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!!

Sunday, March 31, 2013



You saw it. It happened. The Lady Cards play Tuesday night at 9 p.m. against Tennessee.

" She's Brittney Griner, but I'm Shoni Schimmel..."

Shoni's clip below:

I'm Shoni Schimmel

In what may be the biggest upset in the history of the NCAA Women's College Basketball Tournament, Louisville defeats #1 in the nation Baylor 82-81. Monique Reid's two free throws with 2.6 seconds left after a foul by Brittney Griner gave the Cards the lead for good in a game that will go down as a classic in NCAA Tournament play. The Cards survive and advance after watching a 17 point lead shrink in the final 7 1/2 minutes of action. Baylor's 32 game win streak dies. A lot of brackets do, as well...
Cards 16 for 25 from the three point arc. Three starters on the bench fouled out. A technical on Coach Walz that drew the Bears within two. The game had drama, intrigue, rage and finally...a happy ending for UofL. They shocked the world.
Megan Deines put the Cards put 80-76 after the technical but Odyssey Sims, who finished with 29 points, drilled a three with 36 seconds left to make it 80-79. A steal of Louisville's inbounds pass resulted in a foul and Sims hit two free throws to give Baylor their first lead of the game with 9.1 seconds left. That set the stage for Reid's drive to the hoop and the resulting foul on Griner, who had 14 points.
Yes, it was a foul...Kim Mulkey. Griner hammered Mo with the body. I hope they do fine you. You were at the other end of the court. You're asking media what they thought?  
Incredible, unbelieveable and remarkable. It's survive and advance this time of year. The Cards pulled it off. You knew the Bears would make a run and they did...but the University of Louisville held them off. With three starters on the bench.
Cardinal Spirit, you are alive and very well.
(Standings through Sunday night action)
Keith B.
Jeff McAdams
Curtis F.
Steve O.
Nell J.
It's pretty much over for the rest of us. Keith does have a final four pick set of Baylor, California, Norte Dame and Connecticut. Has Baylor and Notre Dame advancing to the title game and Notre Dame winning.
Jeff has Baylor, California, Notre Dame and UConn advancing with Baylor facing UConn in the final and Baylor winning.
Steve O. did pick Louisville to beat Baylor and has a final four of Louisville, Cal, Notre Dame and UK. He has California facing Notre Dame in the final, the Irish winning.
Out of all the entries, only Steve O. and Sonja had Louisville winning over Baylor. Ever the optimist, Sonja has Louisville defeating Notre Dame in the final game. At 33-23, her bracket is way behind the leaders, but she did have Louisville...


-Louisville WBB faces #1 Baylor in Sweet 16

-Softball romps Syracuse 9-0

-Happy Easter!

And, had come down to this. The University of Louisville women's basketball team is in Oklahoma City. Their opponent in tonight's 7 p.m. game on ESPN2 is the #1 team in the tournament, the nation, in all of women's college basketball -- the Baylor Bears. Is it unfair that the Cardinals are faced with such a monumental task after two nice wins earlier in the tournament?

Not really. To be the best, you have to beat the best. Out of the sixteen teams that made it this far...there are no pushovers. Some fans have argued that an opponent like Penn State, Kansas or Nebraska might have made a more suitable and winnable game to prolong the UofL season. The bottom line is this:

Eventually, you're going to be tested by someone who have been a better team than you. Whether it be in the regional opener, regioal final, Final Four or National Title game...your "Goliath" will eventually stand in front of you.

Look at this #5 seed. Colorado. A team that bested Louisville earlier in the year (minus Sara Hammond). Their opening game against #12 Kansas looked to be a easy advancement. Guess what? The Buffs lost. Kansas advances.

Fifth seeded Michigan State in the Bridgeport Region skated by Marist before falling to #4 Maryland. Iowa State, another five seed knocked off Gonzaga before falling to four seed Georgia. Speaking of Georgia, Andy Landers' Bulldogs pulled off the shocker of the tournament so far by upsetting Stanford last night. A #4 over a #1. Louisville is the only #5 left. The UK WBB squad rolls into the Elite Eight by downing Delaware and Della Donne. UConn handled Maryland and #2 California is making Nikki Caldwell look like a genius by topping PSU.

When in comes to facing Baylor, Jeff Walz sees it this way:

"I've told our kids that if you come out and play scared, it's not going to matter. So we're going to try to come out and attack."

No fear of Griner, of Sims, of Madden. Pope or Mulkey. Who's afraid of the big, bad Bears? Hopefully, not UofL.


