Home Run Queen Roby Leads Softball
Holly Aprile, along with Taylor Roby, in the Spring Sports Media Day said that this year's softball team would be a "small ball" team, without much in the way of big sticks hitting long balls over the fence. They said there wouldn't be much of that, but it's not none, either.
In two games yesterday in the Knight's Classic in Orlando, the Cards scored 16 runs, while holding their opponents to only a pair. Most of those runs were small ball runs, but it does include a record setting 43rd career fence clearer by Taylor Roby.
The first game was against Columbia, and the Lions would get on the board early with a pair of runs in the first, but would be held scoreless the rest of the way with Louisville answering the pair of runs in the second inning, and scoring their other six runs in the sixth.
Sarah Gordon got things started with a double to center, Korbe Otis then filled in the open first base by being hit by a pitch. Elana Ornelas got the first RBI on a double, scoring Gordon and pushing Otis on around to 3rd based. Ally Alexander walked, but would get left stranded at the end of inning. Paige Geraghty would fly out to center, but Ornelas would tag and score after the catch.
Moving ahead to the 6th inning, but about the same place in the lineup, Geraghty lead off and singled up the middle, then would steal second. Daisy Hess hit to right and would take advantage of a fielding error to reach first and advance to second, moving Geraghty to third. Sensing an opportunity, Makayla Hurst pinch hit for Easton Lotus, singled out to left, scoring Geraghty. While the Lions were trying to catch Geraghty at home, Hurst would advance to second. The faster Lotus would re-enter for the base running duties. She would promptly put that speed to use by taking third on a wild pitch, and then would score on a Taylor Roby single. Hannah File followed with a single, advancing Roby to second. This precipitated a Columbia pitcher change, and while changes were being made, Aprile, again, sensing opportunity, brought in Cassie Grizzard to pinch run for Roby. Sarah Gordon singled to center field, and the Grizzard speed would also immediately be useful scoring on the play while File advanced to second. Madison "Pickle" Winkler pinch ran for Gordon, and then would get to stroll to second, with File did similar to third when Korbe Otis drew a walk. Ornelas also pushed everyone around the diamond a bag when she got hit by pitch, filling the bases. Vanessa Miller flew out center but everyone advanced on the tag, with Winkler scoring to finish the base crossing in the first game of the day. Taylor Roby pitched six innings with Sam Booe entering in the 7th to keep the Lions at just the two runs.
In the second game of the day, the Cards would blank Bradley in a run-ruled five inning 8-0 win.
UofL got the scoring going in the 3rd inning with Daisy Hess getting to first on a short-stop fielding error, and then stole second. Korbe Otis chalked up another single pushing Hess to third and then scored on a fielding error by the second base player. Taylor Roby comes to the plate and sets the school career home run record, as mentioned earlier, with her 43rd blast, this one to right center. This, of course, scored Otis in the process. Sarah Gordon would get on base, but would be left stranded.
Just one inning later, the Cards would put another "3" up on the scoreboard. Ornelas started it out, pinch hitting for Ally Alexander, and was able to get on base with a fielding error at first. She would advance on a Paige Geraghty sacrifice. Daisy Hess would fill in the first base spot with a walk. Korbe Otis singled, advancing Hess to third and scoring Ornelas. Taylor Roby then doubled, scoring both Hess and Otis.
Finally, the Cards would get a pair of runs in the fifth to trigger the run-rule, but it has to be said, these two runs were all on Bradley. Ornelas walked, Geraghty reached on a fielding error at short, moving Ornelas to second. Lotus walked, and then Hess walked, scoring Ornelas, and Otis walked, scoring Geraghty and ending the game.
Alyssa Zabala pitched the first four innings, with Gabby Holloway closing out in the fifth.
Softball will be back in action today with another double-header. They'll meet Purdue at 11am, and then they'll get another shot at UCF following, scheduled at 1pm. These games are on ESPN+.
Lacrosse Opens Conference Play
The UofL Lacrosse team opened conference play with a visit to Virginia, but the Hoos would prove to be too much for the UofL defense, taking the win 19-9.
