JSU...followed that with a eight run second inning and closed out the contest with two additional runs in the third for the win.

Caralisa Connell stymied the Jacksonville State batters...allowing just one hit with six strikeouts in six innings
Louisville must in two in a row on
Sunday to take the regional championship.
of tossing. Louisville advances out of the losers bracket in the double elimination format to try and take two against the Golden Bears from California Sunday...starting at 2 p.m. Wanna play two tomorrow, Lady Cards?  Go make it a reality....

CARDINAL COUPLE  in atendance today for the game(s)
We're going "the fan route" today and not providing press box coverage. Sometimes, you just wanna cheer and yell...we'll have full coverage and a recap after the action is over.

SHACKLEFORD took the field of fourteen runners wire to wire this afternoon in the Preakness Stakes...going off at 12-1 when they broke from the gate and giving Jesus Castanon a first ever Triple Crown win as a jockey. Castanon, a Louisville native, urged "Shack" to the wire barely ahead of the fast
Shackleford, ridden by Jesus Castanon, wins the Preakness
His early speed was enough to hold off a hard charging
Animal Kingdom at the wire.

ANIMAL KINGDOM , the post time favorite came flying late to finish second and ASTROLOGY  held on for third in the 136th. running of the second jewel in the Triple Crown.

Some prudent wagering strategy gave us the exacta, trifecta and Pick Three winning tickets and the upset win
by the speed merchant also made a great across the board cash-in. A nice bit of advice from handicapping pro and CARDINAL COUPLE Director of Wagering and Nonsense Tom Cahill led to the victorious scores....Cahill has been on fire lately with his handicapping strategies and we're believers. He thought that SHACKELFORD was a very live long shot and needed to be included in the mix with ANIMAL KINGDOM, ASTROLOGY and DIALED IN. Cahill told us that he expected a high odds horse to take the Preakness and 12-1 SHACKLEFORD did.

He was right.

Disappointed in the no-show efforts of DIALED IN and MUCHO MACHO MAN today...but speed held at Pimlico this afternoon and sometimes....that is enough.

Harold Camping predicted the world would end at 6 p.m.
on Saturday, My 21st. each of the world's time zones.
Looks like you backed the wrong horse, Harold.
Yup, looks like the ol' world is still here this morning. Jacksonville State probably thought it was ending last night, everyone but public address announcer J-Bone got a hit against them last night in the rain-delayed romp. The Bears today...Louisville needs to win two to advance to the Super Regional. Reports to the senior columnist here at CARDINAL COUPLE indicate that he missed a very interesting monthly poker game last night, though. Ignorance is bliss, I guess.

CAUTION: Black-Eyed Susan's are a very dangerous drink. Vodka, bourbon, sweet and sour mix and who knows what else. Stay away from them at all costs and advise your friends. And never, never try to propose a toast or slow dance if you've imbibed them. Not pretty...
As far as the end of the world goes...I'm writing this column looking out at a beautiful Sunday morning. Skies are clear, birds are chirping and flying in and out of the bushes and trees in our front yard. Our baby Cardinal Birds are out of the nest now and learning about life...with mom and dad keeping close watch. I'll go to Mass in a bit, dine and then head over to (hopefully) two UofL softball games this afternoon.

My friend "Dan the Mailman" told me yesterday that he has successfully defeated lung cancer and the doctors have given him a 100% clean bill of health. Miracles do happen. No more treatments, chemo or radiation. I'm  glad the world didn't end yesterday...because I would have missed this beautiful morning and the promise of a spectacular day ahead. I listened to the hopeful, optimistic Cat Stevens song "Morning has Broken" a few minutes ago and, for now... troubles, trials and tribulations seem very far away.

I like. Very much.

Live at Ulmer for Cards vs.Bears

Special Saturday CARDINAL COUPLE: At the ballpark...

