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Sunday, March 9, 2014



-Shoni's jumper, Jude's steal give Cards four-point win over USF.

-Softball swings away at OSU and OU

Never underestimate the power of Schimmels. In a semifinal game that looked like at times neither team wanted to win, Shoni nails a triple-teamed, driving jumper with six seconds remaining and sister Jude gets a key steal, gets fouled and seals the win with two free throws.

Louisville advances to the title game of the AAC Conference Tournament to face UConn Monday night at 7 p.m. with a 60-56 escape against the Bulls of USF.

For awhile, one had to wonder if Louisville would survive Sunday. Credit USF for coming out strong and taking the early lead against the Cards. A slow UofL start and Inga Orekhova's three-point marksmanship had Louisville trailing 20-10 halfway through the first half.

Shoni saw some uncharacteristic bench time...the Cards seemed a step slow and out of sync against the Bulls driving offense and unable to get any kind of inside offense generated. 

Finally, #23 returned to the game and things began to happen.

Led by Shoni and Jude...the Cards rallied with a 16-4 run which included three Shoni threes to take the lead 26-24 on a Jude layup.

The Cards took a nervous 33-29 lead to the locker room, Shoni nailing her fourth trifecta of the half.

USF was not intimidated and started the second half hot again to regain the lead. Courtney Williams picked up the slack for USF and they had the Cards in serious trouble...up 51-46 with a little over eight minutes left in the game.

Shoni and Tia Gibbs responded with back to back threes to put Louisville back on top.

With the score tied at 54-54, two Tia free throws gave Louisville the lead. The Cards got a break when Inga got fouled but missed the front end of a one-and-the-bonus. USF missed a shot inside which could have tied it, but Williams went strong to the paint for the rebound and putback to even it up at 56-56.

It came down to the final ten seconds. Williams went for a three but missed. Schimmel went coast-to-coast for the go-ahead bucket and on the USF inbounds after the score, Jude stole a pass from Williams and was fouled. The junior calmly sank both free throws and USF's final possession resulted in no points.

Shoni's 17 points led Louisville. Williams and Orekhova had 19 each for USF (19-12).

Huskies again. #1 seed possibilities almost flickered out...but re-kindled with Schimmel magic. Pretty? No, not at all...but it's survive and advance this time of year.

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Louisville Softball unloaded the heavy artillery Sunday afternoon in Ulmer Stadium...trouncing Ohio State University 11-4 and setting a new runs scored record in the beating of Ohio University 22-4. Here's the recaps...

Louisville 22-Ohio University 4

18 hits led to 22 runs for Louisville against the Bobcats in the five inning affair. The Cards got three innings from Rachel LeCoq as the starter and an appearance from freshman Tirra Sanabria in relief...who allowed just one run on three hits in two innings.

OU actually led 2-0 when the Cards came up to bat in the botton of the first, but that quickly changed. Kelsi Jones' three-run blast to center, and two-RBI doubles from Hannah Kiyohara and Marissa Becker were key components in the nine-run first inning.

Kiyohara would plate the Cards two runs in the second inning with a single to increase the Cardinal margin to 11-3.

The third inning features 11 Cardinals touching home plate. A three-run blast to right center by Brittany Duncan, four walks an two Bobcat errors all contributed to a 22-3 score after three frames.

Louisville 11-Ohio State 4

Although the Cards could only manage half the runs of the first game, it was still an impressive show of power and pitching for UofL (12-6). Maryssa Becker got the win in relief...Caralisa Connell started and Tiarra Sanabria closed in the circle for the Cards.

UofL made it 4-0 after one inning. A bases-loaded double from Becker scored two and singles from Taner Fowler and Maggie Ruckenbrod got Becker and Duncan home.

The Cards added three more in the second...Kelsi Jones' two-run fence clearer to center the key blow.

The Buckeyes countered with four runs in the top of the third to draw within three...but Louisville added two more runs in the fifth on three singles, a walk and sacrifice fly to build the score to 9-4.

The Ville finished the scoring frenzy in the sixth...Keller's double the key blow against Buckeye pitching.

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  1. Classic case of a team playing to win versus a team playing not to lose.

    Cards play like that against UConn and they lose by 35. But I don't think they will play that poorly tomorrow.

    Hammond has reverted to her freshman/sophomore habit of taking herself out of the game with silly fouls. Cards can't beat a good team without her.

    UT gets the last #1 seed unless Cards upset UConn.

    UT to Louisville and UConn to Lincoln?

  2. I don't get the crowning of UT as heir apparent.
    Losses to

    Notre Dame

    How does this equal number 1 seed particularly when al 3 of their wins were last minute decisions.

    If crowned number 1 then send them to Louisville then we can see who actually should have number one
    Actually send them to Louisville either way.

  3. I think ESPN commentators and Charlie C do not want to see Cardinals as a number 1 seed as the station does not want a UL v UConn game late in the bracket match up as they expect it to be a lower viewership game than UConn playing someone new like a UT or actually anyone as they have named one team after another besides UL to be a 1 seed.
    Also UConn is always shown in the Louisville bracket no matter where we are ranked or who other teams have lost to.

