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Saturday, March 31, 2012



-Softball in Chicago for two today

-Angel McCoughtry named to 2012 U.S. Olympic Team

-Florida Derby could be a key to Kentucky Derby

-FINAL FOUR TONITE!  Are you ready?

The University of Louisville Softball team takes their 28-0 record to the Windy City this weekend to face the DePaul Blue Demons in two games today and one on Sunday. The #11 Cards travel north after going east and defeating UK Wednesday 1-0 in Lexington. 

This is the BIG EAST opener for DePaul. They are 16-10 on the season and just recently dropped out of the top 25. Last time out, the Blue Demons participated in the Alabama Challenge and went 1-3...losing twice to 'Bama and going 1-1 against Longwood. 

Dodd leads DPU in hitting
The noise-makers in the DePaul line up are Samantha Dodd and Kirsten Verdun. Dodd bats .408 and Verdun leads the Chicago school with six fence-clearers. Dodd...a junior outfielder...has fared well against Cardinal pitching in the past. Verdun alternates between pitching and first base. On the stripe, she is 9-5 this year and has 71 strike-outs in 81 innings pitched. 

Louisville is getting powerful pitching from the trio of Tori Collins, Caralisa Connell and Chelsea Leonard. They sport a collective ERA of 1.08 for the season, have had 13 shutouts and punched out 215 batters this season...which is almost eight per game. 

Austin's solo blast at UK proved to be
the game winner.
At the bat, Louisville has two players batting over .400 (Alicja Wolny and Kristin Austin) and Katie Keller, Taner Fowler, Jordan Trimble and recently returned Maggie Ruckenbrod lead a squad that has a combined batting average of .337. Louisville has out-scored the opposition 156-33 this season. 

Louisville did sweep the meeting last year with 2-1 and 13-2 wins at Ulmer Stadium. The schools have been playing each other since Louisville started softball in 2000 and DePaul holds the series lead 23-15. 

Good luck to Sandy Pearsall's gang this weekend in Chicago!


What do you get when you combine Geno Auriemma and the 2012 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball team? A Connecticut coach and a bunch of former Connecticut players.

One exception, though, is the selection of former CARDS great Angel McCoughtry to the squad. Geno has decided on 11 of the 12 players that'll compete for the Gold Medal. We're pretty sure he's saving a spot for Baylor swat and dunk specialist Brittany Griner...but CARDINAL COUPLE'S Sonja is waiting by the phone...just in case. (After all, she did hit double figures several times her senior year in high school.)

The roster, comprised of all current WNBA players, is below with college team affiliation as well:

Semoine Augustus - LSU                  Sylvia Fowles - LSU
Sue Bird - UConn                             Maya Moore - UConn
Swin Cash - UConn                          Angel McCoughtry - UL
Tamika Catchings - Tenn                Candace Parker - Tenn
Tina Charles - UConn                      Diana Taurasi - UConn
Lindsey Whalen - Minnesota

While we have CARDINALS on the brain, here's a great read on Becky Burke. Thanks to Commish Mark for the fins and link:

Becky Burke 


Today's FLORIDA DERBY at Gulfstream Park will pit three solid Kentucky Derby contenders against each other at a mile and one-eighth distance. UNION RAGS, EL PADRINO and TAKE CHARGE INDY have all been top five choices by many race analysts and handicappers. 

We're going to toss a fourth horse into the mix and suggest that NEWS PENDING, trained by Dale Romans, has a shot to upset at a price today. He did lose to Union Rags by four lengths in the Fountain of Youth this winter in Florida, but the pace that day was brutal and jockey Rajiv Maragh has learned that keeping him just off the lead is a better tactic for this runner. If he can keep "Rags" and El Padrino in his sight as they turn for the stretch, he could surprise. 

Also keep an eye out for REVERON to contest the early speed and if he can get a clear lead with Elvis Trujillo on board, he might have something to say about the win, place and show payouts. You'll be rewarded well if this one can spring the upset...he'll go off around 20-1. 

This one goes to post at 5:40 p.m. today, so it'll be right before the UofL v UK tip-off. The NBC crew has the coverage, which means there will be plenty of sensationalism and innuendo over the airwaves... 

Paul's Picks                                             Sonja's Selections

1. News Pending                                     1. Union Rags
2. Union Rags                                         2. Take Charge Indy
3. El Padrino                                          3. El Padrino
4. Reveron                                             4. Neck N Neck


Rick saves the specs for post-game. Thankfully...
(Photo by Charlie Springer-Card Game)
Finally, the CIVIL WAR, THE BATTLE OF THE BLUEGRASS...or whatever moniker you choose to put on it goes down today around 6 p.m. in the Superdome. Can the CARDS pull off the upset? Will it be a game that Cardinal fans might contemplate turning off at half-time? Who will get more camera shots...Ricky or Cal? 

