CARDINAL SOFTBALL SPLITS WITH UNC -- GETS #6 SEED IN ACC TOURNAMENT
The University of Louisville softball squad split their Mothers Day doubleheader in Chapel Hill yesterday against the North Carolina squad and, by doing so, got the #6 seed and a first round bye in the ACC Tournament that starts Wednesday at Ulmer Stadium.
It was a bit of a confusing scenario as play started Sunday morning against the Tar Heels. UNC was battling just to make the 10-team ACC Tournament and the Cards were looking to move up to sixth place in the standings and not have to play in opening round action Wednesday.
Both squads got what they wanted.
As Jeff lined out in yesterday's CARDINAL COUPLE article, a split in Sunday game might get Louisville in the sixth spot, a sweep definitely would, and dropping two would keep the Cards in seventh place.
How Louisville got the second game win is the big story here.
The Cards found themselves trailing UNC 3-2 going into the top of the seventh inning. They responded, though, with three key hits and two UNC errors allowed Louisville to put together a five-run half of the inning to take a 7-3 lead/
Louisville was not done with the late-game fireworks yet.
Maddy Newman reached on a fielding error and then Taylor Roby a walk off UNC pitcher Brittany Pickett. The bags were full of Cards for Charley Butler. A wild pitch from Pickett brought Greenwood home to make it 6-3 and then Butler's single plated Newman to increase the lead to 7-3.
All the Cards had to do was keep the TarHeels under four runs in the bottom of the seventh to get the win and they did so. Jen Leonhardt struck out the first UNC batter she faced and then a ground out to Newman at second and fly out to Butler in right created a 1-2-3 inning and Louisville had won the final game, and also the sixth seed in the Tournament.
It was a nice redemption for losing the first game, which started at the yawning, second cup of coffee time of 10 a.m. The Cards fell behind 5-1 to UNC, Louisville rallied to tie it in the fifth inning with four runs, but UNC responded with a go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth and then teed off on UofL for three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 9-5, first game win.
So, the Cards get #3 seed Duke in the ACC Tournament for second-round action in a contest scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Thursday night. UNC sneaks in by for the final spot in the tournament and will face in-state rival #7 seed NC State Wednesday.
Clemson is the top seed, followed by FSU, then Duke and Virginia Tech round out the top four.
LAX LEFT OUT OF NCAA TOURNAMENT
Louisville Lacrosse hoped to hear their name called last night, as one of the 29 teams to participate in the NCAA Lacrosse Championships. but, it was not to be.
The ACC earned an automatic bid (UNC) and five at-large bids (Notre Dame, Virginia, Syracuse, Boston College and Duke) but Louisville (and Virginia Tech) were left out of the 14 teams that got at-large berths.
OK. 29 is a weird number, first of all. Why not just go 32 schools and have a normal bracket set-up, with eight schools a region? The Cards, who were squarely on the bubble, surely would have made that -- and the inclusion of at-large Hofstra (6-6) and Rutgers (6-8) over the Cards raises a few eyebrows here. Especially Rutgers, who was 6-8 and had an RPI of #54. Louisville 5-11 had an RPI of #29.
Disappointing for sure, but still a good season for Scott Teeter's crew against the very best in the top lacrosse conference in DI -- the ACC. There are 15 conferences in DI Lax and each got an automatic bid.
The NCAA needs to use some common sense for once in their thinking and set-up a logical 32-team bracket for Lacrosse (and, for that matter -- Field Hockey, as well). They can use the "COVID excuse" all they want for the weird tournament numbers -- but a Cardinal team that, in all likelihood, could have beaten half the automatic qualifiers that got in...got left out.
NCAA WOMEN'S GOLF REGIONAL IN SIMPSONVILLE
UofL Golf Club in Simpsonville is one of four sites for the 2021 NCAA Women's Golf Championships and the University of Louisville women's golf squad will participate as the #12 seed.
18 squads come to the Louisville Regional and the top six, plus the top three individual golfers, advance to the NCAA Championships from each region.
Action started early this morning out in Simpsonville, and after three holes, the Cards are tied for third at even par with Auburn. The three-day event ends May 12th.
Best of luck to our Cardinal chip and putt specialists!
Have a marvelous Monday!