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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Fun on Floyd - Sunday Cardinal Couple


We wish a happy Easter to all our Cardinal Couple readers! Whether you're gathering for a meal, planning on a day of basketball watching or just enjoying the candy you pilfered from your kids baskets...may the peace of the season be upon you this day and many more! 

A Fifteen Frame for Softball

In NCAA Softball, the run-rule says that if either team is leading by at least eight runs at the end of any inning after the 5th, the game is over.  This can result in games being as short at 4 1/2 innings if the home team is leading by eight or more points after four innings and the visiting team doesn't score enough in the top of the 5th to close that margin.

That happened rather easily yesterday in the 19-3 win in the final game of the UofL Softball series with NC State.

There were some hints in the first inning that there were going to be a few unusual things to this game.  Things got started with Sidney Melton getting a single, and Maryssa Becker got hit by a pitch to move Melton to 2nd.  Then a career first stolen base by Maryssa Becker as the Cards pull off a masterful double-steal.  We here at Cardinal Couple don't mince words when it comes to pointing out that Becker is not a very fast base runner.  She's a CC favorite, but speed is not her strong point, so to see her with a stolen base makes the ears perk up. 

After the double-steal, Megan Hensley flew out to left, but the much quicker Melton got home after the tag, and the throw to home to try to catch her allowed Becker to advance to 3rd.  Lillie Goetz walked, Jenna Jordan got a double shot out to right field which scored Becker and the quick Goetz advanced to 3rd.  As testament to the Goetz speed, Brittany Sims then popped out to the short-stop, and Goetz reached home on the tag.  Sarah Lopesilvero singled up the middle, which brought Jordan around 3rd and to home to finish the first inning tally at 4.  The Cards did load up the bases again, but NC State was able to get out the jam.

The 2nd inning was blank for both sides, but things got interesting again in the 3rd.  NC State put 3 on the scoreboard in the top half of the frame, but in the bottom half, the wheels really fell off or the Pack.

A double and two walks loaded up the bases for the Cards, and triggered an NC State pitching change.  The Pack brought in their pitcher that had been wearing a boot during the starting line-ups and national anthem presentation...for shin splints according to their Sports Information Director.  Alas, whatever sympathies she may have garnered didn't earn her much time in the circle as she promptly walked two runs home and the starting pitcher re-entered.  The Pack were still looking for answers though, as the first batter faced, Lillie Goetz, cranked her 1st career home-run, a Grand Slam, out to the right field berm.  Now I have to borrow from bad television infomercials, "But wait, there's more!"  Jordan singles, Sims got a walk, and a fielding error on Lopesilvero's at-bat loaded up the bases again for the Cards.

At this point, you could almost hear the Jaws music "du-DUM, du-DUM, du-DUM".  Nicole Pufahl singles, scoring Jordan, McNary reached on a fielding error, scoring Sims, and Melton singles, scoring Lopesilvero.  That's now nine runs scored in the bottom half of the 3rd.  "But don't call yet!"  Maryssa Becker cleared them all with her own Grand Slam, the 2nd of the inning, out to the Brandeis road construction area in left.  "But we're still not done, yet!"  Megan Hensley singles, and Goetz walks.  NC State then swapped their Designated Player for their 1b, so the 1b to go to the bull-pen to warm up as the Pack were still looking for a way out of this nightmare as there was still only one out on the board in exchange for 13 runs.  Jordan grounded out, advancing the runners, then Sims singled out to left field, scoring Goetz and Hensley for a whopping 15 runs in the inning.

Both teams made wholesale changes in the 4th inning, for the Cards at least, it was the equivalent of emptying the benches with a big lead near the end of a basketball game, but there was no scoring on either side.  When NC State couldn't produce anything in the top of the 5th, the game was over on a run-rule, 19-3.

In the post-game interview, a smiling Coach Sandy Pearsall was obviously happy with the performance and focus of the team, and hoped the momentum would carry them forward through a midweek matchup with Western Kentucky, and hopefully next weekend's matchup with UNC in Chapel Hill.

