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Monday, May 7, 2012

MONDAY Cardinal Couple: Softball the BIG EAST CHAMPS!


-Softball defeats St. John's 3-1 to sweep series

-Women's track wins 5th straight BIG EAST outdoor title

-Some final Derby Week comments

-Marinatto steps down as BIG EAST COMMISH. 

Whitney Arion's two run blast was the key for UofL.
Whitney Arion's two run blast in the fifth inning was the difference maker in Louisville Softball's 3-1 win over St. John's Sunday in Queens, NY. With the victory, Louisville sweeps the regular season-ending series against the Red Storm, finishes 50-3 on the season an 20-2 in the BIG EAST and will get the #1 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament. Louisville will open up tournament play on Thursday, May 11th against #8 seed Connecticut at 12:30 p.m. The BIG EAST tournament will take place in South Bend, IN.

started for UofL
Sunday's game was a scoreless affair for four innings matching Cards pitcher Caralisa Connell (18-1) and St. John's thrower Ashley Beza. With two outs in the top of the fifth, Arion took a Beza pitch over the left field fence to score her and Kayla Sloes, who had reached base on a Red Storm fielding error.

St. John's got a run in the bottom of the sixth off reliever Chelsea Leonard but Louisville pushed the margin to 3-1 in the top of the seventh when sophomore Jordan Trimble doubled and scored on a Maggie Ruckenbrod single.

Chelsea Leonard
picked up the save.
Leonard pitched her way out of trouble in the bottom of the seventh.  A single, walk and Leonard's second wild pitch of the game gave St. John's runners on second and third with two outs...but Leonard got Erin Burner to strike out and end the threat and the game.

It was Leonard's 10th save of the year, tops in the nation. 

A great regular season for the softball team and the road now leads to the BIG EAST Tournament and NCAA Regionals. 


Abdullah won the
discus today
Louisville women's track and field won their fifth straight BIG EAST Championship Sunday in Tampa, FL...getting a big boost from field events for the second day in a row. Khadija Abdullah won the discus and Amashi Kendall finished third.

Michelle Theophille won her first BIG EAST high jump title and teammate Megan Schubert grabbed fourth place. Charachesicia Lockhart finished fifth in the triple jump and Ahlivia Spencer set a school record and ran sixth in the 800m. 

Final point totals:

Louisville  -  104
Notre Dame  - 99.50
South Florida - 84
Cincinnati - 81
West Virginia - 72


The 138th Kentucky Derby is in the books now and it did answer a few questions for us but also left a few remaining questions. 

-- No doubt, the West Coast horses made a strong showing this year. Santa Anita Derby I'll Have Another won the race and Creative Cause wasn't too far back. Bob Baffert's Bodemeister set a wicked pace...maybe too fast...but was there until the final few steps. 

-- Will this be the last Derby where horses can run on Lasix? Racing commissions in Kentucky, New York and many other states are looking at a ban on the diuretic and bleeding-prevention medication. 

-- Who will come back for the Preakness? We'll know that soon enough...but unless there's injury or an owner looking to rest a horse, we expect the top five finishers from the Derby to contest the 1 3/16th event at Pimilco in two weeks. 

-- Will Hansen's owner's finally "get it" and let "Big Whitey" run in races he has a chance in...namely  anything a mile and eight or shorter? The horse looked washed out and just plain wore out after the Derby distance. 

-- Will the increases in attendance on Wednesday and Thursday during Derby week convince Churchill to offer a few stakes or Graded races those days? Honestly, the card on Thursday was just awful when it
came to feature and quality races. 

-- Does the lack of casino gambling in Kentucky kill the thoroughbred horse tracks at Churchill, Ellis Park, Turfway? Name trainers, owner and jockeys are splitting right after Derby Week and headed to higher paydays in New York and California. Wake up, Kentucky state Senate. Give the people the right to vote on it.

