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Saturday, February 12, 2022

Softball Sweeps; Lacrosse Falls -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Softball Moves to 4-0 

After a sweep of FAU on Thursday to open the season, Louisville softball was back in action yesterday with games against Bethune-Cookman and Indiana. Louisville took both games to move to 4-0 on the season and in the FAU First Pitch Classic and they're taking on Ohio State today with a chance to complete the event at 5-0.

Gabby Holloway took the circle in the first game for the Cards and didn't have much work to do. After she did all the work in the first inning by striking out two and fielding a ground ball up the middle for the third out, Louisville's offense went to work. An error put Easton Lotus on second to open the inning, and that would be indicative of how the game would go for B-CU on defense. Carmyn Greenwood tripled to score Lotus, which would end up being the only the only hit in the inning. It wouldn't be the only run, though, as two walks and two more errors ultimately brought five Cardinals in to score. 

With a 5-0 lead, Holloway returned to the circle. Though she would give up a hit to open the inning and a passed ball would later let a runner reach second, her third and fourth strikeouts of the day would put an end to any B-CU hopes of a score. With the Louisville lineup turning over in the first, it was deja vu for the Bethune-Cookman defense. Lotus was up first, but there was no error this time and she grounded out. Greenwood came up and walked before Taylor Roby decided that she didn't want to reach on an error this time either so she just hit the ball over the fence. Another walk and a single put two on for Maddy Grant, who promptly smoked a triple. An error by the right fielder allowed her to come all the way home for a little league homer. A second five-run inning had Louisville up 10-0.

Holloway went 3-up, 3-down again, and, lo and behold, Louisville had turned over the order once more. Lotus singled and Greenwood doubled her home. Roby failed to reach based for the first time with a strikeout, but Greenwood came home to score anyway when Kendall Smith sent a ball out of the park. Louisville went on to load the bases again, but couldn't add to the 13-0 lead.

After yet another 3-and-out for B-CU, Jenna Servi finally managed to get on base. It's an unfortunate hat to wear to be the final out in back-to-back innings, but she reached in a bit of an unorthodox way. Taryn Weddle was brought on to pinch hit, and she was hit by a pitch. Servi immediately replaced her on the base paths, and was brought home to score by a Taylor Roby double. A flyout one batter previous kept Carmyn Greenwood from a perfect day, but 3-4 isn't bad. Louisville closed the fourth up 14-0 and it was up to B-CU to score a load of runs or the game would end.

Fittingly, the game ended with a pop-up and a pair of ground outs to Jenna Servi at third. Louisville won 14-0 after 4.5 innings, and the Cardinal pitching was nearly perfect. Holloway went three innings and gave up one hit while striking out five before Sam Booe took over and got the final six outs (one K) without giving up a hit. Every Louisville starter reached base and their offense kept humming along.

Louisville was the visiting team in the second game, though it opened offensively much like the first. Lotus singled, Greenwood doubled, and a fielder's choice attempt to prevent the run on Roby's hit allowed Lotus to touch home. Kendall Smith had a productive groundout to move Charley Butler (pinch running) to second and score Green, and Hannah File brought in Butler with a double, though she ended the inning by trying to stretch a triple.

Taylor Roby stepped into the circle with a 3-0 lead, but she didn't breeze through the Hoosiers quite like Holloway did the Wildcats. A single opened the frame and it was followed by an error on a fielder's choice and a steal. With runners on second and third and nobody out, a tightrope walk was needed. Roby got a groundout to third for one out, but a second straight groundout to third couldn't yield the same result. Both runners advanced on the play, giving Roby an unearned run. A single brought in the other run, also unearned, before Roby picked up a strikeout to end the inning. 

Under pressure for the first time, Louisville offense failed to score in an inning for the first time all day. Maddy Grant walked to open the frame but a foulout and two flyouts to left made short work of the Cards. Roby gave up a double and a single to open the bottom half, which tied the game, but was able to keep the score level after a sacrifice bunt by inducing a popout and a groundout.

After Greenwood grounded out to open the third, Roby took matters into her own hands and smoked her second home run of the day (first of the game), to retake the lead. The Cards wouldn't get another runner on base in the inning, but they also wouldn't yield that lead for the remainder of the game. Roby picked up a foulout and a strikeout before hitting a batter, but she cleaned it up quickly with another strikeout. Louisville was blanked again in the fourth, but Roby sent the Hoosiers down in order for the first time in the bottom half to keep the narrow 4-3 lead through four innings.

With the top of the order up for the third time, that third time through the order curse hit the Hoosier pitcher. Lotus doubled to open the inning, and a Greenwood bunt (whether intended sacrifice or surprise) put runners on second and third. Yes, you read that right. Carmyn Greenwood bunted to third base, advanced Easton Lotus to third, and then reached second herself. Don't ask me how. Taylor Roby walked to load the bases, but a Kendall Smith grounder to third had Lotus forced out at the plate. The bases remained loaded, though not for long. Hannah File stepped into the box and send a moonshot to straightaway center. Louisville had gained some breathing room and led 8-3.

