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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sharing Swimming and Softball Success this Sunday

It was a good day for the women of Cardinals athletics.  While none of the "Big 3" fall sports were in action for the women (volleyball, field hockey, and soccer), several other sports that we try to cover were in action.


To start with the one I can personally report on, Softball wrapped up their fall season yesterday with games against Kentucky and WKU.  It was a lengthy afternoon at Ulmer with 3 games on the schedule, as Kentucky and WKU tangled between the two UofL games.

The Cards started with the Wildcats at noon.  I arrived about the 4th inning for this one after finishing up the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour and grabbing a quick bite to each for lunch.

UK has some fantastic fielding prowess, but the Cards were able to get 3 up on the scoreboard while holding the Cats to just 2.

After the Cats and Hilltoppers tangled (Kentucky won, 2-1), the Cards took on Western Kentucky and dispatched them with relative ease, 3-0.

No stats sheets are available for these exhibition games, but some generalized thoughts and some observations on a handful of players that caught my eye.

The team played smart ball.  Throws were to the right places, they didn't make throws to try to get
outs that they had no chance of getting, they made smart hitting and running decisions.  Maddy Newman, a sophomore, has some serious wheels - look for stolen base stats, here.  Freshman Charley Butler won't be far behind.

Sidney Melton, the last member of the original Cardinal Couple All-Syd/Sid/Szyd team still playing at UofL will be super valuable to this team.  She was holding down the corner at 3rd, and may be one of the savviest base runners I've ever seen.  Combine with decent speed, and joining Maddy and Charley and I look for this team to rack up some serious stolen bases this year.

So. Many. Pitchers.  5 players on staff listed as pitchers, and all apparently are healthy at the moment.  Megan Hensley is expected to be the ace of the staff, but redshirt freshman Taylor Roby certainly acquitted herself fairly well in the circle yesterday as well.

Funke getting funky? 
Lastly Celene Funke covers area in the outfield well, but she also appears to be the heart and soul of this team.  If you've seen pictures of the Softball team goofing around, you've seen pictures of Celene Funke as she will quite reliably be in the middle of it, but more importantly, she celebrates her teammates successes, and is there to help and guide them in moments where they don't accomplish what they set out to do.  I'm only seeing the team dynamics from the outside, but she appears to be stepping into a major leadership role, and I can't think of a better candidate for it.  And she's only a Junior.

The main Softball season typically gets underway in February.  With weather patterns being what they are in Louisville, a typical schedule starts with about a month of road trips to the south and west before rolling back the tarp at Ulmer.

Worldwide asks Holly about the Softball Doubleheader at the link below:

Swimming and Diving

The Cards were in Dallas for the SMU Classic.  A bit of a funky format for this meet, with each team
only able to bring 8 swimmers and a single diver.  There are only two heats for each event, a Consolation heat and a Championship heat and each school can only enter one swimmer in each heat.

Louisville has placed second in this event by the slimmest of margins in the past two years, missing out on the top team spot by a single point in 2016, and by a mere half a point in 2017.

It was a major step forward for the Cards this year, winning the meet by a substantial margin, with a total of 358 points, with Southern Cal finishing 2nd with 312 points.

True to form, Mallory Comerford won every race she entered (each swimmer is limited to two single events and two relays as part of this format, if I understand it correctly).

A number of other names that we've heard before continue to do well and comprised most of the rest of the roster.  Alina Kendzior, Grace Oglesby, Casey Franz, Sophie Cattermole, Mariia Astashkina, Arina Openysheva, all return for the Cards, while freshman, Diana Dunn made the roster in her first season.  Molly Fears, also a name that has graced the pages of Cardinal Couple in the past, was the diving participant, and finished in 5th place.

Activity Today

In action today is Women's Golf down at UNC, and Field Hockey at Trager Stadium with a noon

It's not a stellar day for Field Hockey with drizzly rain falling, but it is Senior Day for the squad.  They will be honoring the 4 seniors on the squad, Maria Gomez, Ayeisha McFerran, Katie Walsh, and Taylor Stone.

The foe for Senior Day will be a non-conference opponent, but an always challenging Miami (Ohio) (32nd in RPI).

The Cards are currently sitting 3rd in the ACC with a 2-3 conference record, with only one conference matchup, against Syracuse (1-3) to go.  They are mathematically eliminated finishing any better than 3rd, with Duke in 2nd at 4-1 after their narrowest of victories over the Cards Friday.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Only two of us knuckleheads were in-studio yesterday for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.  Paulie and I kicked it old school, and I wasn't much help as I spent the week in a casino-induced week-long work event news brown-out in Atlantic City.

It still was a good show nonetheless, Paulie even managed to work his way through the scheduling and twitter without mishaps.

A lot of great interviews to listen to and hear Paulie get flustered when talking to the WSOC seniors! 

Catch the replay on Facebook Live:

-- JMcA


  1. My thoughts on softball are right in line with Worldwide. The biggest difference I’m seeing is just a change in attitude and energy on the field so far. I think the change is a good one for the Cards.

    In no way am I bashing Coach Pearsall because I was a huge fan of her and admired how she built the program from the ground up and had major success with them. It’s just like with anything- change is inevitable and is typically for the better, a lot of times just because of it being different.

  2. Nice stuff today. Field Hockey wins 3-2 in overtime today on Senior Day.



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