-- Could next year's Derby Week get any more exciting or embarrassing for media events and sensational journalism? You had Robby Albarado resurrecting his boxing career, Cyndi Lauper dropping
nasty words in front of little girls, Richie Farmer getting more print that he wanted (and not basketball-related) and a death in the barns the day after Derby. 

In all fairness, you also had one of the most exciting Derby's in the past few years...a female jockey winning the Oaks for the first time ever and a first-time jockey to Kentucky and Churchill winning the Derby. Record crowds and (mostly) great weather. 

-- The owner, trainer and jockey of I'll Have Another discuss the win at the link below

We'll have a few words about I'll Have Another 

-- Finally, we will continue our quest to be granted official media credentials to Churchill. A formal letter of request has been mailed to Darren Rogers at Churchill (per his verbal suggestion) now that Derby 138 is in the books. 

As we pointed out, we've provided 11 straight days of horse-racing articles to you...the readers. We'll go the Andy DuFresne route from the movie Shawshank Redemption. We'll mail a letter a week if we have to. 

We thank you for your e-mails and calls of support on this issue. Rogers seems to think we don't get enough "play" in our comments section. We can't control that.
No one is forcing a single reader here to make comments. We get plenty of e-mails, though...and that is proof enough to us that you're reading, have opinions and care. 

A noted writer here locally told me, in reference to his website:

"Paul, I'd do away with a message board and comments section if I could. It's the haven of flamers, idiots and mal-contents." 

They can't ignore us forever. We're not going anywhere. The gorilla in the corner is not staying quiet. Hand the ball to the girl out of bounds and drop back into the zone coverage. Game far from over. 


John Marinatto has resigned as BIG EAST Commish. There is a God, after all. How many teams left the BIG EAST during his watch? And who came in? Bye, See ya later. Don't let the door slam you in the back as you leave. 

A league that sorely needs direction, guidance and "out of the box thinking" was being run by a lost hippo in the rain-forest looking for a place to take a nap and a dump. Not necessarily in that order, either. 

It's nothing personal, John. I'm sure you're a great guy, super dad, wonderful hubby and a lot of fun to be around on poker night or a day at the races. 

You're just not a very good commish. 

Louisville, here's your sign for the umpteenth time. Get out. Run while you can. Go independent, BIG 12 or Bill and Ted's Excellent Conference (dude) but break the chains and run away from the small, non-football playing Catholic Universities that control the landscape of the BIG EAST. Let Providence, Villanova, St John's and Seton Hall wallow in their own self-importance. Replace your divot and drive on down the fairway, Cards. 

And, we're not religion-bashing here either. It's a matter of recent relativity relevance. And the four schools above haven't been relevant in a long time in athletics. 

Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Boston College, Miami, Virginia Tech, West Virginia...uh...we're beginning to see a trend here. Get us in the truck, Tom Jurich...and let's go.


  1. Paul how did you and Sonja do on Derby picks?

  2. Thanks for asking. For me, the day wasn't too bad. I decided to do $5 across the board wagers on the picks I provided in Saturday's column. I also attempted (2) Pick3's for $1 that I spent $27 each on (3x3x3) Here's the results:

    Race 3 - Golden Ticket ran 2nd. He paid a total of $19 for $15 wagered.

    Race 5 - Macho Macho won! At 8-1 odds! $69 won on $15 spent. I also started my first Pick3 here.

    Race 6 - Bridgetown ran second. $16 back on $15 spent. Still alive in the Pick3

    Race 7 - Shackleford won! $28 back on $15 spent. I also hit the $1 Pick3. $198 collected on $27 wagered.

    Race 10 - Turallure did not hit the board. $15 spent, nada returned. I also started a Pick3 here for a $1. $40 spent. (2x4x5). It's dead also.

    Race 11 - DERBY - Bodemeister paid $29.50 on $15 offered. Dullahan $18 on $15 spent. I also had (2) other horses with $5 across that returned nothing.

    Race 12 - Mann ran 3rd. $8 back on $15 spent.