Indiana strung together a small two-out rally in the bottom half with a single, steal, single sequence to get a run back, but the Cards still led 8-4 through five. After a one-out single by Easton Lotus, Greenwood reached on a fielder's choice, bringing up Roby with one on and two out. Roby singled to left field, but that turned into three bases for everyone with an error. The run trading continued and Louisville was up 9-4.

After a single opened the bottom half, Roby was relieved by Chardonnay Harris. The Hoosiers managed to load the bases with one out, but Harris slithered out of it with a strikeout and a flyout. Louisville went down in order in the top of the seventh with the help of a double-play, but it looked like Harris would return the favor to end the game. She opened with a strikeout and a flyout before a pinch-hit homerun stopped her charge. The homer was all Indiana would get, though, as a flyout ended the game and Louisville won 9-5. 

The Cards are back in action today against Ohio State and they'll travel to Gainesville next week for the T-Mobile tournament. 

Lacrosse Drops Opener to Colorado in Snowy Overtime

Louisville Lacrosse headed out to Denver for a pair of games to open their season, and, as has become customary, played a snow game early on. The Cards will get the hosting Denver tomorrow at 1PM, but they started with a game against Colorado, and it was a heck of a matchup. The first goal didn't come until nearly seven minutes into the game, but the remaining 59 minutes would see an average of one goal every two and a half minutes. 

Louisville opened the scoring with a goal by Hannah Morris in open play. This came after the Cards had failed to convert two free position attempts and the Buffs one. Fewer than 30 seconds later, Colorado would earn their second free position attempt, and they did not fail to convert this one. The two teams traded the lead twice over the remainder of the quarter, with Louisville entering the break up 3-2.

The second quarter opened much like the first. Both teams were probing to find the weak spots, and it was Colorado that broke through to tie it at 3, once more almost seven minutes into the quarter. Louisville would regain the lead with Morris's second goal on a player advantage, but it would be the last time they led. The final 6:44 of the half saw six goals, with Colorado flipping the advantage heading into the locker room by going up 7-6 with just six seconds remaining in the half. 

The Buffs came out of the break refreshed, and the scoring began much more rapidly in the third. For the first time all game, Colorado's goal 1:30 into the third quarter gave a team a two-goal advantage. Louisville would claw that back just over a minute later, as back-to-back goals by Nicole Perroni and Hannah Morris tied the score at 8. As the quarter settled out, each team traded a goal again to tie the game at 9 before Colorado once more pulled a first. This time, it was scoring three straight goals. Unfortunately, Louisville wasn't ahead at the time, so those three straight meant Colorado held a three goal advantage. 

At 12-9 entering the fourth quarter, Louisville appeared as though they may have run out of luck or gas or both, but they weren't done yet. Hannah Morris cut the deficit to two to open the fourth quarter, and Louisville controlled much of the ball after. Caroline Blalock scored her second to pull within one goal with nine minutes to go. It seemed like Colorado may have put the clamps on, though, as Louisville was unable to find an equalizer for quite some time. They finally struck with Perroni's fourth goal of the game (tying her with Hannah Morris) with just over two to go. Reinvigorated, Colorado was determined to close this one out, and scored a go-ahead goal with 1:10 remaining. Nicole Perroni was not satisfied with that ending, though, so she scored again, tying the game with 45 seconds left. The two teams headed to overtime.

Lacrosse overtime, like many other collegiate overtimes, is sudden death. Gross. It's a pair of three-minute halves per overtime period, with two periods preceding a shootout. The first half of the first overtime was much like the early quarters. The two teams probed before the half ultimately ended with no action. The second half of the first overtime was not the same. It was full of action from the start, though neither team could get a look at goal. Colorado took a timeout with 49 seconds remaining to draw up a game plan. Whether their plan included what happened or not, it happened. Louisville was called for a foul with three seconds remaining in the overtime period, and Colorado was granted a free position attempt. Sadie Grozier converted for her sixth goal of the game, and that was that. 

The Cards put up a massive effort and saw five different scorers, led by a combined nine goals from Morris and Perroni. They're back in action tomorrow at 1PM against Denver, hoping for a better outcome.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

I'm finally back and we'll have a full house for the first time in awhile. There's one less basketball game to discuss than expected, but we'll have plenty of content to fill the hour. As always, you can check out the live stream of the show by going to the Cardinal Couple YouTube page and clicking on the live video. Jeff usually creates that about an hour before the show, which officially starts at 11 AM Eastern. If the live time doesn't work for you, there are plenty of playback options, so be sure to check out whichever is best for you!

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Until next time, Go Cards!

1 comment:

  1. Tough losses for Softball and LAX but a good overall start for Softball A lot of new names in that lineup.

    Lax starting off with a couple of tough ones. Maybe it helps them prepare for a tough ACC slate, but, one would think you try and schedule winnable ones in non-conference. What do I know, though?

    Nick O.


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