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Friday, January 13, 2012

Cardinal Softball in good hands with Pearsall

friday cardinal couple...

-Sandy Pearsall had depth, experience and speed for Cardinal softball this year.

- A thriller in Memorial...

-One last chance to grab the bread...

-Watson replies

(With no UofL women's basketball news to report today, we use this opportunity to catch you up on two of our favorite sports at UofL...women's softball and men's baseball....Enjoy!)

CARDINAL COUPLE got the rare chance to hear both UofL women's softball head coach Sandy Pearsall and head baseball coach Dan McDonnell share the same stage last night and after hearing both speak about their's easy to get excited about both their upcoming seasons. We'll focus mainly on the softball team today...because that's what we do here at CARDINAL COUPLE...women's sports. Before we do, though...WE promised Coach Dan that we'd plug his upcoming Louisville Baseball Winter Camps. Here's the details...

-January 14-15, 21-22 at Jim Patterson Stadium (or various indoor facilities if weather dictates).

-Camp information.
Session 1-Pitcher/Catcher/Infielder Speciality Camp
Saturday, January 14th. 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Session 2-Hitting Camp
Sunday, January 15th. 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Session 3-Hitting Camp
Saturday, January 21st. 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Session 4 - Pitcher/Catcher/Infielder Speciality Camp
Sunday, January 22nd. 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

The camps are open to anyone in grades 1-12.

Coach Dan had this to say about them...

I'd like to invite everyone to the 2012 Winter Baseball camps. Our camps will be held at Jim Patterson Stadium and other indoor facilities on the University of Louisville campus. We will be offering two hitting camps and two defensive speciality camps. Our staff will help you improve your game through lectures, drills and game situations. The baseball season is right around the corner and we want to help you get ready!

Cost for the camps is $100 per session. Any camper attending multiple camps will receive a $25 discount off each additional purchase. You can contact Brian Murdorf at 502.852.1217 or for registration forms and more information.

The chance to learn and prosper from the teachings of the Cardinal baseball coaches is a great opportunity. Paul wishes they'd been around when he was struggling to hit a curve ball or hit the plate with a throw. No Derek Jeter here...


Coach Sandy Pearsall is Louisville softball. She took the job in 2000 to build the program from scratch. It's gone well for her and the University of Louisville. Four straight BIG EAST Tournaments at Ulmer Stadium. NCAA Regionals. One of the most competitive programs in the BIG EAST year in and year out. As Sandy prepares for 2012 (the team is already practicing) she's faced with some interesting challenges and great potential. Gone via graduation is the left side of the infield in Chelsea Bemis (3B) and Colby Wherry (SS). Competition is intense for these two spots and Coach Sandy informed me that she just might put two freshmen in the spots, duplicating what she did four years ago when Wherry and Bemis were freshmen.

Trimble can do it all!
Returning, though...are some pretty valuable and skilled players. Jordan (Jordy) Trimble sat out last season after breaking a ankle chasing a fly ball. She's back....Cardinal fans and looking great on the field. Pearsall let us know that the versatile Louisville Manual grad could play any of the nine positions on the field and she'd been seeing some time on the pitching mound in addition to her outfield skills. The bat has never been a problem for the redshirt sophomore and she's wowing the team and staff with her prowess. Look for Jordy to have a big season for the Lady Cards.

She's one of many that return with valuable game experience. Starters Alicia Wolny (1B), Jennifer Esteban (OF), Maggie Ruckenbrod (C), Kristin Austin (OF), Katie Keller (INF) and Hannah Kiyohara (INF/OF) all return to give the Cards a solid and powerful batting lineup. The three main pitchers on Pearsall's staff from last year return as well in Caralisa Connell, Tori Collins and Chelsea Leonard.

Recruiting has also been good for Coach Sandy. The freshmen are Trista Cox (C/1B), Kayla Soles (SS/3B) Kirsten Straley (OF) and Whitney Arion (SS/3B/OF). Arion had a great fall exhibition season with the squad and all four girls will compete for playing time.

Another great aspect for Cardinal softball this season is that beer will be available for purchase at home games. Whether or not that has kept attendance from capacity or not is anyone's guess...but it's nice to know that the ladies get the same privileges and concession capabilities as Coach Dan's team this year. None in the press box for us, of course...we'll have to sneak out and watch a few innings from the first base line and avoid Jack Wimsett...

