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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Cardinal Couple - Cards lose to Michigan, beat UK to reach finals.


-Cards defeat UK 3-2 to reach regional final

-Cards lose first game of the day to Michigan in extra innings 2-1

Cards hope to play two Sunday
The University of Louisville softball team defeated UK 3-2 Saturday night to reach to finals of the NCAA Regionals at Ulmer Stadium. The win comes following an opening game loss to Michigan 2-1 to put the Cards in the losers bracket of the double elimination tournament. Louisville will face Michigan Sunday at 1 p.m. and must beat the Wolverines twice to advance to the Super Regionals. Here's the action from Saturday


Michigan struck early against Caralisa Connell, scoring
their first run in the bottom of the second inning off two Cardinal fielding errors. A throwing error to first, walk and misplayed fielders choice loaded the bases for the Wolverines with one out. A sacrifice fly to right produced the run. Connell fielded a come backer to the mound to end the Michigan threat. 

Wagner gets the win..aided by some Cardinal
errors and a blown call. 
Louisville just couldn't get untracked against freshman Michigan pitcher Haylee Wagner. The Cards got two hits off her in the top of the third and had runners on the corners in the fourth with one out..but couldn't push a run across and remained silent until the top of the seventh after that. 

Louisville, faced with their potential last at-bat, started the seventh with a Alicja Wolny double to center field. Kirsten Straley came in to pinch run, went to third on a wild pitch and scored to tie the game on a Jordan Trimble sacrifice fly to center with one out. 

Tori Collins took the circle in the bottom of the seventh and allowed a single but kept the Wolverines from scoring and the game went into extra innings. 

The Cards went scoreless in the top of the eighth and Chelsea Leonard took the ball in the bottom of the inning and had an apparent second out of the inning on a throw from Kristin Austin to third following a Wolverine single that looked like it got to Katelyn Mann in time to tag out the runner. 

Third base umpire Steve McCrillis called the runner safe, though... a highly controversial call that infuriated the Cardinal fans and dugout. ESPN replays showed the throw and tag in time..but there is no instant replay in women's college softball and the call stood. That set the stage for Michigan to win when a Leonard pitch hit Michigan's Caitlin Blanchard and the runner automatically advanced from third to end the game.

The Cards were now faced with having to play the 8:30 nightcap against the winner of the next game... UK vs an elimination game. 

UK defeated the Crusaders 5-4 to advance and the stage was set for the nightcap.


The Cards batted first in contest and touched UK pitcher Chandra Bell for three first inning runs. After Jennifer Esteban started the game with a single...Alicja Wolny blasted one over the left field fence to give the Cards a 2-0 lead. Louisville added a third run in the inning when Fowler walked, Trimble singled and Maggie Ruckenbrod walked to fill the bases. A wild pitch to Katelyn Mann allowed Fowler to cross the plate and the Cards led 3-0. 

Tori Collins entered the circle for UofL and kept UK scoreless until the bottom of the fifth. Brittany Cervantes singled to start the inning and two outs later UK catcher Joyner Griffin sent one out over the center-field fence to make it 3-2 Louisville. 

Collins and reliever Chelsea Leonard teamed up to keep the Cats scoreless in the final two innings to eliminate UK from the regional and send the Cardinals to the finals. 

Two wins over Michigan Sunday will give the Cards the title. Not impossible, but the Cards will need to find a little more production at the plate. Michigan has given up only three runs in two games behind the pitching of their freshman Wagner. Louisville has scored 10 runs in three games...but only one against the Wolverines. 

Good day for a double-header tomorrow. Sweep 'em Cards! 

We'll have a full recap of (hopefully) both Louisville games and wins tomorrow.


I'll Have Another wins again
I'll Have Another pulled off another flying finish to nip Bodemeister in the Preakness today. Once again, just like in the Kentucky Derby, "Bode" looked like he was going to hang on to the lead and win...but the rapidly closing style of I'll Have Another prevailed again. 

Bodemeister second best again
A chance for a Triple Crown winner if I'll Have Another can take the Belmont in three weeks. 

The expected challenges from Went the Day Well, Creative Cause and the rest of the field of 11 runners never materialized. Bode and I'll Have Another were eight lengths in front of the rest at the wire...and just a head apart from each other.

WE'D be surprised if Bob Baffert tries the Belmont with Bodemeister. Longer race and Bodemeister just can't seem to hold on in anything over a 1 1/8th. 



  1. Cards did get robbed on that play at third from what I saw I was in left field berm and didn't see the scoreboard replay but the runner sure looked out to me.

    Curtis Franklin

  2. Replay clearly showed a tag out. Not saying UL would have won, but that was a pivotal call.
    Little correction to the article, Leonard hit a batter with the bases loaded that ended the game.

  3. Correct you are on both counts, Ken. The home plate umpire was unclear on the game ending play against Michigan. A search at the official NCAA play-by-play this morning does show it as a Hit by Pitch. The umpire, once again, had a choice of calls on that play

    Michigan's batter made no attempt to get out of the way of the pitch that hit her Judgmental call, and the Cards couldn't seem to get a breal on those in the first game yesterday.


  4. I watched the Louisville vs. Michigan game on TV. There is no doubt about Austin's throw getting there in time. Cards got hosed.

    Joe Hill

  5. Hey P.

    What ever happened to your quest to get on the Churchill Downs media approval list?

    Your buddy,

  6. I thought Cardiac Cards was specific to MBB. These Softball Cards are giving the guys a run for their money. Exciting, if not an emotionally exhausting, pair of games yesterday.

    I was in right field yesterday, of course everyone on the berm could see the play at 3rd (sarcasm). Though, the replay sure looked like the runner was out. Tough way to lose a game, though the team can make it right today by sweeping the double-header.

    It's going to be a scorcher out there today, everybody take some water and some sun screen and head out to Ulmer!


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