    So, for the day, a total profit of $178 for me. The C-J screwed up. They should have had me put my Derby Day picks in the paper instead of our buddy J.J. Hysell. She dropped $100. I would have made the readers a profit that could have stimulated our economy.

    SONJA wagered very little on Derby Day racing. She was guaranteed getting the OAKS/DERBY Double and that paid $356 on $40 she was $316 ahead before her first bet..although we didn't know that until after the Derby Race. The rest of her day.

    Race 3 - $2 across the board on a loser. -$6.00

    Race 5 - $2 across on Big Blue Nation. Another loser -$6.00

    Race 7 - $2 across on Shackleford. $11 collected on $6 spent.

    Race 10 - Lost $6 on Turralure.

    Race 11 - DERBY - Lost all four $2 across the boards for a -$24 beating.

    She ended up winning $280 on the day.

    We placed the wagers on-line through except for the OAKS/DERBY DOUBLE and it was very easy to do.

    I'll also mention that I gave Charlie Springer over at an article that gave you I'll Have Another as one of my longshots to watch. If you'd bet all three of them, let say $2 across the board, you'd won $55.40 on I'll Have Another on just $6 wagered. You would have lost the other two...losing $12..but still realized a profit of $37.40.

    (Bows and waves to the crowd)


    1. Nice work, Paulie!

      -Joe Hill

  3. Fight on, Paulie! Love the Shawshank reference.

    -Blue Lou

  4. The BIG EAST is dying, dying, dead and it doesn't matter who they get to be the head of it.
    UofL, you get what you deserve.

  5. My Derby story is a short but sweet one. We were in the grandstands and seated next to a elderly couple that we just adored. They were having trouble getting through the crowd, so I offered to place bets for them all day. That sweet, little, old lady had a $20 win on I'll Have Another and the $2 exacta.

    I like the site. Paul and Sonja. Hoping the women's team can get Stephanie Mavunga. Seen her play and she is "all that".

    Phil Davis
    Goshen, IN.

    1. Thanks, Phil! Great story. One of my favorite Derby stories is about my Mom calling me up early on Derby Day morning many years ago and asking me if I was going to the track. It so happens I was. She asked me to place a Derby bet for her. I asked her who she wanted. She had an old, fat Siamese Cat that use to lay on the front room window sill and sleep. It was her "sun cat". That is what Gato Del Sol translates out to from Spanish to English. She asked me to put $10 to win on it. And, of course...he won the Derby that year.


  6. Well, Phil, you must have been paying attention to the horses on Saturday, and not the "historic recruiting day" that went down for some members of the class of 2013.
    Stephanie Mavunga has verbally committed to UNC. Along with Diamond Deshields, Alisha Gray and Jessica Washington. Just google Fab 5 for the details.
    These kids had a mastermind seems Mercedes Russell is the lone hold out of the Fab 5, though an unofficial visit to UNC has been planned for June.

    i hope these kids are happy with their decisions and gave it all the time and thought such a life decision entails. Certainly hope that good guidance led to this decision for these young ladies and they did not get caught up in the momentum and excitement of the day. The pressure is now on Mercedes to follow her friend Mavunga to UNC. We will see how this shakes out. Hopefully we still have a shot with Mercedes, we were said to be a lead contender for her services. She and Greenwell and we still have the number one class in 2013. I bet Coach Walz turned a few shades of grey this weekend. I do not envy he or the assistants their jobs, in times like these.

    1. I guess I was too, Jenny. Did not see the news on the signings. What's Sylvia Hatchell doing down there?

    2. Didn't realize that. Oh, well. She's a good one. Doesn't Cardinal Couple cover high school recruiting?

      Phil Davis
      Goshen, IN

    3. We do, Phil..but it is mostly based on who Louisville gets verbals out of. Didn't look like the Cards had a strong shot at getting Mavunga...and Jenny is very good at keeping us updated on who is on the cardinal radar.



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