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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Sandy Pearsall Retires-- MLB Draft -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Sandy Pearsall Calls It Quits After 19 Seasons With UofL Softball

Once summertime arrives it can be tough to find a topic to write about sometimes so we always hope there will be news to write about.  Unfortunately, the news is not always the greatest, and sadly, we are announcing that Sandy Pearsall is retiring.

Pearsall helped build the UofL softball program from the ground up.  She was called in in 2000 to start a softball program with hopes of it becoming nationally recognized and she did just that.  In her 19 seasons at UofL, Pearsall has accumulated 718 wins,  six conference championships, 13 NCAA Regional appearances, and four NCAA Regional titles.  With Louisville, Pearsall went 718-371 for a .659 win percentage.

Louisville saw major success including a 55-5 season and a national ranking as high as seventh in the country while only having two losing seasons.  In the 19-year history Louisville has had losing records in conference play just twice and had a franchise-best 20-2 conference record in the 2012 season.

In 2000, Pearsall was named Conference USA Coach of the Year.  In 2012, Pearsall and her staff were named NFCA Great Lakes Region Coaching Staff of the Year.

Louisville players were extremely successful with individual awards.  There have been 101 all-league selections- 27 All-Conference USA, 54 All-Big East, five All-American Athletic, and 14 All-ACC.  Some of the highest honors include two Players of the Year (Asst Director of Marketing Chelsea Bemis is one of them), two Pitchers of the Year, one MVP, and one Freshman of the Year.

Before her time with Louisville Pearsall spent several years with a handful of schools.  The former Oregon State standout spent time at Pacific, San Francisco, Florida A&M, Colorado State, and Miami.  She was named to the Pacific Hall of Fame and won the 1990 Western Athletic Conference Championship with the Rams.

Pearsall released a statement, "It is with mixed emotions that I have decided to retire from the University of Louisville.  It has been a great ride, but after almost 35 years in the profession, it is time to walk away and focus on my family and my health.  I  am very thankful to the university, the administration, my staff, and co-workers for their hard work, support and friendship throughout the years.  I am especially thankful for the players who have come through our program.  They have helped lay the foundation for the success we have built here."

Vince Tyra had kind words for the well-known coach, "We sincerely appreciate all of Sandy's efforts in building our softball program from the ground up.  The 718 wins, NCAA regional appearances and conference titles are significant, but her legacy is united with the abundance of student-athletes' lives she touched and the investment she made in advancing softball in our community and university.  We wish her the best in her well-deserved retirement.  We will begin a national search for a new softball coach immediately."

Softball alumna Kelsi Rynard (formerly Kelsi Jones, 2015 graduate) thanked Pearsall via a Facebook post, "To the woman who took me in and gave me a chance, I can't imagine what my life would be like without you.  You kicked my ass when you needed to and you loved me when I needed it most.  I'm so thankful to have played for you, to have learned from you, and to have been a very small part of your tenure.  Louisville softball would be nothing without you.  Sandy P, you are the greatest [heart emoji]."

From someone who has only actively followed UofL softball for the last four years it was immediately clear to me the impact Coach Pearsall had on the university and this program.  It has quickly become one of my favorite sports to cover as media and to attend as a fan.  Her successor will have major shoes to fill.

Unfortunately, as always with the departure of a head coach, we will probably see an exodus of players and assistant coaches.  Pitching coach Kassie Stanfill already departed to accept a job at another school a couple of weeks ago.

I'm sure we will hear more from Paulie and Worldwide regarding this announcement in the comments or upcoming articles.

On a side note still softball related, congratulations to Florida State on winning their first ever NCAA softball championship.  The title is also the first in the history of the ACC.  The Seminoles, who beat Louisville four times this year, won the series against Washington 2-0.  When I had the chance to shoot a couple games earlier in the season while in Tallahassee and Florida State definitely looked like the team to beat then.

Louisville Has Three Selected in MLB Draft

Josh Stowers
Josh Stowers is packing his bags and heads to Seattle, well after some time spent in the lower divisions, to become a Mariner.  He was taken in the second round with the 54th overall selection.  The outfielder was a team captain and was an All-ACC First Team selection after his stellar season.

Adam Wolf was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the fifth round, 135th overall.  The lefty pitcher was a Third Team All-American and struck out over 100 batters en route to an 8-2 record in the 2018 season.

Devin Mann
Devin Mann was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth round, 164th overall.  The second baseman started every game and remained in the top half of the lineup.  Mann ranks sixth in the NCAA in walks and 17th in runs scored.

We wish these Cardinals the best of luck in the pros!

Other Cardinals in the Pros

Because of the wonky schedule with the WNBA I will keep my weekly WNBA updates on Friday, but there are a couple other UofL alums that were in town last night.

Andrew Farrell (New England Revolution, first pick in 2012 MLS draft, Atherton High School graduate) and Paolo DelPiccolo (Louisville City FC) went head-to-head last night at Lynn Stadium as the two teams competed in the US Open Cup.  The boys in purple and gold walked away with a win 3-2 and improved their record at Lynn this year to 3-0.  The hometown USL team and reigning USL Champions shocked the MLS team and will advance to the round of 16.

Maybe the biggest win (so far) in Lou City FC history. 

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

- Jared -


  1. Wow. Where do I begin about Coach P? She was one of my first interviews ever here at Cardinal Couple. She was always one of my best as well and the Softball banquet each year was something that Sonya, me, Jeff and Jared always looked forward to. We met SO many great players that you brought here, coached, nurtured and helped grow.

    Sandy Pearsall, I'll miss the interviews, the fun, your smile and I hope that in retirement you don't spend all your time with the Leonburgers and find your way to the ol' ballpark to see the Cards play. Jared Anderson nails it in the Wednesday Cardinal Couple article about your legacy. Thank you from ALL of us at Cardinal Couple for...well....just being you You'll always be our "Coach P."

    Tu auras toujours mon couer.

    Thank you.


    1. Hard to believe but she's earned the retirement. They should name the field for her.

      Curtis "Going for the fence" Franklin

  2. As a former player for Coach Pearsall, I want to thank you, Jared, for the great article on Coach and thank Cardinal Couple for their unwavering coverage of softball.

    I wasn't a star but learned so very much from her and the staff and made friendships with my teammates that still continue to this day. I came to UofL as a insecure girl. I left a confident women.

    Thanks for the chance, the memories and the guidance Coach.

    "Let's turn two"

    1. Hi anonymous. I’d love to set up something and get more stories and experiences when you were with UofL if you’re willing. Shoot me an email -

  3. I'm in. It deserves to be so. Sandy Pearsall Field.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --


  5. UofL WBB topic what was CJW best team?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Last season, top to bottom talent wise. 2013 next.

  6. I agree last season team played great Defense and featured two ACC PLAYERS OF THE YEAR.


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