Lacrosse Joins in the Fun

Paulie was on assignment at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium, but after the Softball game concluded, Sam Draut and I walked down Floyd St. to join in the action and caught about the last 20 minutes of Loucrosse's victory over Virginia Tech.

After their romp through the "C" schools, Canisius, Coastal Carolina, and Cincinnati, the Lacrosse squad got back to conference action with a 15-9 win over Virginia Tech.

During the week, Patrick McEwan tweeted a tease about an article that he had written for Inside Lacrosse Magazine where he created "Advanced Draw Control Stats", his teaser tweet concluded, "Turns out @LouisvilleLax's Kaylin Morissette is really good."  To which, I replied, "Next: 'Grass is Green'.  But thanks for noticing! ;)"  To be fair, his massaging of the draw control stats is quite interesting and does do an even better job of demonstrating just how dominant Kay Morissette is in the draw.  She is leading the NCAA basic stats of total draw controls (115, vs Kayla Treanor's 90 from Syracuse) and draw controls per game (10.45 vs Treanor's 10...UofL has played two more games than the Cuse so far this year).  The Inside Lacrosse article is available here.  It ends up focusing more on the team draw control stats, as there is more granularity to work with than the individual draw control stats, but Morissette takes the vast majority of UofL's draws, so it is essentially an analysis of her achievements.

On to the game recap, then!  As Sam and I were walking up, the score was 8-3 with about 20 minutes left in the 2nd half.  Scoring to that point:  Morissette already had a hat trick in the 1st half, Cortnee Daley had two, Hannah Koloski had one, Madison Hoover had one, and Kelli Gerding had one.  As we arrived, VT scored two, then UofL would go on a 5-0 run.  The run started off with Koloski getting her hat trick, Kelli Gerding got her 2nd, Cortnee Daley also picked up a hat trick, and Heidi Smith would get her only point of the game.  The rest of the game was back and forth, with Cardinal goals by Koloski getting her 4th, and Kelli Gerding finishing the hat trick.  VT scored 3 in the last ten minutes with the aid of a couple of UofL yellow cards.

After such a glowing review of Morissette's draw controls in the Inside Lacrosse article, she did have a lackluster day starting the play off with "only" 6, and VT led Louisville 15-11 overall in controlling the starts.

A smiling coach Kellie Young did speak about a few lapses in the post-game interview, including the yellow card fouls; while Morissette, while also smiling from the win, was clearly unhappy with her draw control efforts, and arguably the best draw controller in the country commented about the need to be better on the draw.

We'll have all three of the post-game interviews mentioned here, plus audio from Lillie Goetz after her first career home-run this Saturday on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour on WCHQ.

Cardinal Couple Bracket Challenge

We're down to an Elite Eight now in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament and after an upset-filled Friday, Saturday's games were fairly predictable. Congratulations to UConn, Texas, Baylor, Oregon State, Syracuse, Tennessee, Stanford and Washington for advancing. A bit of surprise in the roster...with three Pac-12 teams in the mix, two from the Big 12, and one each for the AAC, ACC and SEC.

The Deb Factor remains atop the field with a 43-13 record. She is closely followed by Jenny O, Kenny S, and Viva "Q" who have compiled 42-14 marks. Seven contestants follow at 41-15. 

Seven games remain. Can the Syracuse magic continue? Which PAC 12 school will emerge out of a probably vacant Rupp Arena? 

Can Texas slow down the UConn juggernaut? Can Kim Mulkey continue to prove Barack Obama wrong by beating a ferocious group of Beavers? 

Should be fun! GOOD LUCK TO ALL! 



  1. If things had gone according to plan, some friends and I would be on our way to Dallas for a matchup of Cards vs. the Fighting Mulkeys. Sigh......

    What's the over and under for actual butts in seats at Rupp today? A couple thousand at best?

    Hoping Q gets to the Final Four.

    1. I hear ya, Mike. Several of the Cardinal Couple gang and associates were ready to make that trip as well. Easter Sunday, two west coast teams...I'd be very surprised if the actual attendance climbs past 1000 in Rupp. They'll announce some inflated number because of tickets sold, I suspect...but I'd personally love to be in a seat in Sioux Falls see if "Q" magic can continue. Happy Easter!



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