Tuesday typically isn't a busy day for us at Cardinal Couple, but between schedule changes, spring sports season having started, and women's basketball postseason upon us, today's write will be on the longer side.
Softball Splits with Arkansas
Louisville softball completed the final two games of their weekend series with #10/8 (NFCA Coaches Poll/D1 Softball Poll) Arkansas. In pleasant surprise, the Cards upset the Razorbacks in the first game of the "twin meet", but fell in the second game.
Game One: Louisville 8, Arkansas 4
Louisville jumped out to a monstrous lead in the first two innings. Sydney Bickel pinch ran for Taylor Roby, who managed to reach on a hard hit ball to the second baseman. Hannah File came in later in the inning with a two-run homer to left center. The third inning was even more impressive, with Louisville managing to piece together several hits and capitalize on a timely error by Arkansas. The inning was capped off by Kendall Smith clearing the bases on a three-run blast to right center.
The Razorbacks managed to snag a couple runs of their own midway through the game with a home run of their own, but strong base running and an error by Arkansas allowed the Cards to earn a run back in the sixth.
A top 10 team won't go down without a fight, and the pigs showed that with a pair of runs in the final inning, but Roby came in to strike out the final two batters and halt the rally.
The win was Louisville's first road win against a top 10 team since blanking #5 Florida State back in 2016. The win is Louisville's first ranked win since topping #7 Florida State at Ulmer Stadium last season. I'm seeing a nice trend here... sorry Katy and your Seminoles.
Game Two: Arkansas 14, Louisville 0 (5 innings)
It appears the upset in the first game of the day didn't sit well with Arkansas. They came out swinging in the final game of the day with a two-run first inning, eight-run second inning, and a four-run fourth inning to invoke the mercy rule.
Although only credited with two errors, the errors seemed to be about triple that with several throwing and fielding errors. Louisville was credited with as many errors as hits in the game.
Chardonnay Harris got the win in the opening game to improve her record to 4-2 with Taylor Roby getting the hold (not save). Roby was credited with the loss in the second game, knocking her record down to 2-2.
Hannah File's two hits on the day led the way for the Cards, and the senior transfer is currently on a five-game hitting streak. Louisville only had one stolen base on the day, with freshman Easton Lotus taking second base all the way to the airport with her.
Louisville's record sits art 8-5 on the year, which isn't bad when you look at the fact five of those games have come against ranked opponents. The Cards travel up to Oxford on Wednesday to face Miami (OH) before coming down to host the Cardinal Classic this weekend.
Lacrosse Hosts Butler
Fresh off a great win to open conference play, Louisville lacrosse turns around to host Butler today at 3:00 p.m. You can catch this match on ACC Network Extra.
The Louisville Lacrosse Stadium has been a friendly venue this season, with the Cards going 3-0 at home so far.
Butler has started the season 1-1, matching their win total from last year's 1-11 season. The Bulldogs went winless in the Big East last year. Most recently, Butler is coming off a 16-11 loss against Central Michigan.
The Cards are 2-0 all-time against Butler, both wins being in Indianapolis. Their most recent win against them was a 15-5 blowout at the beginning of March 2019.
With Scott Teeter's squad showing major signs of improvement this season, we hope to see this turn into a running clock in the second half- a 10+ goal lead.
Emily Engstler Named ACC Player of the Week
In the final week of the regular season, Emily Engstler was named ACC Player of the Week. The senior averaged 17.0 points, 12.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 3.0 blocks, and 2.0 steals in the two wins against Pittsburgh and Notre Dame.
Engstler joins Kianna Smith as the two Louisville players to earn the ACC PotW honors this season. Smith received the honor in a three-game stretch against Miami, Clemson, and Syracuse.
In just one season with Louisville, Engstler is already tied for fourth in program history in blocks. Her 52 blocks is tied with Kylee Shook. Engslter has anywhere from 2-9 games to improve on that mark.
Engstler was also named to the final 10 of the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Watch List also.
ACC Pick Em
|Bracket entries with total score in final
game must be in by noon Wednesday
Louisville begins their run in the ACC Tournament on Friday at 6:00 p.m. The Cards will face either Miami, Duke, or Pitt
If you haven't yet, don't forget to fill out your ACC Women's Basketball Tournament bracket for 2022 to enter it into the Cardinal Couple Pick Em Challenge! The winner will either get a gift card or a date with Paulie. We're trying to convince Mr Worldwide to throw in his fancy car to the contest winner, but we seem to have no luck. If you choose the date with Paulie, remember you have to have him home by 11 and he'll probably want you to drive.
Not that any team will be easy when it's "do or die" time, but Louisville has some tough competition on their side of the bracket. Miami is always a tough team and often gives Louisville a run for their money. The Hurricanes are the popular choice for the Cards to face on Friday.
Assuming Louisville wins their first game, Saturday could be even more challenging with Notre Dame or Georgia Tech most likely being the next foe. The Yellow Jackets have one of the top defenses in the country and took the Cards down to the wire earlier this season. Notre Dame has been a giant killer more than once and it's difficult to beat a team three times in a season.
Boston College and Florida State both have a lot to play for with both teams being on the bubble at the moment. That will be a good game to watch and the winner has the potential to make a nice run.
Virginia Tech and North Carolina have a chance to meet up in the tournament and both teams have a chance to earn a top-16 seed and host. Virginia Tech also came down to a missed shot at the buzzer from defeating NC State on Sunday and could likely give them a strong push again if they were to meet up.
We do encourage everyone to participate and there is no dumb bracket. Whether you pull for your team the whole way on the bracket or you follow the favorites or go with the Cinderella stories, we welcome all entries.
As of 11:00 p.m. ET yesterday, I had received nine entries: Sonya Sykes, Nick O, Clemson Cuz, Kenneth Stark Sr, Arthur, Clifford, Joe Hill, Louavulfan35, and the Cardinal Couple Chimps. If you have submitted one and you aren't listed on there please let us know immediately so we can get it corrected. The first game is 1:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, so your entry must be submitted before then.
You are welcome to share your picks in the comments section or submit by email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to Paulie at email@example.com
My bracket is below:
Syracuse, Duke, Wake Forest
Virginia Tech, Boston College, Miami, Georgia Tech
North Carolina, NC State, Louisville, Georgia Tech
NC State, Louisville
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!