    1. Creme is an ESPN guy, so the mandate has gone out NOT to bash his selections if you are an ESPN talking head. Everyone else that is not associated with ESPN seems to agree that the Cards have earned the #1 and UConn should go to Nebraska. Ask Geno. Ask Jose Fernandez. Ask any sports writers. ESPN is backing their boy, who hates the Cards.

      Curtis Franklin

  4. Really tired of the ESPN announcers proclaiming the opinions of Charlie Creme as if they have come from God Almighty and he isn't even on the committee. In all the games I have watched over the past few days, only one time did I hear the announcer qualify the comments. Some people out there - coaches and/or media - are voting for UofL as the #3 team in the country. Those people, presumably, feel that UofL is the 3rd best team in the land and it would seem that a #1 seed would go along with that. But, they aren't on the committee either so we will wait until next Monday to see.

  5. I was impressed with USF. They knew they were playing for a NCAA birth, were well coached and knocked the trey down. It was pretty clear at the end that Williams didn't respect Jude's defense when they cleared out the side so she could take her one on one. Then Williams missed the three and the rest is history. Considering how Jude has been shooting free throws this year I was worried about her 1&1 at the end but she knocked them down. Good for her.

    I hope Sara and Bria decide to show up tonight against the Huskies. Our bigs need to be ready for a war. We need to get hot and score 75 +/- to have a chance at the title. We've got the shooters to do it...just need to start fast, get in that scoring groove and make it happen. If we can ever get Shoni, Tia and Nita to get hot at the same time look out.

    I don't think there is anything our Cards can do to get Creme to give them credit. We're just going to have to win out in the tourney. The irony is that but for about 10 minutes against UK this team would be undefeated vs the world with the exception of UConn.

    As far as Tennessee goes I just remember how hard they were cheering for the Cards vs Baylor last year and we all know how that worked out for them.

  6. USF played so well because there wasn't any defense. Tennessee is playing like a one seed and UofL is playing like a two or three seed at this point. Hopefully, they will turn it on in the conference this year again.

    1. Meant to the tournament this year again.

    2. We'll see. The bottom line is that you can only beat the teams you play. We pretty much did that with the exception of UConn. If our bigs don't play better in the NCAAs than they have recently we won't be able to beat the local lunch time YMCA crowd so it won't matter.

      That said, it's hard to overstate the importance of the experience of having been to the national championship game last year. Many critics forget we didn't just beat Baylor, we took down Tenn & Cal on the way to the title game. I understand that this year isn't last year, but the team mindset is important as is the upside potential of Tia and Asia who were sitting on the bench spectating last year and are chomping at the bit to make a statement of their own when it matters. Either one of these ballers could come out huge. Should be a great tourney. I really don't care about the seed but I do care about the ESPN consensus dismissal of our program.

      The truth of the matter is the only games that really matter this year don't start for a week or so. At that point we'll really see what this club is made of.

    3. Also...It's hard for me to get excited about Tennessee. Walz crushed Warlick from a coaching perspective last year when it mattered and I just haven't seen the leadership making a difference in that program. Frankly it's miracle they beat UK. Somehow they survived Simmon's 3 or 4 missed layups. They choked against us big time last year in the tourney when Simmons was being touted as the best thing since canned beer. She's still their leader.

      Tennessee is a traditional power program that ESPN is trying to continue to make relevant based upon Summitt and their championship history from almost twenty years ago. The truth is that UConn has been the dominant program by far for the last several decades and no amount of ESPN editorializing will change the facts. Our Cards have been to the national championship game two times since the last time the Lady Vols made it back in 07 - 08.

      I'd love another chance at Tennessee in the tourney.

  7. "For recreational purposes only...."

    UConn favored by 20 1/2.

    Sounds about right to me.

  8. I think UConn is recreationally favored 20+ over every team they play lol

  9. Number 1 NCAA Seed?
    Tennessee (24-5 prior to SEC tournament) is now being crowned by ESPN and related parties as a #1 seed because they have now beaten KY, Texas A & M and LSU in the SEC tournament.

    This is a now 27 - 5 team who has lost 5 times to
    Stanford, LSU, Vandy, Kentucky and Notre Dame and who tonight managed to beat KY by the huge margin of one (1) point.

    (1) The KY 24-8 team they beat tonight by 1 point has lost 8 times to S Carolina (2) Florida (2) Georgia, Alabama, Duke and tonight TN.

    (2) The Texas A& M (24-8) team that TN beat 2 days ago has now lost 8 times to Kentucky, Vandy, Tennessee, Texas, St Johns, Penn State, Syracuse and again to TN in this tournament.

    (3) The LSU 19-12 team they beat 3 nights ago has now lost 12 times this season.

    This is the team that is being promoted ad a # 1 seed above UL. Really?

  10. It's tourney time mood. Check out our kids:

    Shoni - :52
    Nita - 1:43 & 7:30
    Tia - 3:29


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