If you showed up late to the Louisville softball game Saturday, you missed the fireworks. Not the sky-exploding, multi-colored missles...just the high-powered, fence rattling Louisville bats.

The Cards pounded Syracuse early. In the bottom of the first, Sandy Pearsall's crew laid a half dozen runs on 'Cuse pitcher Lindsay Taylor. Katie Keller singled to start the game. Jordan Trimble drew a walk. Maggie Ruckenbrod's single plated Keller. Taner Fowler cleared the bases of Cards with a three-run homer to left. Kayla Soles singled and came home on a Whitney Arion single. Jasmine Smithson-Willett (WOO! HOO!) singled and Keller, batting for the second time in the inning, singled again to score Arion. 6-0 Cards before the clock struck 12:30.

Louisville added two more in the home half of the second. After Alicja Wolny was plunked by Taylor, Fowler unleashed a bomb to left for her second base-cleaner and the score was 8-0.

The Cards tacked on one more in the third. JSW got her second single of the game, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Trimble single.

Meanwhile, Caralisa Connell was "good Carl" in the pitching circle. The Orange touched her for just one hit in five innings. She struck out six in going to 18-2 on the season.

"We had another great performance from Caralisa Connell and some timely defense and great catches out there. Chrisanna Roberts had a great diving catch in right field late in the game. Taner Fowler has truly found her rhythm again. She was struggling early in the season, but what better time than right now, as we're going into conference play, this is what we want to see from her." --Sandy Pearsall, UofL head softball coach.

The Cards (28-6, 2-1) step out of BIG EAST play to host arch-rival Kentucky on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Ulmer Stadium.
Let's fill the seats and pack the grassy knoll for this one, Cardinal fans!


We wish a Happy Easter to all our CARDINAL COUPLE readers. Whether it's attending church services, holding an Easter Egg Hunt, sitting down to a scrumptious Easter dinner or just relaxing and enjoying time with family or friends...we hope it's a day of rest and reflection for you.

Don't get too stuffed and fall asleep early -- the men's basketball team plays at 5:00 p.m. against Duke and the ladies follow at 7:00 p.m. And after that, it's the season-ending episode of AMC's critically acclaimed The Walking Dead at 9 p.m.  Blue Devils, Bears, and Zombies...oh my!



Saturday, March 30, 2013


-Cards split double header with Syracuse in softball


I guess it's only fitting that we'd see a "good Carl" on Good Friday at Ulmer Stadium...Connell dominated the Syracuse softball team in the first game 8-1 The junior had 11 strikeouts in the win and allowed just two hits. Louisville lambasted the Orange with two homers and eight hits.

The second game didn't turn out so well for the Cards...losing 4-2 to the 'Cuse.


Katie Keller went 3 for 4 in the UofL win and homer as the Cards struggled early against Syracuse hurler Lindsay Taylor. It was 1-0 Syracuse going into the bottom of the fifth before the Cards bats finally started popping.

Kayla Soles reached on a two-base error and scored on Taner Fowler's two-run blast to put the Cards ahead. They weren't finished with the inning...Jasmine Smithson-Willett and Katie Keller singled, advanced on a Jordan Trimble bunt and scored on a singles from Alicja Wolny and Hannah Kiyohara. A double from Whitney Arion plated Wolny and Louisville led 5-1 after five. 

Three more Cardinals got greeted at home plate in the sixth. Fowler singled, Smithson-Willett drew a walk and Keller blasted her team-leading eighth homer of the year.

Louisville wins 8-1. Connell goes to 17-2 on the season.


The Orange drew first blood in the second game. Four first inning hits had the visitors up 2-0 early. Syracuse added two more in the fourth, which sent Rachel LeCoq to the bench, when Danielle Chitkowski reached and Mary Dombrowski sent a blast over the right-center fence to make it 4-0.

The Cards tried to rally in the sixth. Katelyn Mann bunt singled and Maggie Ruckenbrod received a base on balls. Alicja Wolny followed with a double that scored both but the Cards could offer no further offense after that.

LeCoq takes the loss with 4.1 innings pitched, allowing all four runs and seven hits to go to 10-4. Connell pitched well in relief...striking out seven of the eight batters she reached in 2.2 innings.

The teams play again today with a noon start.


CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO is back on the air this morning at 11 a.m. with our weekly show. We'll look at UofL womens' hoops, softball and we invite you to stay tuned immediately after the show for two hours of live coverage of the Crescent Hill Easter Parade on Frankfort Avenue.

