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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Southpaw specials...Cardinal Couple Saturday

Cardinal Couple Collaborative Southpaw Special Squad

It's been a while.  I know you have been craving a Cardinal Couple team honor, so today we bring you The Cardinal Couple Collaborative Southpaw Special Squad.  An honorary team of all left-handers.  We only have appearances from three of the Louisville women's teams because, here's a fun fact for you, there is no "left-handed" equipment for Field Hockey, so it's nigh-on impossible to tell the lefties when they're out on the field in that sport, and similar for Lacrosse.  So we have honorees from Basketball, Volleyball, and Softball, as these are the sports where handedness really makes a more significant difference.

Softball Honorees

We'll start on the diamond.  We have three full lefties on the Softball Squad.

Jordan Vorbrink

A sophomore this year, Jordan saw action last year as a freshman, with appearances in 24 games, and 15 starts at either first base, or in the outfield.  Seemingly a specialist in triples, tying for the team lead, she almost had a cycle in one game, lacking just a single in the attempt.  Jordan is a local, playing high school ball at Mercy Academy

Morgan Meyer

A senior leader on the team, co-captain last year, "Mo" played in 45 games last year, with 37 starts in the outfield.  A real speedster, Meyer has found a home in the outfield, covering acres of grass to deny hitters their success.  Before making her presence known in the outfield, she frequently made base running appearances, taking advantage of her quickness and speed to advance on even marginal hits.  Morgan is definitely a country girl at heart, but also hails from the Derby city, and also is a Mercy graduate.

Jordan McNary

To round out the true-lefty softballers, Jordan McNary shares a lot of traits with Morgan Meyer.  She's a senior speedster that patrols the outfield, appeared in 45, started 38.  She also tied with Vorbrink for triples.  Also a Kentuckian, McNary hails from Madisonville, and went to Hopkins County Central HS.

Volleyball Honorees

To the wide net, and another trio of lefties.

Gabbie Wiley

From Hannibal MO, and Hannibal High School, Gabbie Wiley had a great year as a defensive and serving specialist for the Cardinal squad that generally struggled through the year.  Gabbie played in a more attacking role in high school, and has taken a couple of years to adjust to playing a more defensively oriented role on the team, but came into her own this year, with several matches where she equalled Libero Molly Sauer's dig totals, with only half the rotations to do it in.  In service, the left-handed serve puts a different spin on the ball which tends to cause serve receive problems.  Notre Dame seemed particularly hapless this season in handling the southpaw spin.  Gabbie also was on the ACC Honor Roll and Athletic Director's Honor Roll, as a pre-med student, no less.  Gabbie was a junior this year.

Kali Eaken

The Cardinals primary setter this year, Kali also hails from Missouri, but from the city of fountains, Kansas City.  Kali initially committed to and enrolled at Kansas State, but after a redshirt freshman year, transfers to UofL to continue her career.  Eaken struggled with several injuries throughout the season, which limited her playing appearances some, but the impact when she was on the court was significant.

Morgan Miller

Morgan Miller comes to us from Magnolia, TX, the second recent Cardinal to hail from that town, following in the footsteps of Roxanne McVey, though they attended different high schools, but did play in the same club system.  The Cardinals are losing the play-her-anywhere services of Janelle Jenkins, who is graduating and heading off to be awesome in whatever she does, but Morgan Miller is from a similar mold.  A competent defensive player, with a good serve, those skills are probably the areas where she has the most room for improvement, as she is already, as a sophomore, a quite good hitter from anywhere on the court.  We don't see her hitting in the middle often, as UofL already has a great roster of middles, but I'm confident she could do a fine job of it.  Otherwise, swinging from the right, from the left, from the backrow, or maybe even not swinging at all, but instead setting others for attacks, she can do it all.  A true utility player with a great eye for the opponent's court, she has excellent ball placement on attacks.

Basketball Honorees

Sydney Zambrotta

"THREEEEEEEEEEEEE 'Z'" is already a common refrain from Cardinal PA guy Sean Moth.  This freshman sharpshooter hails from the venerable Christ The King high school in New York.  Zambrotta, who has also bolstered the ranks of the Cardinal Couple All-Syd/Sid/Szyd team, has already seem some clutch minutes, but we should only expect her contributions to grow as she progresses through her freshman year and further.  At Christ The King, Sydney also played Soccer in the fall, and Lacrosse in the spring, keeping busy all year around.

Asia Durr

Cardinal Couple seems to have an affinity for "Asia"'s, as we continue to follow the career of excellence of Asia Taylor currently tearing up the court in the land down under.  This Asia comes to us from Douglasville, GA and St. Pius X Catholic HS.  Really, who will ever forget her 36 point performance vs Syracuse a couple of weeks ago?  Another sharpshooter, she has just about the range of Shoni Schimmel, but plays great defense as well.  Durr has great handles, and can dribble drive with the best of them.  She's back at full speed this year after being hampered by injury somewhat during her freshman campaign.  We can't wait to see what the next 2 and a half years hold for this star, and for once we won't be excited for the final countdown.

Some Honorable Mentions

Nicole Pufahl
Softball has a couple of players that throw right handed, and I believe are predominantly right-handed, but bat left-handed, so we wanted to give them some love.

Lillie Goetz and Sidney Melton both bat left handed.  Frequently you'll see right handers bat left handed in Softball to be "slappers", but Lillie swings for power from the left side, with a pair of home runs in as many games, both grand slams, no less.  Sidney Melton also doesn't just slap at the ball, tallying some triples in the 2016.

An unusual combination, Nicole Pufahl (who's last name I still can't spell right without checking), throws left handed and bats right handed.  This suggests that she may be predominantly left handed, but learned to bat (with some serious power as well) right handed at some point.  Why?  We're not sure, but we're OK with it.

Radio Today

Today's broadcast will be pre-empted by "Baking with Paulie."  We'll be highlighting turnovers in today's baking show.  Do check it out, it should be a bunch of fun on WCHQ FM 100.9 or streaming at  As useless as I am in the kitchen, I'll be fetching coffee.

-- JMcA


  1. The bottom line card's needs to cut down there turnover on Offense.Also cortnee needs take her open shots.

    1. Some turnovers are worse than others. The killers are the live ball turnovers that lead to transition baskets at the other end. Several of those really hurt at Duke. Things like traveling on the way to the hoop or charging on a drive aren't nearly as damaging. The recent turnovers on out of bounds plays are bothersome and should be correctable.

  2. Maybe you know this JMcA but how did the term southpaw get started?

    1. I don't, actually. You've got me curious, now.

    2. It would appear from an announcer:

      Dunne was known for giving colorful play-by-play and when a left-handed pitcher came on the field, he described him as a "southpaw." Since the ballpark faced east and west, home plate was west and a left-hander would pitch from the south with his "paw." Thus, the term "southpaw" was born



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