Coach Pearsall is also having a skills camp...but it's I guess we won't be sending Sonja out to run the bases with her gazelle speed and grace. Both coaches have banquets coming up, though...and here's the information on them...

Saturday, Jan. 28th. 7:30 p.m. @ The Galt House
Speaker is Natasha Watley - two time Olympic medalist.

Friday, Feb. 3rd. 7 p.m. @ South Wing-KEC Center
Speakers are former Cardinal Trystan Magnuson and former New York Yankee pitcher Andy Pettite.

We encourage our readers to support both these programs with your attendance at their games. WE took in softball a lot last year and really enjoyed the atmosphere, action and abilities of the Cardinal players. Ulmer Stadium is state of the art - the best softball park in the BIG EAST - and a great place to watch a game. The outfield berm is a fun, party atmosphere if you don't want to do the bleachers thing. Same goes for Jim Patterson Stadium, where Coach Dan's guys do battle. Both softball and baseball are great family venues as well and we hope are readers will "take themselves out to the ballpark" and root on both these top-flight and talented squads. 

CARDINAL COUPLE plans an interview with "Coach P" in a couple of weeks to get a little more in-depth on the season and squad and we invite you to join us at the Softball Bullpen Club Dinner.

Not to worry, the Lady Cards basketball team plays at 2 p.m. that you've got plenty of time to do both. For ticket information to the banquets, check out


Mathies (#1) celebrates the winning bucket over
the Lady Vols last night in Lexington. 
Got back home last night to catch most of the second half of the women's basketball game between top 10 Kentucky and Tennessee. What a thriller that one was! We're by no means ready to don blue shirts and memorize the Kentucky fight song, but you had to be impressed with the efforts of senior Kentucky guard A'dia Mathies against Pat's Vols. 34 points and a game winning, floating, driving score from the paint for the Louisville Iroquois grad with 4.3 seconds to go. A sold-out Memorial Coliseum. Pretty good stuff for a Thursday night in mid-January... 

We knew the Cats had something special when they trounced the Lady Cards earlier this season. They impressed us even more last night with their domination of Tennessee early and then their rally to regain the lead after the Vols seemingly had the game won. This Pat Summitt's squad was missing Tabor Spani last night, but played with a lot of confidence and pride to overcome a 11 point UK lead and take a three point advantage late in the game. Got a feeling we'll be seeing both of these squads march deep into the NCAA Tournament this March. 

As for Mathies, it may have been the best individual performance we've seen out of a player so far this season. Our Sandy Walker was at the game and hopefully she'll stop by later today with a few observations and comments. UK  61- Tennessee 60 in a classic fight to the final buzzer. South end girl...representin'...


WE'D also like to remind you that you have one more chance to win a $25 Panera Gift Card if you can correctly pick the winner and closest to the final score of the Louisville vs. Rutgers game Saturday afternoon. Frankly, we're gonna brag a little bit...since two CARDINAL COUPLE staffers have won the previous two contests...David Watson (St. John's) and Paul (USF). Think you have what it takes to knock us off our lofty perches? E-mail your winner and final score guess to by 1 p.m. Saturday. We'll even give you our picks for the game...

Paul. I see a hard fought battle, maybe overly defensive at times, but a close contest, low scoring that has Rutgers prevailing on their home court. Let the boo birds chirp, but I'm going Rutgers 56 - Louisville 51. I still love ya' Lady Cards...make a liar out of me!

Sonja. Walz vs. Stringer. What a matchup! The two are also good friends but they probably won't be bestowing compliments on each other during the forty minutes or war. Gotta stay with my Lady Cards in this one...they pull off the upset of #8. Let's say Louisville 63 - Rutgers 61.

David. The UofL men's team has had their burp at the banquet this season with the inexplicable loss to Providence in the Dunkin' Donut Arena. Time for the Lady Cards to have theirs. The experienced and deep Scarlet Knight squad gives Walz and company all they want. Rutgers 69 - Louisville 47.  Go ahead, blast away at me, readers. I'm used to it. Just don't bring my mama into it.