Jeff will be driving the CARDINAL COUPLE chimps up and down the parade route in his jeep as they toss bananas and soft boiled eggs at the come hungry. Jenny and I will be in the back of Sonja's battered 1991 Toyota Pickup, dressed as 18th century fedual lords...singing our favorite Beatles and Metallica songs to stunned parade-watchers.



Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Cardinal Couple -- Who's afraid of the Big, Bad Bears?


-David Watson takes a look at Baylor WBB

-Softball doubleheader Friday.

(David Watson guides us into an exciting weekend of college basketball with his 'only David would write this' review of Baylor. Love him or hate him, he makes you think. Of what, we're not exactly sure...)

So, who's afraid of the Big, Bad Baylor Bears? I was humming that nursery song about the three pigs (Calipari, Coach K. and Tom Crean) and the big, bad wolf (NCAA sanctions) but thinking about the Baylor women's basketball team. 74-1 over the last two years. A two-point loss to Standford early this season. Everyone else since that game has had to pay, and pay dearly, for the blemish on the prom queen's snozzzola. Afraid? I'm terrified of them. I think they could beat a lot of lower ranked men's DI teams. Maybe half the teams in the WNBA. Definitely the pick-up team I played on a few year's back at the YMCA.

It all begins with Griner. She's a flat-liner if you try and spend much time trying to figure out how to stop her. Because you can't. 6'8" and coordinated, which is a rarity in most of the 6'5" and overs that are in women's college basketball. I firmly believe you could put Cardinal Couple's Jenny, Sandy, Paulie and Jeff on a team with her and compete for the NCAA title. No, I'm not coming off the bench, either. She makes the players around her good, not saying that Odyssey Sims was horrible before she got to Baylor -- she wasn't -- but there is a strength, security and confidence level that permeates a player when they know they are on the court with the best in the business.

I give Kim Mulkey a lot of credit for the successes of the Big, Bad Bears, too. She knows the game, had a fantastic career when she played and knows how to use Griner. Knows how to compliment her with players that will reap and sow benefits from sharing court-time with the 6'8" powerhouse. You may ask yourself if coaches like Walz, Auriemma, McGraw, VanderVeer and Mitchell wouldn't have the same success? We'll never know -- but Griner went to Baylor and Waco for a reason. It probably wasn't for the barbecue and the view.

Jeff Walz has a daunting task ahead of him. Daunting but one with no pressure. You see, no one expects Louisville to beat the Bears. His task is to shock the world. At least the women's college basketball world. How does he do this? I have a few thoughts on that:

1) Keep Griner off the court. The easiest way to do that (short of a restraining order) is get her in foul trouble early. The Cards do have a few player who take a charge well and can fake it admirably. Griner on the bench is a good thing -- unless you're a Baylor fan.

2) Limit her touches. That means keeping her teammates from getting the ball to her. Which means hard-nose pressure on the guards who deliver the orange orb and blocking out on shots that are taken. A double-team on her has it's pluses and minuses. A deliberate offense when you have the ball can back-fire ( see Louisville vs. Kentucky). Aggressive defense is a good start. Sidearms and electric prods wouldn't hurt.

3) Prevent the runs. I know, there is a stomach bug going around and that isn't what I'm referring to -- it's a case of not letting Baylor rattle off eight or ten points in a row. Which means your offense needs to be "on". Hopefully Shoni, Nita, Bria, Mo, Sara and Jude will bring their "A" game offensively to Oklahoma City. 4-17 shooting won't cut it.

In any event, it's a great honor and accomplishment that the Cards have gotten this far. You know the maladies and setbacks UofL has had to endure this season. I'll watch, I'll cheer and I'll hope for the best. Hurry up, Sunday. The natives are restless. There are Bears in the distance.

-David Watson

( David has offered his services as a ref and/or scorekeeper for this game. Last we heard, the NCAA had not returned his e-mails. The TV timeouts would reach record numbers if he were to draw either assignment...)


Louisville softball plunges into BIG EAST softball action today with a double-header against Syracuse that begins at 2 p.m. at Ulmer Stadium. #11 UofL is 26-5 on the season and comes off a split in two games against #1 Oklahoma.

Offensive leaders Taner Fowler, Katie Keller, Alicja Wolny and Maggie Ruckenbrod are probably overjoyed at the prospects of facing a Orange team that won't have Jenna Caira in the pitching circle for them. The 'Cuse has won the last six meetings between the teams but is off to a 11-14 start this season. Last time out the Orange swept Harvard in a double header. They do have a win over #4 California in their resume.

Here's hoping for a "Good Carl" performance or two on Friday and Saturday. The weather looks promising, get out to Ulmer and root on your Lady Cards!

