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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Softball Upsets Northwestern -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

(Case Hoskins writes the Sunday CARDINAL COUPLE

column today, as regularly scheduled Sunday Columnist "Worldwide" Jeff McAdams wrote Saturday's article. )

Cards Advance to Regional Finals

After a lengthy rain delay in the fifth inning yesterday, Louisville was able to hold on against the hosting Northwestern Wildcats to advance to today's final game(s). The Cards defeated NU 2-1 at around 7:15 p.m.Eastern time, after which two games still had to be played. Northwestern had to compete in the second of the two, which wrapped up after midnight local time. The Cards and Cats will hit the field for the first of a possible two games at 2 p.m.Eastern today.

After the Cards went down 1-2-3 with two strikeouts in the top of the first, Northwestern came to bat with a bit more patience at the plate. The Wildcats coaxed three walks out of Danielle Watson to load the bases before Watson was able to pick up the third out with a strikeout looking on a 2-2 count. Sometimes patience can bite you. In the second, the Cards went 3 up, 3 down after a huge beginning to the inning. .

Those three outs came after first batter of the inning Taylor Roby took the first pitch she saw over the fence in right center field. Louisville led 1-0. Moving to the bottom of the second, Northwestern was able to get some action going, as they put two runners on base with one out before Watson shut down the momentum with a pop out and a strikeout. 

The next two and a half innings would see a total of two base runners reach, a walk and a single in
the bottom of the third. Louisville played five innings at bat with just the one base runner being Roby's home run. After the top of the fifth, the weather delay started. It began with rain coming down fairly hard, putting the game into a rain delay.

As the rain appeared to let up, lightning took its place, bringing on required 30 minute delays. Everyone watched as the day moved on, knowing the schedule showed the continuation of this game plus two more for the evening. The wait continued. After a 3 hour and 11 minute delay, Northwestern took their shot at the bottom of the fifth. They got one single and Watson shut down the inning.

In the sixth inning, for the fifth time, Louisville went 3 up, 3 down. In the bottom half, for only the second time, Danielle Watson faced the minimum. An error still put a runner on base, but that runner was eliminated after the next batter hit into a double play. The top of the seventh was familiar to Louisville fans. Sidney Melton, like Taylor Roby, led off the inning with a home run. It took Melton one more pitch to do it, but she sent a 1-0 fastball directly over the center field fence. The Cards' next three batters were sat down in order.

Needing three outs to avoid advance, Louisville once again sent out Danielle Watson and for the first time all day, she was tagged. Watson got two quick outs with a strikeout and fly out, but the third batter reached on Watson's sixth walk of the day. She was brought home by a double that went over Hensley's head in right, making the Louisville fans a bit nervous. Northwestern sent out a pinch hitter to try to bring in the tying run or more, but Watson kept the ball on the ground for an easy grounder to Fergie to end the game. 

Overall, Northwestern's Danielle Williams threw a perfect game outside of the two home runs. She struck out ten Cardinals and allowed no baserunners otherwise. Roby and Melton saved the Cards by finding just enough pop to send their hits over the fence. Danielle Watson, on the other hand, found herself in trouble most of the day, but was able to show the resolve to pitch out of it in every situation. It was a testament to Holly Aprile's trust in her pitcher to not pull Watson in any of the situations that could have led to some damage by the Wildcat hitters.

We'll see who Aprile trusts today as the Cards will take on the Wildcats today until one of the two teams has two losses on the weekend.

Hopefully, Louisville can come out and win the first game and be done with it. If not, the Cards will have the advantage of Northwestern playing back to back games after a very late night last night. First pitch is set for 2 P.M. Eastern. Television is not listed, but you should be able to find it on ESPN 3 on-line As the 16th seeded regional, it's not likely the Cards vs. Wildcats will get ESPN or ESPN 2.

Best of luck to Holly's Heart-stoppers! One win away from the Cards first-ever Super Regional!

Follow Paulie on Twitter today for updates:  @cardinalcouple

LINK: Post-game comments from Danielle Watson, Sidney Melton and Holly Aprile below:


Until next time, Go Cards!


  1. You got this Cards!

    Curtis "Already getting out his broom" Franklin


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