FIFTH INNINGS DOOMS CARDS IN ACC SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
A 1:30 p.m. Thursday start (or thereabouts) between #5 seeded Louisville vs. #4 North Carolina in the ACC Tournament began as what to be appeared to be a potential Cardinal win in the early offing but fortunes changed dramatically in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The TarHeels plated six runs on five hits and a couple of walks in the bottom of the fifth inning and went on to eliminate Louisville from the Tallahassee Tournament 9-3
After a scoreless first, Louisville put the first run on the board in the top of the second when Kyra Snyder drew a walk, advanced to third and scored on Maddy Newman's single.
The Cards held UNC at bay in the bottom of the frame and added to their lead in the top of the third when, with two outs, Sidney Melton singled up the middle and trotted home on Megan's Hensley's base-clearing shot to left field. 3-0 Louisville and things were looking good for the Cards.
UNC wasn't ready to pack up and head back to Chapel Hill, though. By any means.
The Tar Heels tied the contest up in the bottom of the third, scoring three runs with two outs and that 3-3 score held until the bottom of the fifth inning.
Then, to use a descriptive term, the bottom fell out.
UNC put together four straight infield singles and a walk. Two runs crossed the plate and Holly Aprile went for a change in the circle with still no outs. Danielle Watson leaves and Taylor Roby enters. Another walk scored another run and a double sent two more Tar Heels home for an 8-3 UNC lead. A sacrifice fly plated one more score before the Cardinals could return to the dugout.
Sadly, UofL was not able to muster a rally during their final two at bats and UNC advances to the semifinals, to face NC State, with a 9-3 win. The Cards return home now to await the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday, losers of their last four and six out of their last seven. With an RPI of #35 (as of May 6th), the hopes are that the Cards will receive an invite to the field of 64. Speculation is that the ACC could get up to six teams in "the big dance"...with Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, FSU, UNC and possibly NC State (who has been on a tear -- winning their last five games by one run) looking as NCAA Tournament "locks". It would appear the Cards might be "on the bubble" for a bid, according to some.
Any talk of a two or three seed in one of the 16 regional sites from a few weeks ago appears to be optimistic now.
The late season falter won't help their chances. The hope is that earlier season wins against FSU, Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Michigan and Missouri just might be enough of a resume to warrant selection to the NCAA Tournament. And, the Cards did finish 33-21 overall ans 12-12 in conference.
We'll find out Sunday.
In other quarterfinal action, it was NC State 3 - Virginia Tech 2 in a huge upset, FSU beat up on Ga. Tech 7-0 and Notre Dame advances to the semis with a 9-2 win over Duke.
The battle of the "Carolinas" takes place at 1 p.m. today, followed by the Noles and Irish on Fox Sports South, in case you're interested in viewing these two games. Will NC State be able to keep up their one-run win streak?
JARED WANTS TO KNOW
|The banjo eyed Tiger thinks Jaz would be a great QB.
From a Twitter thread among a few of us yesterday, when we discovered Cardinal women's basketball great Jazmine Jones was in her hometown of Tallahassee cheering on Cards softball.
"If JAZ played softball, what position would she play?"
Speculation ranged from second base, to outfield -- and at third and first base at the same time because of her quickness. What are your thoughts?
WNBA PRESEASON KICKS OFF TONIGHT
The Minnesota Lynx host the Washington Mystics tonight at 8 p.m. in Minneapolis for the first WNBA pre-season game. That's a double treat for Cardinal WBB fans, because it means we'll get a chance to see Myisha Hines Allen and Sam Fuehring play for the visitors.
The Mystics general manager and head coach Mike Thibault commented earlier in the week that he'll see how last year's starting five of PG Kristi Tolliver, SG Natasha Cloud, SF Ariel Atkins, PF Elena Della Donne and C LaToya Sanders fare against the Lynx. One can't argue that too much, since the Mystics did make the WNBA Finals last year.
One would also think the familiarity of Fuehring and Hines-Allen with each other on the court, plus the all-world capabilities of Della Donne might make a pretty good combination as well.
The Mystics current have 17 players on their roster. That means five will be cut before the season opener. We hope Mooks and Sam survive.
I haven't found any source to watch this one yet live. One would think in this day's age of technology it would be viewable on-line or by app somewhere. If you find a source, please update us in the comments section.
In last night's exhibition in Brooklyn between the NY Liberty and the China, Asia Durr started for the Liberty, played 18 minutes, and had six points on 3 for 8 shooting -- plus six rebounds in the Liberty's 89-71 win. The game was on ESPN 3.
Here's a rambling but informative You Tube review of it
NY LIBERTY VS CHINA
Have a fantastic Friday