Friday's first game is on TV...WHAS 11.2 and the accompanying Insight/Comcast channels will show it.

Brian U'Sellis (he of the world's most interesting man-type beard) and Patty Norton will provide the play-by-play and color analysis. They didn't ask me, Jeff or Jenny to don the headsets and grab the microphones. Probably for a good reason and a wise decision. Maybe we can do live lacrosse coverage.  



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cardinal Couple


( Jeff McAdams catches us up on Lacrosse, Softball, his recruiting efforts and the real MVP of the Purdue game in today's CARDINAL COUPLE edition. Be sure to look for him in the Crescent Hill Easter Parade Saturday on Frankfort Ave...he'll be driving the jeep full of chimps tossing bananas and soft-boiled eggs at the crowd (or to the crowd) lined along the parade route. We're hoping he told parade officials about the entry.) 

Also, today's photo montage is from Austin Lassell's work at The Cardinal -- UofL's student newspaper. We gratefully acknowledge his fine work and thank him and The Cardinal for allowing us to present these action shots of the Purdue game to you! You can discover more of his work at The Cardinal or at his site


*** Upcoming Spring Sports Events

*** Good Carl Gets an Honor or Two

*** A Story of a New WBB Season Ticket Holder?

*** Asia Taylor as MVP of the Purdue Game?

Spring Sports Schedule Update

After a multi-game visit to the mid-Atlantic seaboard, tangling with two quality opponents, Lacrosse gets a week break with no games this weekend.  The mid-Atlantic visit included competition with Loyola (Md.) and Georgetown, both ranked teams.  The Cards dropped both games, but both were very hard fought and respectable showings.  With those losses, Louisville Lacrosse has dropped back just out of the rankings once again, but are continuing to receive votes.  The next matchup brings #7 ranked Notre Dame into town for the first Cardinal home Lacrosse game since March 6th.  Almost a month without competing on the UofL Lacrosse Stadium, with the first draw next Friday (not tomorrow), the 5th at 5pm.

Softball, on the other hand, has a busy week ahead of them.  Syracuse comes for a three game visit
starting Friday afternoon with a double-header at 2pm and 4pm, and a followup on Saturday at noon.  Then, Wednesday the 3rd, at 6pm, the Kentucky Wildcats come to play.  With a ranking of 20 or 21, and a first week RPI of 8, our Lexington friends are not a team to be trifled with.  This should be a good game, with Louisville sitting on #11 rankings and a 10th place RPI.  I believe the Kentucky game is a ticketed game, so don't expect to come waltzing into Ulmer like you normally do for a game.

Good Carl Gets an Honor or Two

Caralisa "Carl" Connell has come into some critique from Paulie and I for being hot and cold in her pitching.  Sometimes she's amazing, but sometimes we're glad Rachel Le Coq is around for relief duties.

It seems that we've seen more of "Good Carl" than "Bad Carl" recently, a trend that will get no complaints around these parts, of course.  This week in particular, Caralisa Connell was named to Big East Pitcher of the Week, and has also picked up the National Pitcher of the Week honor.

Here's to hoping we see more of "Good Carl" in the coming weeks.

A Story of a New WBB Season Ticket Holder?

I believe it was at the Women's Basketball Tip-Off luncheon that Jeff Walz encouraged the crowd to bring friends to basketball games, saying that, if we could get people to come to a game, he felt like it would be entertaining enough that people would want to then buy season tickets.  I certainly believe that UofL Women's Basketball is one the best values for entertainment dollars around, and my family has been season tickets holders for a number of years now based on that exact scenario...we decided to go to a UofL vs UConn game back in the days when Katie Olson and Jazz Covington were playing.  We had such a great time that we got season tickets starting the next year.  Despite this experience, I questioned how often that reaction to coming to a game really happened.  I'm more of a believer, now.

I, on Tuesday, was having a water-cooler conversation with a relatively new employee at my place of employment...except we weren't at an actual water-cooler...just having a random conversation in the hallway, so I guess it was a figurative-water-cooler conversation.  Let's, unimaginatively, say this co-worker's name is "Bob".  Another co-worker who's very well known as a UofL fan walked by.  We'll equally unimaginatively call him, "Glenn".  I asked Glenn, as he walked by if he was going to the game, mentioned the $5 endzone ticket promotion they were doing.  Glenn said he wasn't going to be able to make it due to other committments.  Bob, however, perked up his ears at the idea of $5 tickets to the game.  Bob and his wife had already lined someone up to watch the kids and were looking for something interesting, and hopefully not terribly expensive, to do that evening.  $5 tickets to a basketball game at the KFC Yum! Center during tournament time seemed like a great idea.  I filled him in on the details and he said he thought it sounded like a good idea and that he'd suggest it to his wife and that he thought they would probably go.

