Spring Has Sprung
Well, we may be forecast for snow today, but at least in college sports calendar, spring has arrived. Consequently the schedule is, all of a sudden, jam packed with events.
Let's start with a round-up of yesterday's action.
Track and Field
The schedule shows track and field split between the Husky Classic in Seattle, and The Tiger Paw Invitation at Clemson, but I don't find any evidence of any Louisville participation in Seattle, so we'll focus on Clemson.
We've had our eye on a few Track and Field athletes this season. Gabriela Leon has gotten a lot of attention in the pole vault, and finished in third place, clearing a height of 4.34 meters (14' 2.75"). Emily Scott, former volleyballer, finished 22nd in the High Jump, but with a personal best of 1.67m cleared. The best Louisville finish was Styliana Ioannidou, who finished 10th by clearing the next height, 1.72 meters (5' 7.75").
The next event to get underway was further south in Boca Raton, FL. The Softballers wrapped up their opening weekend with the toughest opponent of the weekend in Ohio State.
The Buckeyes scored consistently throughout most of the game putting run up on the scoreboard in each of innings two through six. Chardonnay Harris started in the circle, replaced by Gabby Holloway in the 3rd.
After Ohio State finished their at-bats in the top of the 6th, the score stood at 8-0, and the Cards were in danger of being run-ruled. Needing to put at least a run on the board to keep the game going into the 7th inning, instead they put up two, and did so in a dramatic way. After Taylor Roby drew a walk K. Smith...no not Kianna, Kendall...lifted Mr. Spalding over the left center fence, also scoring Mia Forsythe, who had entered to run for Roby
Sam Booe, not from New Egypt, New Jersey...that was the Soles, Kayla and Jamie...but from New Palestine, Indiana, entered the circle for the Cards in the top of the 7th. She got herself into a bit of a jam with runners on 2nd and 3rd, but dealt her way out of it by getting the next batter to watch a third strike.
Again, the Cards had their backs to the wall with OSU leading 8-2 in the bottom of the 7th. Freshman Maddi Grant singled down the left field line, advanced to second on Dylann Craven's walk. Jenna Servi, not known for power batting, singled out to right field, advancing both runners and chased the OSU pitcher in the process. Easton Lotus singled up the middle, scoring Grant. Some gutsy base running during Carmyn Greenwood's at-bat scored Cravens on a wild pitch, with the runners also advancing. Taylor Roby entered at designated hitter to draw a walk and top off the bases again. A sacrifice fly scored Servi and advanced Smith to finish out the scoring for the Cards. Alas, the three scores, while an exciting late run, weren't enough to catch up to the Buckeyes and the game was final at 8-5.
UofL takes their first loss on the season, but I think most will accept coming out of opening weekend with a 4-1 record. Particularly when, of the names listed in the above recounts, Grant, Craven, Lotus, and Booe are all true freshmen.
The season opening trip to the south continues next week in Gainesville, where the Cards will face Villanova twice, Florida A&M, Florida, and a non-conference game against Duke.
The Tennis squad had their mid-day match against Butler cancelled, but did play the evening match against Saint Louis.
Louisville swept the doubles courts to get their first point of the match, and then evenly split with the Billikens on the singles courts.
The last two courts to finish both went to three sets, with Saint Louisville winning on court two coming from behind after Louisville's Chelsea Sawyer won the first set on the court and moving St. Louis into a tie with the Cards. Tyra Richardson was Louisville's contestant on court six, the last to finish. She started off with a 6-2 win in the first set, lost 6-7 in second, and earned the victory for herself and the team in the 3rd set, 6-1.
Tennis is back in action next Saturday with more regional and local play. They'll welcome Austin Peay in the Bass-Rudd at noon, and cross-town rival Bellarmine will drive up Eastern Parkway for a 5pm start.
Scott Teeter and the Lacrosse squad had a nice day of seeing some sights in the Denver area in Colorado yesterday, and will be in action today against Denver.
Denver has proven to be a good opponent for the Cards, with the series currently slanting to Denver's favor with five wins over the Cards and three wins for UofL. Four of those wins for Denver have been the most recent matchups with UofL, so the Cards will be looking to break their losing streak to the Broncos.
Denver is a good team, picked as the pre-season favorite in the Big East...yes, really, they play in the Big East, and no it doesn't make geographical sense to me either.
The first draw will be at 1 pm EST (1pm Mountain Standard Time), and there does appear to be video available from Denver at:
Asia Durr is in town and expected to make an appearance at today's basketball game against Notre Dame.
The Irish are 19-5 overall and 10-3 in conference. Their non-conference slate was nothing to write home about, though a loss to Georgia lifts some eyebrows. A win early in the conference season against UNC brought some interest, but as UNC has faded slightly over the season, it doesn't quite have the luster we thought it might at the time. A two point loss at Boston College and a three point win over NC State highlights the struggle of predicting ACC games.
Notre Dame is coming off a 1-1 Florida trip, taking a five point loss to a surprisingly mediocre Florida State, and a 16 point win over Miami on Thursday.
Freshman phenom Olivia Miles is the points leader on the team, averaging almost 14 per game. Stanford transfer Maya Dodson is next with 12.7 before we get to a familiar name in Maddy Westbeld, then another true freshman in Sonia Citron. It wouldn't be Notre Dame without a Mabrey on the team, Dara is the current Mabrey, averaging just over 10pts per game.
Dodson is a 6'3" post that is no threat at all from distance but all of the other top scorers have to be guarded out on the perimeter. A solid free-throw shooting team, the Hack-a-Shaq strategy won't work too well, here. They would earn an "F" on the FRED report from us with over 74% from the line.
The Irish do better than their opponents on all of the "right side" stats.
Louisville has been improving on the offensive side of the ball throughout the season, and they'll need to continue that trend. We've seen some later season lapses on defense, which was so vaunted early in the season, so some clean-up there would certainly help as well.
The tip for today's game is at 2pm and is on the flagship of the Connecticut fleet, ESPN. Today's game will be a celebration of Black Culture as part of the observation of Black History Month, and the program will honor Von Macklin. Macklin was a star center for the Cards from 1974-76 at 5'9". She has been active in the Louisville and Jefferson County education fabric, serving as a high school basketball coach, as well as in school administration. Macklin served more recently as the girls Athletics Director for JCPS.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
It was busy on the CCRHP yesterday. We covered multiple sports as spring sports get underway, and we had all five participants involved Saturday. Jared, Paulie, Case, Daryl and me.
Basketball, including plenty of snark about last minute cancellations, Softball and more, with plenty of fun.
You can check out the Youtube link at:
or you can listen to Case's lightly edited version (just tweaks to audio, no content is lost) at it's podcast home on anchor.fm at: