Softball Falls to UIC and OK State on Friday
Louisville softball's early season struggles continued yesterday as they dropped their third and fourth games in a row, with three being run rules. The losses to Alabama, while not great, could not be described as unexpected, but Jeff and I discussed last week that dropping them both by large margins could be bad for confidence moving forward. It seems that came to pass yesterday. The Cards were thumped by the University of Illinois-Chicago, a team that had been 4-6 entering the game. They showed a bit more life in the later game against top-fifteen Oklahoma State, avoiding a fourth straight run rule, but were unable to score and dropped the game 3-0.
Game 1: Louisville 2, UIC 10
Taylor Roby took the circle to open Louisville's weekend yesterday and she was met by a lead-off home run from UIC's Samantha Ferguson. Ferguson would go on to score on to score three runs in the game. The Cards got through the rest of the first allowing just one more hit but trailed 1-0 going into the bottom half. Louisville returned the run scoring favor when Celene Funke reached on a four pitch walk. She stole second, advanced to third on a ground ball, and scored on an error. After a ground out, Maddy Newman was picked off at first to leave the bases empty with two outs. Cassady Greenwood doubled, but Carmyn couldn't bring her home. 1-1.
The second inning was pretty uneventful, with just one walk between the two teams, but it started to get away from the Cards after that. UIC scored two unanswered runs in the third inning and added three more in the fourth. Louisville got one back in the bottom of the fourth inning on a Cassady Greenwood homer to make it 6-2, but then gave up another four runs in the top of the fifth inning. Unable to bring the score any closer in the bottom half, the game was called for a five inning run rule. Louisville fell 10-2.
Game 2: Louisville 0, OK State 3
The second game saw Louisville blanked on the scoreboard and nearly blanked at the plate. The Cards kept this one a lot closer defensively, with Chardonnay Harris keeping the Cards in the game from the circle, but a three run third inning from the hosts was the difference. Louisville's offense was held to a pair of hits from Funke and Caitlin Ferguson, a walk from Newman, and a hit by pitch from Eden Mayo. No more than two of those things happened in the same inning. To her credit, Harris held Oklahoma State to just five hits and a walk, but three of those baserunners came back-to-back-to back for that three run inning.
Despite a better showing in the second game, the result is ultimately the same and the Cards fell to 5-11. I know that's not what we at Cardinal Couple imagined for this team, and I'm certain it's not what anyone in the softball building expected either. The softball season is long, but Louisville will have to turn it around quickly if they're going to end up winning enough games for an NCAA Tournament bid. The Cards are back in action today with a game against #10 Oregon at 1PM immediately followed by a rematch against Oklahoma State.
Women's Track on Top in ACC Championships
With eleven events remaining today, Louisville currently holds a narrow lead over the Duke Blue Devils at the ACC Indoor Track and Field Championships. The Cards sit at 34.5 points with the Blue Devils just half a point behind in second. Still in striking distance are NC State, Notre Dame, and Virginia at 26, 26, and 25.5 points respectively. Louisville's day yesterday was highlighted by a Dorcas Wasike silver medal finish in the 5000m run. Still to be completed today on the women's side are the finals for the Pole Vault, Triple Jump, Shot Put, 60m Hurdles, Mile Run, 400m, 60m, 800m, 200m, 3000m, and the 4x400m relay. Louisville has had success in some of these events throughout the year, so we'll see if they can hold on to their lead.
Lax Opens ACC Schedule against VT
Following the thrilling win against Vanderbilt earlier this week, Scott Teeter's squad will get their ACC season underway today when they host #23 Virginia Tech at 1PM. The Hokies are 5-1 so far this season, falling only to #17 JMU in overtime. VT beat Cincinnati 20-5 earlier this week, a team you'll recall Louisville opened the season against, winning 16-11. The Cards will have their work cut out for them today, as VT has scored fewer than 14 goals just once this season (the road loss against JMU). If Rachel Florek can continue her outstanding play as she did last week, Louisville may be in business. It will take a strong effort on both ends, though, as the Hokies haven't given up double digit goals since a 17-10 win over Davidson to open the season. Today's game will be available on ACC Network Extra.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
It's the Jeff and Case show again this week, and it will again come at an odd time. We'll get the show started at 1:30 today, so be sure to tune in while you watch softball and lacrosse. We'll have plenty to talk about after the busy week for Louisville athletics and have a few games to preview as well, such as the regular season finale for basketball. Check out the Cardinal Couple YouTube for the live broadcast at 1:30 or for a replay any time.
Until next time, Go Cards!