I made my way by his office yesterday morning (Wednesday) and asked if they had gone to the game.  The response was effusive.  He and his wife and his mother-in-law had gone to the game and had end-zone tickets and they loved it.  They had a wonderful time.  Bob immediately asked about season ticket prices and almost didn't believe me when I told him how little I paid for my season tickets.  He was equally floored when I told him where my tickets were and that other tickets in other sections of seating would be even less expensive.  We then proceeded to talk about the Louisville team, and about how the women's game is a little different from the men's (no 10-second backcourt violation...30 vs 35 second shot clock...generally awful officiating, though not usually as bad as it was for that all of this combined to change the overall feel of the game).  At the end of the conversation, Bob said he thought they would probably get season tickets for next year.

Huh, it really does work.

Asia Taylor as MVP of the Purdue Game?

Maybe the most pivotal moment of the whole contest between Purdue and UofL may have gone largely unnoticed Tuesday night.

Before the game, Asia Taylor was standing near the scorer's table with a couple of the other injured UofL players.  Dee Kantner, the head official for the evening, approached and said something to Asia
that I couldn't hear from my seats.  Asia got a surprised look on her face and made some sort of comment in response.  Dee responded in a way that seemed reassuring.  At that point, Asia picked a couple of basketballs off of the cart of balls used for warm-ups, looked them over, bounced them a couple of times, considered them further, and then handed one of them to Dee.

Dee checked the ball over, bounced it a couple of times, nodded, and promptly went on to use that ball as the game ball.

I think congratulations are owed to Asia Taylor, number 31, who's judicious selection of the game ball, may very well have played a critical role in the advancement of our Louisville Cardinals to the Sweet 16 over Purdue Tuesday night.

Of course, it might have had something to do with Sara Hammond's double-double, but I'd like to think that it wouldn't have been possible without Asia Taylor's critical contribution.

Way to go ATayy, you're tops in my book.

--Jeff McAdams

(Great story on ATayy and the newest Cardinal fans. We're pretty sure...based on the practice reports we're getting...that #31 will be picking up a lot of MVP honors for games in 2013-14 if she can keep up with the progress we're hearing that she's displaying during practice. Good job, Asia and you are still Sonja's favorite Lady Card. And, apparantly the darling of a lot of other fans' out there as well...)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How Sweet (16) it is!


(Jenny O'Bryan with the recap of the exciting UofL win that propels the Louisville WBB team to the Sweet Sixteen!)

Photo by Jenny O'Bryan
Louisville Women’s Basketball is headed to Oklahoma City! They earned a berth to the Sweet 16 with a big win over Purdue, 76-63, at The KFC YUM Center on Tuesday night.  The Cardinals played their last game of the season at home in front of 9,236 rowdy fans. 

Each of the last two years the Cardinals have been ousted from the tournament on the home court of their opponent.  It is only fitting that it was their time to turn the tables on the opposition and play at home in front of a very appreciative fan base.

The game started a little slow for both teams.  Louisville committed six turnovers in the first five minutes of the game.   They settled in, went to work, and never surrendered the lead the entire game.    Louisville led by 15 at the half, 38-23.

Bria down after Taylor Manuel's elbow. She would
rise again and finish with seven points
The second half of play opened on a run by Purdue, and the Louisville shots were not falling.   As this team has been known to do, it appeared that the Cards just might give up their lead and let Purdue climb back in to it.   Purdue would get no closer than 10, with the Cardinal lead ballooning to 19 at one point, before the Cardinals finished the game in the win column. 

It was a fantastic game, a real team effort played with a lot heart and energy.  It was not a full 40-minute game for this bunch, but it was the closest they have come to a complete game.  It was also, by far, the best game I have seen out of this team all season! 

Nita and Jude are all smiles!
Sara Hammond was the player of the game with another double double, putting up 21 points and pulling down 10 rebounds.  She had a fantastic game, one much like we saw early season from her.  She picked a great night to return to her dominant ways and lead the Cards in scoring.

Antonita Slaughter has been in a bit of shooting slump the last few games.  She knocked down an early 3, and I knew she was going to have a fantastic game.  She appeared to be playing looser, lighter tonight.  The early bucket had to give her confidence and she set the pace for the Cards scoring 14 of her 16 points in the first half.   Slaughter chased down 3 offensive boards (her own missed 3 point attempts) and hustled all night long with and with out the ball. 