The Cards played a good first half of play, leading to a halftime tie of 6-6. They got the scoring off quickly with Kylea Dobson scoring the first goal of the game just 35 seconds after the opening draw. She would score again about four minutes later. After UVA got one back, the Cards would put another pair up with Negai Nakazawa scoring, followed up about 2 minutes later by her sister Kokoro providing the feed to Hannah Morris. Dobson would claim her hat trick just a minute and a half into the 2nd quarter, but UVA would then run off three to tie the game at five. Nicole Perroni would finish out the scoring for the Cards, but not before UVA would tie it back up with 38 seconds left in the half.
The second half really fell apart for UofL. As coach Teeter described it after praising the early play, "...we played defense quite a bit. We struggled with clearing the ball and our defense got extremely tired."
Kokoro Nakazawa and Hannah Morris both scored in the 3rd quarter, about a minute apart, and Alexa Steffens got a goal in the 4th quarter, but that fell far short of the 13 goals that UVA would get into the net after halftime.
Sara Addeche started in goal, with J Pleck taking over in the 4th quarter with eleven and a half minutes left.
Lacrosse now heads to Nashville for a 2pm Monday game against Vanderbilt which, for some unfathomable reason, is only available on ESPN+, and not SEC Network Plus.
The time has come to close out the regular season. Notre Dame comes to the KFC Yum! Center for UofL's Senior Day.
As I read the situation, Notre Dame is locked into a two seed in Greensboro at this point, this game cannot change that. If ND wins and Duke loses to UNC, they end up tied for first, but Duke has the tie break win over ND. If ND loses and Virginia Tech beats Georgia Tech, which is, let's face it, pretty likely, then they end up tied for 2nd, but ND has the tie break win over VT. So The Irish will be the two seed in Greensboro regardless of the outcome.
The Cards, however, are currently tied with Florida State for fourth place, and have the tie break over them in the head to head matchup. So a win today gets us the fourth seed in Greensboro, and an extra day of byes, meaning we would start play on Friday rather than Thursday. A loss today means our fate rests with Clemson. If Clemson can pull off a pretty big upset and beat Florida State, then we get the fourth seed and the extra bye regardless of the outcome of our game today.
So the stakes are high for UofL, and essentially nonexistent for Notre Dame. Advantage, probably, to UofL for the "playing for stakes" factor. Over 11,000 tickets have been sold, meaning part of the upper deck at the KFC Yum! Center will be open, so advantage UofL for the crowd. It's Senior Day, where the Cards will be honoring Morgan Jones, Chrislyn Carr, Josie Williams, Liz Dixon, Norika Konno, and of course, Mykasa Robinson, so again, advantage UofL, probably, for the Senior Day emotion factor.
We know the cast at Notre Dame, Dara Mabrey's career ended earlier in the season with an injury ending the long era of Mabrey's playing at Notre Dame. Of course, the star is Olivia Miles, backed up by Sonia Citron, and Maddy Westbeld. They're all quite good players, that we've all seen before. They're lead by head coach and Notre Dame alumna Niele Ivey in her first season replacing the legendary Muffet McGraw.
It's a big one, and the TV coverage shows it too, at noon, on the flagship channel of the ESPN fleet. You can, of course, pick up the radio coverage from Nick Curran and Cortnee Walton on 93.9.
Senior Day festivities will start at 11:35am, so be in your seats early, doors open an hour and a half before tip, at 10:30, so you'll have plenty of time to make it in.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Daryl, Jared, Paulie, and myself were the nearly full crew on the CCRHP yesterday. We had some great discussions and talked about some great Cardinals sports events. Lacrosse, Softball, and Basketball are the biggies right now, and we covered them well.
Check out the recording at its anchor.fm origination at: https://anchor.fm/cardinal-couple/episodes/Basketball-Comes-Down-To-The-Wire-and-Spring-Sports-Get-In-The-Swing-Of-Things-e1vgssm
and it is always available at any meaningful podcast directory.