Where will you watch it? 

We're going to view it with a couple of UofL friends at their house instead of taking it to the bar scene. Too important a contest to get messed with by waitress drama, unruly UK fans and elbow-to-elbow insanity. 

Might be open to a little post-game troubadouring, though...if the result turns out positive. Shoot us an e-mail or leave a comment about your game-day viewing plans if you'd like to share or if you're looking for ideas. If UofL wins, we're guessing that the Belknap Campus could get crazy and it might be fun to drive down and watch the celebrators. 

In case you're looking for something to do
before the big game. (Photo courtesy of Charlie Springer- Card Game)
We looked back at the 1983 match-up the other night and recalled where we were for that afternoon show-down. Sonja and I watched it from the living room couch and she remembers that I was miserable with sinus problems that day and she couldn't tell if I was sneezing or cheering. David Watson writes that...

"I was clanging off my fraternity room walls at Notre Dame. Me and a few buddies that were UofL fans had started "celebrating" way too early before tip-off and the four of us gathered in my third floor frat room to view it on my large Zenith TV. By the second half, we had about 10 people in there. When Louisville ripped it wide open in the overtime, it started a chain of events that eventually culminated with me rambling around the campus screaming 'UofL !' at 1 a.m. Not many 'got it' -- especially campus security -- who not-so-gleefully escorted me back to the frat house and advised the graduate resident assistant to 'keep me indoors' for the rest of the early morning." 



  1. Cardinal Couple. I was working as a mechanic at a Lexington dealership back then and we had a TV on in the service bays. I was the only one happy in the shop after the game ended. We didn't get much car work in for that two hour stretch.

    Blue Lou

  2. 1983...Can't say I remember it. I was likely climbing a tree or playing in a mud puddle though. I was only 12 back then. I'll remember this one though. Win or lose this is a battle to be remembered. Go CARDS!

  3. This e-mail from Cardinal Couple reader Joe Hill. Worth sharing..

    Hi guys! I was a graduate student at Memphis State University working on my MBA in Business Marketing. I had transferred to Memphis from Louisville when I was a junior after the death of my father to be closer to my Mom who lived in Germantown (not the Louisville one).

    I was also working as an assistant manager at a restaurant/bar near campus. I drew the weekend afternoon shift, of course, and was trying to take care of business and watch the game at the same time. I remember we had a small party of around 10-12 watching the game in our banquet room and I was spending a lot of time making sure they were "being served".

    When Louisville won, they went crazy. There were a lot of Memphis fans dining and beveraging there that day and some of them actually started booing when Louisville began to pull away in overtime. The owner/manager had actually attended Flaget High School in Louisville and he called the restaurant and I told him about how much fun the crazy Cardinal fans were having. He told me to take 50% off their bill.

    I also remember that later that evening, a very drunk couple with UK shirts on came into the restaurant and wanted drinks. My bartender wouldn't serve them and they left in a huff and they guy turned over a table in the bar area. Typical Cat fans, right?

    I hope UofL wins today and Bridgette and I will be watching in Naples and might head over to the bar where your buddy Al Parrish and his crew hang out. GO CARDS!


  4. I was at the 1983 Dream Game. Seats right behind the basket that UK used in the second half. Unbelievable tension. Jim Master hitting the shot at the end of regulation. "What will we do if we lose????" Dunkfest in overtime - we're gonna win!! The trip back home was, shall we say, memorable.

  5. Actually watching today's game with a lot of the same core group of guys that watched the '83 game together. Gonna cruise Broadway again if we win!
    Good times, good times!

  6. I was a little boy of four, so I don't remember it. Thanks to my parents catching the party they had at our house on a movie cam, though. I can re-live the 2+ hours of madness that went on at our house that day. All the cigarette smokers and fans from both sides yelling. Best part of the cam recording for me is about halfway through the game, I jump in front of the camera and start telling about the scab on my knee until Dad grabs the camera and starts doing crowd shots. Me still yelling in the background about my knee. Priceless.


  7. Was in Owensboro with first husband in our apartment. He was a big UK fan and me a big UofL fan. He got mad and disappeared after the game. Didn't come home till early morning next day. Smelled of booze and perfume. Found out a week later that was at his girlfriends. Served him with the papers a month later. It was that Dream Game that confirmed my suspicions and why I'll always remember it because I found out what a jerk he was. Been a Cat-hater ever since and been happily re-married to a great guy and UofL fan for 14 years now.

    Your buddy Beth from the track

  8. Was born two weeks after that game. My dad lobbied to name me Lancaster. Russell won out, though.

    Russ "Thibs"


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