Monique Reid celebrated her 23rd birthday in style, playing her last game in front of her hometown fans, and scoring eight points and getting six boards in 23 minutes of play.  She played tough defensively and gave the Cards great energy of the bench. 

What we liked: 
-The Cardinals played a great game in the paint!  I do not have the final stats of points in the paint but by the looks of the team Tuesday night, one would never know two of the teams big bodies were sidelined with injuries.  This was the best looking game I have seen of banging the ball inside and getting points. 
- Passing the ball.  These tournament games have also provided us with some of the best passing of the season.  The Cardinals are moving with and without the ball and making good passes and has great ball rotation.
-Toughness and energy.  This was another brutal game, especially for Bria Smith.  Smith took some hard knocks, at least two that could have sidelined her.  She continued on and still gave 110% on both sides of the ball. 
- Jude Schimmel gets better and better.  I am on record early on this season of eating my words and growing to love the game of the younger Schimmel.  I was not convinced her freshman year she had what it took to hang in the Big East.  Am I ever glad to be proven wrong!  She continues to hone her ball handling and passing, all the while proving to be a great defender and a real pickpocket.  I love watching this young woman play defense!
-Shelby Harper!  What is not to love about this former walk-on.  Coach Walz calls a time out with 22 seconds left to get Shelby in to the game for the first time on the night.  She holds the ball in the backcourt, seemingly to let the clock run out.   Not so.  Instead, with 12 seconds left she drives down the lane and lays one in to score with 7 seconds left.  Shelby, you have the heart of a lion in that tiny frame of yours.  CardNation no doubt will miss you!

It is only fitting to me, that this team leaves the friendly confines and heads out to the Sweet 16 in such great fashion.  The crowd was loud and electric all night, and this team did not disappoint.  We have been saying it all season long here, and it bears repeating, that this is an injured squad.  This team has battled adversity all season long, and they have kept their heads up and in the game.  They have remained a top 20 team with 3, sometimes 4, would-be starters on the sidelines injured.  If that does not make you a proud Cardinal Fan, I am not sure what will. 

Photo by Charlie Springer - UofL Card Game.
Congratulations to my favorite team!  Way to go out in style.  You deserve it!

( A wonderful write-up on tonight's exciting win by Jenny! The Cards' task to advance to the "Great Eight" will be a tough one -- no doubt -- with #1 in the nation Baylor next.

Coach Walz commented in the post-game presser that he and the staff would come up with a game plan that would give them a chance against the Bears. Stopping Brit Griner will be no small task....especially since she's 6'8". But, believe....believe...believe. Nothing is impossible.)



43-5   KEITH B.
41-7   NELL J.
40-8   STEVE O., CURTIS F.

The rest of us...well, we have some catching up to do...

-- Paulie



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cards face hot Boilermakers in NCAA WBB 2nd round


-Boilermakers on a win streak as they face UofL

-Caralisa Connell named BIG EAST Softball pitcher of week.

Quentin Voigt with the preview of tonight's Louisville v Purdue NCAA Women's Tournament 2nd round game. GOOD SEATS IN THE END ZONES ARE AVAILABLE FOR JUST $5 FOR THIS GAME. COME TO THE YUM! and GET YOUR TICKETS AT THE BOX OFFICE. THIS IS THE NCAA, FOLKS!

The Purdue Boilermakers have won five in a row coming into tonight's game and six out of their last seven. They are purported to be a tough-nosed team. Purdue brings a 25-8 record into the contest. They were 10-6 in BIG TEN regular season games but came on strong to win the conference tournament.

Coach Sharon Versyp is in her seventh year as Boilermaker boss and her success has been note-worthy. She has had 17 All-BIG TEN performers, three players on the All-BIG TEN Freshman team, six BIG TEN All-Defensive team selections, 11 BIG TEN All-Tournament players (three of then MOP's) and three WNBA draft picks. Just as importantly, 32 of her players have been named Academic All-BIG TEN members, including Lauren Minton -- a Rhodes Scholar finalist.

The 2012-13 team is loaded with talent, including all five of their starters. Leading scorer is 5'6" guard Courtney Moore at 13.5 ppg. 6'2" paint specialist Drey Mingo averages 12.3 ppg and 5'6" guard K.M Houser adds 11.4 a game. 6'2" Sam Osterrella contributes 9.7 ppg and 6'2" Taylor Manual is good for 8.1 ppg. Osterella grabs 10 boards a game and Mingo adds 6 per contest.