-3:37 p.m.Colby Wherry lines out to short. Maggie Ruckenbrod pops out to second and Katelyn Mann takes a called third strike to end it. Four hits and no runs for Louisville...stymied by the arm of Jolene Henderson. Louisville now plays again today...against the winner of the upcoming Jacksonville State/Illinois Chicago game...scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

-3:34 p.mCal rocks Cards pitcher Tori Collins for two straight hits to begin the inning. Victoria Jones grounds out to advance the runners to second and third. Cards pitching coach goes to the mound. Collins is done for the day. Caralisa Connell comes on in relief...the book on Collins is 4 runs allowed on six hits. Connell faces Jordan Wallace and takes her to a full count before getting her on a called third strike for out two. Same thing for Elia Reid...strikes out and now it's do or die time for the Cards.  

-3:22 p.m. Esteban and Bemis ground out to start the top of the sixth. Wolny retires also and one at bat left for UofL to tie it or take it to extra innings...4-0 Bears. 

-3:17 p.m. After Britt Vonk singles, Jace Williams lines out to center. Ziegenhirt (how many times have I misspelled that one originally today) hits into a double play, a weird one, but leave the inning scoreless.

- 3:12 p.m. Louisville trying to rally as Maggie Ruckenbrod singles to left to start the inning. Katelyn Mann moves pinch runner to second with a fielder's choice. Taner Fowler singles to put runners on the corners. Chrisanna Roberts comes in to run for Fowler. The crowd is rowdy...disagreeing with every pitch that doesn't go in Louisville's favor. Austin strikes out for the second out. A long, barely foul drive is appearing to be touched before left fielder Jamia Reid goes over the 3rd base line, but the 3rd base umpire calls it foul and then Keller grounds out to end the effort.  

-2:56 p.m. Still 4-0 after four innings. Cards have two hits against Henderson. Time to break out the heavy lumber and make this thing a dogfight. So far, the Bears are the alpha dogs...

- 2:37 p.m. Taner Fowler starts the top of the third for UofL fanning. Kristin Austin follows with a strikeout. Katie Keller goes down swinging also.

- 2:32 p.m. Frani Echavarria reaches on a blooper that falls between Wherry and Esteban. Decker sacrifices her to second...but Echavarria is thrown out trying to get to third. The first scores of the game come from the bat of Elia Reid....who barely cleares the left field fence with a two run homer. Her twin sister Jamia Reid draws a walk next...and Britt Vonk reaches on a infield tapper to short...advancing J.Reid. Jace Williams drills one deep to center that Kristin Austin tracks down but can't hold onto...J.Reid  and Vonk score to make it 4-0 . Mercifully Lindsey Ziegenhirt fans to end the inning. Cards down big early...gotta find the bats.

- 2:20 p.m. Colby Wherry opens the second for Louisville grounding out. Maggie Ruckenbrod follows suit. Katelyn Mann taps one to third that the throw is bobbled on but third out is called by the umpire. Louisville's bats empty early.

- 2:15 p.m. Tori Collins on the mound for Louisville. Katie Keller bobbles a grounder to leadoff batter Jamia Reid. Next up, Britt Vonk who also reaches on an indecision play by Keller. Jace Williams grounds out for the first out but advances the batters. Lindsey Ziegenhirt fans on a Collins fastball for the second out. Ashley Decker pops out to the catcher to allow Collins to escape scoreless.

-1:59 p.m. Live at Ulmer Stadium for the opening game...UofL vs. California.
We're underway and Katie Keller opens up for the Cards with a left field single. Unfortunately, the next three Cardinals went down in order to California pitcher Jolene Henderson. After a 
half inning at Ulmer it's 0-0.

Post game comments after Louisville's 5-2 win over UIC...Preakness today

- Post game with Pearsall, Bemis and Wherry

-Preakness today...will it be "Dialed In?" 

-End of the world as we know it?

CARDINAL COUPLE attended the post game press conference following Louisville's 5-2 win over the UIC Flames in first round NCAA regional action at Ulmer Stadium. Here's the words...

Sandy Pearsall's opening remarks:

" was a long game. I'm proud of our team...coming back after the seventh when they (UIC) scored two runs. We came out...Chelsea (Bemis) started the tone with a home run.then we just got back in the groove and finished strong. I'll also say that they have a tremendous pitcher (Devin Miller) and she did a good job of handcuffing us up early on. She made it tough on us to score runs. "

The mindset of the Cardinal...going into the bottom of the eight down two runs: 

Chelsea Bemis: " Have fun. Relax and don't tense up...because that really doesn't help. You're aggressive but you're not swinging at junk. 