(We've received several e-mails and comments that have been unfavorable on a couple of David Watson remarks in his columns. WE have forwarded these to him and offered him a chance to reply. His comments are below. CARDINAL COUPLE does not always agree with columns written by our writers and contributors and their remarks are not the official stance of CARDINAL COUPLE on the items they address. Watson's words below)

First, let me start off by saying that the way Paul and Sonja have always described CARDINAL COUPLE to me is that it is the fan voice of UofL women's sports. Fans aren't always in agreement all the time. They have different viewpoints. Paul and Sonja run them all, though, unless profanity or obscenity gets involved. As it should be. 

Several of you have taken offense on a couple of comments I've made over the last couple of days. I would tell those of you upset with me that you have the right to be so. We're in America, land of the free and home of the brave. My comments were not designed to hurt or belittle any current, former or potential UofL women's basketball players. I am a big fan of the program and of many other UofL sports teams. If I have offended anyone with comments I've made, I am sorry I hurt your feelings or dismayed you. That was not my intent. I have been told that my sense of humor and sarcasm is hard to take at times.

That is something I must work on. Once again, apologies to those who have trouble with it.
Please rest assured that I respect and admire the young college athletes that compete in sport. I have a daughter that will be one next fall. I know what they go through.

Finally, I'd like to thank Paul and Sonja for giving me the chance to write for CARDINAL COUPLE and chance to address these items in an open forum. There are blogs and sites out there that would not.

I'll try to do better. I applaud the UofL fans out there that take time to read this blog and that faithfully cheer on women's sports at UofL. I'm a fan, too. I always will be.

GO CARDS and thanks for the comments.

David L. Watson

(Having known David for several years, I can testify on his great level of fan support. He drives in from Central Indiana dozens of times each year to watch various UofL sporting activities. Although we may not agree with his comments and phrasing at times...we will never censure or strongarm anyone who wishes to contribute here. We've suggested a more mild and moderate aprroach to him...he agrees that it's probably needed. Paul)

From a UofL withheld

God bless Cardinal Couple. The day in, day out support they give UofL women's athletics, free of charge, is amazing. They let everyone speak. They do not restrict. I hope the readers of this site appreciate that. They do this with scant funding, no corporate backing and no official  of Louisville monetary support.

If you don't like it, my advice to you is to quit accessing the site. As a trustee and avid supporter of ALL UofL sports, I am very grateful for this site and the freedoms and accesibility it provides. I hope they continue to make it available. All people can write here and comment here. They promote UofL women's sports day in and day out. Our local newspaper and media outlets do not. As an individual who has seen times in years past where my freedoms and rights were not upheld, I thank Cardinal Couple for being what they are. God bless you Paul, Sonja, David, Jenny, Sandra and all who give this site to us.


  1. Really, really, really hate to pick against my Lady Cards, but,
    Rutgers 68
    Cards 58
    If it was in the YUM! I'd go with the Cards. And I'm hoping for a huge upset!
    GO CARDS!!!

  2. Oh yeah, props to the Lady Cats. Even though I'm a Card do or die, I kinda like the Lady Cats. Will even root for them against everyone but the Cards and other Big East teams.

  3. I am writing to express my support of Dr. Watson and hope that he doesn't censor himself. I haven't seen anything from him that remotely resembles a personal attack on anyone; indeed, what differentiates this site from most fan sites on the internet is that there is actually some intelligent discussion about basketball instead of the mindless cheerleading and name-calling that plagues most sites. Watson always brings good insights to this board, and if this board is going to remain worthwhile, writers have to be able to talk candidly about people - players and coaches - and what they are doing and not doing.
    --PDX Phil

  4. I also have no problems with Dr. Watson's blogs/posts, even though I do find myself in disagreement with him at times. It's always interesting to see a different point of view from fellow Card fans.

  5. I recommend that any UL women's fan help to expand the site's exposure and womens popularity by first contributing articles for publication then sending all of their friends to view then comment on all of the articles. Don't limit yourself to E-mails when upset at someone else.

    I am just happy that a site exists which promotes UL women.

  6. There's no problem with anyone being candid or sarcastic, or for offering different viewpoints. It seems like that the latter would be the point of the blog. At issue were remarks that could be seen as personal attacks on a former player. That is not promoting UL women.


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