Purdue averages 68 ppg, creates 16.1 assists and gets 8.1 steal a night. Losses of note -- UConn 91-57, Notre Dame 74-47, Iowa 62-46, Penn State 69-61, Michigan State 68-61. They also fell to lowly Indiana 62-61.

The Lady Cards chances are good...but they would certainly be boosted by a YUM! Center full of rowdy fans. Louisville needs to ride the momentum of the final 10 minutes against MTSU and play as a unit with the single-minded goal to win.

-Quentin Voigt


The Purdue team I saw dismantle Liberty does a lot of things well. They crash the boards hard, block out well and Moore had a spectacular scoring performance against the over-matched Liberty Flames. With three 6'2" starters, it'll be interesting to see if Walz stays with his previous starting lineup of Shoni, Bria, Sara, Sherrone and Nita.

The three keys I see to a Cardinal win are another double-digit performance from the "Sho and Mo" show, Vails giving a solid 20 minutes and the Cards hitting 70% or better from the foul line. The Boilermakers should provide Louisville plenty of free throw chances. The Cards must capitalize.

Versyp will probably try to come up with a game plan to limit Shoni's effectiveness. If she does, it'll be up to Smith, Mo, Sara and Nita to step it up. If Nita can find that three-point efficiency she displayed prior to the BIG EAST Tournament...Purdue will have to drop the "stop Shoni" scenario.

I see the Cards advancing to the Sweet Sixteen with a hard-fought 69-63 win. Not that it matters, but a lot of Cards fans were surprised that Purdue got the #4 seed and Louisville the #5 in the region.

Time to start up the redemption train engine again.


Congrats to Cardinal softball pitcher Caralisa Connell for being selected the BIG EAST Softball Pitcher of the week. She punished both Iowa and Oklahoma last week and held the batters she face to a meager .171 batting average.

Louisville entertains Syracuse this weekend at Ulmer. A Friday doubleheader that starts at 2 p.m. and single game Saturday at noon.

The Cards are #11 in the nation and 26-5 on the season.


We'll update the CARDINAL COUPLE Pick 'Em challenge in Wednesday's column...after all the second round games have been completed. Like I care. I'm so far behind the leaders...I think I'm in the lead.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cards WBB advances to Tuesday night with 74-49 win.


-All's well that ends well in CARDS Four Act Play

-Lacrosse tumbles to Hoyas 14-11

-Pick 'Em Results

You could almost call the UofL women's basketball 25-point win over MTSU Sunday afternoon a play of sorts Just call me Paulie the Playwright and listen to my tale of gladness and woe... we'll call this little tale..

On to 32.

Act I :  The Rise of the Empire

Louisville absolutely roared out of the castle and bounced out to a 20-3 lead in the the first 6:37 of the first half. Beginning with Vails and Hammond pounding the backboard for points inside and ending with Reid, Shoni and Smith hitting a varying array of jumpers and layups, the Cards looked like they were playing Middle School Tennessee instead of MTSU and Reid layup capped a 16-0 run with 13:23 left in the first half.

All cylinders were clicking and the Blue Raiders looked blue and absolutely raided. It was a delight to watch.

Act II : Sailing Along while the Enemy Forces plot Revenge.

The Cards maintained the lead in varying numbers for the rest of the first half...anywhere from seven to sixteen points as the scoring effort remained balanced and Louisville had their way inside when MTSU played defense MTSU did rally to climb within eight with 4:49 on the clock -- a Kortni Jones jumper dong the trick to make it 26-18-- but Louisville looked to be headed into the locker room up by double digits before a Reid shot met rejection from Ebony Rowe and Kortni Jones drilled a three off the rebound to make it 34-27 at the half.

The Cards were still in command..but the countryside was rumbling with a bit of trepidation, worry and wonder. The Empire was showing a few cracks in the armor and the Blue Raiders were narrowing the gap

Act III : The Empires Stumbles 

MTSU came out on fire in the second half and drilled two threes in the first 3:12 to cut the once-safe UofL lead to one at 34-33. Over the next five minutes that narrow UofL advantage would fluctuate from one to five points...a three from reserve Laken Leonard cut the Cardinal lead to 42-40 with 10:23 remaining. It looked like the Cards had been driven into the ropes and pummeled but were refusing to go to the canvas.

MTSU had momentum, a loud and rowdy fan base in the southwest corner of the KFC YUM! Center was roaring and Louisville needed some answers fast.

Act IV : Riding the Redemption Train to Tuesday

The UofL resurgance began quietly enough. Shoni hits a contested jumper at the 10 minute mark and sinks the accompanying free throw as well. A missed MTSU attempt leads to a Smith jumper that tickles the nets and both the Schimmel sisters take the stage after that. Shoni's steal and layup increases the lead to nine and Jude's three-bomb makes it 52-40 in just a 90 second span.