On her first home run...worried about it clearing the fence? :

Chelsea Bemis "No...I was just looking for a hit. When it went out, I was' always good to hit a homerun.

How often have you had a walk off, game winning home run?

Chelesa Bemis: "It would be my first ever, maybe. I really am not sure. They don't happen very often."

Was there a specific pitch you were looking for when you hit the game winner? 

Chelsea Bemis: "No...she kinda threw high to me. I'd seen change ups earlier and I was struggling a bit earlier to her (pitcher Devin Miller) I was just looking for a hit.  

On Louisville leaving nine base runners earlier in the game before the final home run:

Chelsea Bemis: It is frustrating when you can't get those key base hits....

On Colby Wherry's key single in the eighth inning, which led to the tying run:

Colby Wherry: I was just trying to start stuff off for us. Trying to keep us in the game.

The Cards continue the quest to win the regional today with a 2 p.m. showing against the California Golden Bears. We had commented a couple of days ago that the Bears won the PAC 10 tournament to get to the NCAA...but since the PAC 10 has no softball tournament...that comment should have been about Cal defeating #10 Arizona on the final day of regular season play. The PAC 10 placed seven teams in the NCAA field...tough conference!

Howie Lindsey hanging
out with a statue
The game against UIC was a reunion for Louisville pitching coach Courtney Scott and her older sister Amanda Scott, who is the pitching coach for UIC. According to Courtney, the two had a nice chat before the game...but it wasn't about softball. Courtney laughed when Cardinal Sports' Howie Lindsey asked if she had considered trying to get inside her sister's head with taunts and trash talk during the game...Courtney claiming that never crossed her mind and wasn't something she normally does. 

CARDINAL COUPLE will have coverage of the 2 p.m. Bears vs. Cards game. If Louisville wins, they play next on Sunday. If they lose, they return to the field at 7 p.m. tonight to play the winner of the Jacksonville State vs. Illinois-Chicago contest...which starts at 4:30 today. We're hoping that the Cards win...obviously...due to prior commitments, we'd be unavailable to cover a 7 p.m. Cardinal clash tonight...but will offer a post-game recap here at the site. Maybe assistant sports information director Lori Korte will let us send staff chimps Co-Co and La-La to the press box...naaahhh, bad idea.

Positive thoughts, optimistic vibes...Louisville wins today and rests until Sunday.


14 three year old hopeful will contest the mile and three sixteenth Preakness Stakes today around 6:30. We discussed our selections and picks a couple of days ago here at CARDINAL's some race day chatter we've picked up...

Tom Cahill (left) with C.C.'s Paul Sykes and handicapping
expert Norma Burgess. Cahill says.."Look for some
potential high price horses in the Preakness."

-More and more people we've talked to are tossing Kentucky Derby winner ANIMAL KINGDOM out of their picks for the Preakness. DIALED IN, SHACKLEFORD and MUCHO MACHO MAN seem to be the horses that are popular and trendy as the race approaches. We'll know later this evening.

-Ace handicapper Alan Patterson has weighed in with CARDINAL COUPLE and likes the chances of DIALED IN. Alan is also going to include some longshots in his exacta plays...same idea that CARDINAL COUPLE Director of Security and Nonsense Tom Cahill is espousing.
Should be fun. Load 'em up and turn 'em loose.


You've probably heard the inane scuttlebutt about the world ending on Satruday, May 21st at 6 p.m. This doesn't suit our plans at all and would like to ask for an extension. The Preakness doesn't run until around 6:30 p.m. and we'd like to see the Cardinal softball team play on Sunday. Also, what do you tell Jude Schimmel, Sara Hammond, Monney Niakme and Bria Smith...Lady Cards basketball signees?

Don't get us wrong...we'd love to see a return of Jesus to earth below. Not as a game ending scenario...but to continue his preaching
and philosophies. The world certainly could use his guidance and doctrines these days...

So, we respectfully request a delay of the end of the world. We're excited about the upcoming UofL women's sports seasons, watching Charlie Strong's football team this fall and Pitino's hoopsters. Just in case, though....I'm not writing any checks to pay bills until Sunday or Monday...