There was fire and determination again in the Lady Cards' eyes and the MTSU fans in sections 101-103 could have avoided additional agony by accessing the exits after Vails' jumper made it 56-42 with 7:01 to go.

The Blue Raiders were vanquished invaders. Reid inside made it 64-44 with 4:30 left and when Rowe finally hit a layup with 3:55 on the clock...the Cards were on a 24-6 run and the only question left was how big would the win margin be.

Rowe added another inside score for the Raiders final tally to cut the Louisville lead to 21 at 70-49 with 2:24 in the game. Free throws from Vails, Shelby Harper and a Jude Schimmel lay-in off a steal with 1:15 left provided the final score of 74-49.

WIth the win, Louisville gets Purdue Tuesday night in the KFC YUM! Center at appox. 7 p.m.

Mo goes for two. Photo by Charlie Springer. See his site
Shoni had 20 on 9-15 shooting in 36 minutes. Monique Reid added 15 on 7 of 11 attempts. Jude Schimmel (11 points) and Bria Smith (10 points) also finished in double figures.

Hats off to Sherrone Vails also for a strong 21 minutes and nine points. She and Sara Hammond seemed to be favorite whistle stops for Dee Kanter's crew...each seeing bench time with three fouls.

Coach Walz couldn't find too much to complain about in the post game presser. Happy for the win and pleased to be playing Tuesday, he wished free throw shooting and missed layup opportunities would have been better.  For a man on the eve of destruction and tournament elimination, he engineered a remarkable rally he has said before...any win is a good one.

This was a good one. Not great. Frittering away a 13 point lead ito one over a six minute period spanning two halves has to be a bit of cause for concern. This time of year, though...what doesn't kill you means you're alive to fight another day.

Purdue awaits. They shackled Liberty earlier Sunday on Denny Crum's Court. The battle should be a good one.

How's the competition stack up? Sandy Walker (yes, she's still out there, folks) sends this link on Team Performance Index.

UPS Team Performance Index


While the WBB Cards were heating up the KFC YUM! Center, Louisville lacrosse was in the cold battling BIG EAST opponent Georgetown in Washington, D.C. The results weren't as good for the Cross Gals...losing 14-11 to the # 8 in the nation Hoyas.

Kaylin Morissete had a career high five goals in the loss for Louisville.

Down 3-0 early, UofL battled back to 3-2 with two unassisted scores by Morissette. Georgetown fired back, though, and went up 6-3 before Monica Negron found paydirt to get Louisville to within two with 14:15 remaining in the first half.

Nikki Boltja and Coleen O'Malley followed suit, benefitting from assists from Katie Oliverio over the next two minutes and Louisville tied the match with 12:12 to go.

Georgetown went on a 3-0 run to regain the three goal advantage but the Cards weren't done...Oliverio netted her first score of the game and Morissette went back-to-back with scores...her fourth of the game coming with three seconds on the clock to tie the contest 9-9 for the halftime break.

The Hoyas took their turn at scoring to start the second half. Three GU scores in the first ten minutes had them ahead 12-9. Morissette responded with 15:53 left with a net-finder and Nikki Boltja got her second tally with 12 minutes remaining to draw the Cards within one at 12-11.

Unforutnately, that was the end of the Cardinal scoring and G'Town added two insurance goals to take the 14-11 win.

The long road trip finally ends. Louisville returns home for a pair of BIG EAST matchup. Notre Dame visits after spring break for a Friday, April 5th. match at 5 p.m. The Cards will also host Marquette Sunday April 7th., at noon.


Whoo, boy! We got us a contest going on over here at the COUPLE in our Bracket Pick 'Em Contest! With 32 games played, we got nine players that are 28-4 OR BETTER!

Here's the honor roll:

30-2 Nell J.

29-3 Jeff McAdams, Jenny O. ( both Cardinal Couple columnists! ) Keith B. and Andy K.

28-4 Curtis F. Matthew M., Steve O. and Kenny S.
Jenny and Jeff in a four-way tie for second

There are also at 27-5 and the game is far from over.

Meanwhile, in 'Loserville' (bracket-wise)...Paul sits at 23-9, Sonja at 24-8 and David Watson is keeping her company there. Worst entry? Once again the Cardinal Staff Chimps have come up with a bracket that is at 4-28. They did get the #1 seeds right in the first round. After that, nada. They've also got three of the #1 seeds going out in the second round. Darn chimps!