Selection Sunday Is Here
It's time to put on your dancing shoes, because Selection Sunday is here, and later this evening, the dance floor will be revealed.
ESPN is hosting and gets the primetime slot at 8pm. It will be an hour long show, so we'll get some pontificating and interviews, but it should be relatively straightforward.
A quick look at the most recent Bracketology update, from last night, has Louisville as a five seed playing in Austin Texas. Texas, as the four seed host, is expected to play Belmont. A Belmont upset over Texas could set up an interesting rematch from the early season where Louisville struggled against the Bruins in Nashville in a 75-70 win. This sub-regional is part of the Seattle 4 region with one seed Iowa, in Charlie Creme's picks.
Creme has the ACC getting eight teams into the dance, with Syracuse being in the "next four out". Other bubble observations of interest to Cards fans has a downfall of a giant with Oregon not making the dance after several years of superstar players and great seedings. Meanwhile, former Cards assistant Sam Purcell's Mississippi State team has flourished with Purcell's tutelage and are included in the "final four byes". A great job being done in Starkville by one of our faves of past UofL coaching staff.
On the CCRHP yesterday, we were in general agreement that a five seed seems about right for the Cards, lets here what you think.
Softball Splits in Durham
Anticipating unpleasant weather today, the Duke and Louisville softball teams decided to play the 3rd game of the weekend series as part of a double-header yesterday. Perhaps the Blue Devils came to regret that decision after the Cards took advantage of the long day to get a 15-8 win in the second game, after a 5-3 loss in the first.
Taylor Roby started in the circle in the first game, and, well, it wasn't the greatest start for her. Duke managed to get the bases loaded, though had taken a couple of sacrifices to get there, but a double to right center scored three before Roby was able to end the inning.
Her lead-off at-bat wasn't anything to write home about either. Daisy Hess, 2nd in the lineup, did single and was able circle the rest of the base paths thanks to a Makayla Hurst single.
Duke put a run across again in the 2nd inning, making the score 4-1 before Roby would get some mojo back with a lead-off solo shot. Unfortunately, that wasn't able to trigger any real momentum, and Duke would answer in the bottom of the 5th.
One more for the Cards in the top of the 6th, when Daisy Hess legged out a triple and tagged up and scored when Pickle Winkler flew out to centerfield.
UofL couldn't get anything across in the last chance top of the 7th and Duke secured the series win. With the 2pm start, and a game time that clocked in a just a few minutes over two hours, the second game start time was set for 4:35pm.
Roby took the loss with three innings and the start, with Alyssa Zabala coming in for the other three innings of pitching.
After the somewhat low scoring first game, the nightcap proved to be offense heavy. Perhaps credit to pitcher familiarity, giving batters a bit more of an edge.
Roby again got the start in the circle, got some relief from Zabala after three innings. She pitched 1.2, with Sam Booe finishing out the other 2.1 of the game.
No scores for either team through two innings. Korbe Otis would get things started, hitting a one-out single up the middle and then stealing 2nd. Sarah Gordon struck out, but was able to take first as the pitch got past the catcher, not a play to see too often. Otis got to 3rd after tagging on a caught fly foul ball, and then with the order back up to the top Roby got a nice double to score Otis and Gordon. Mia Forsyth entered to pinch run for Roby and scored on a Hess single to left center. Hess did make it to 3rd on a stolen base and a wild pitch, but would be stranded there.
In the beginning of a pattern, Duke answered with a trio of runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. They would then tack on another in the 4th to take the lead.
On to the 5th, and Hannah File would take a plunk to get on base, and again back at the top of the order, Roby took a five pitch walk. Hess reached on a fielder's choice, and that choice was to get the slower running, Roby, out at 2nd. No pinch runner was available for Roby after she re-entered after the 3rd inning. After an odd field-only mid-inning substitution for Duke involving their right fielders, catcher, and designated player, Hess stole second on the Winkler strike out. Elana Ornelas walked, loading up the bases, which Easton Lotus took advantage of with a three RBI double.
Unfortunately, the pattern continued with Duke getting four across in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead back, this time by two.
The Cards said, "OK, let's go around again." Korbe Otis drew a walk, and Gordon singled, which was enough to chase the Duke pitcher. File singled, scoring Otis and advancing Gordon to 3rd. Hess drew a walk. Winkler hit into a fielder's choice, and advanced to 2nd as Duke was, with the bases loaded, trying to get the out at the plate and throw was missed by the catcher. That allowed Gordon and File to score for another three spot in the inning. For the first time in the game, Duke didn't have an answer.
Leading 9-8, the Cards were looking for some insurance runs in the 7th, as no 1-run lead was safe in this whole series. Starting the 7th, Paige Geraghty singled on a close play at 1st that was initially called out, but overturned on review, Otis reached on an error as her hit manages to find its way between the legs of the Blue Devil's shortstop. Perhaps showing some fatigue, Gordon was able to reach on fly ball dropped by the right fielder, allowing Otis and Geraghty to score. File reached on a fielder's choice where Duke chose to get Gordon out at home with the tag. And, oh look, we're at the top of the order with our big hitter, Taylor Roby. Sure enough, she takes it yard for the 2-run homer, pushing the Cards lead out to 13-8.
Duke would get one back in the bottom of the 7th, but it wasn't nearly enough, and UofL gets out of Durham with a 1-2 record on the weekend against the number 15 team in the country. Not bad, really.
An epic battle, this game was, weighing in at three hours and seven minutes long.
The Cards will stick around the area with a Tuesday game at Charlotte at 3pm, and then they'll come home to welcome in Pitt for a three game series at Ulmer.
Scott Teeter's Lacrosse squad visited Chestnut Hill and the number 5 Boston College Lax team.
The Cards played this one close...in the first half, going into the break with only a one goal deficit at 8-9. And midway through the 2nd quarter, UofL had the lead at 8-7. Unfortunately, that would be the last goal from the Cards in the game as the Eagles got the last two goals of the first half, and then continued that run out to 12-0 through the whole second half of the game.
Nicole Perroni got a hat trick, Kokoro Nakazawa and Kylea Dobson each got a pair, and Hannah Morris got one for UofL.
Kokoro got on the board early, only four minutes in, followed by Hannah Morris's goal. Kokoro got her second, with the assist from little sis Negai Nakazawa with about eight minutes left in the 1st to get the Cards out to an early 3-0 lead. Kylea Dobson got on the board with about four minutes left, and Perroni got her first with about two left for a 5-1 Louisville lead. BC scored a pair before the end of the quarter, but UofL did have the 5-3 lead at the end of one.
Perroni got her second with less than a minute gone in the 2nd quarter with an assist from Kokoro, but BC would run off three to tie it at six apiece. Perroni finished the hit trick with about 10 minutes to go in the half to get the lead again, but BC would answer. Kylea Dobson would put her shot in with about 8 minutes to go in the first half to once again, and for the last time, get the lead. The Eagles got the last two of the first half, and blanked the Cards 10-0 in second half to win 19-8.
It was a great 30 minutes of play for the Cards against one of the top programs in the country, but alas the game is 60 minutes long.
Lacrosse will be back in action Thursday at 1pm, back here in Louisville, playing UNC.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Keeping busy with spring sports, and down a couple of contributors thanks to spring storms and spring jobs; Case, Paulie, and myself spent a romping hour talking about Softball, Lacrosse, and women's basketball tournament brackets.
The CCRHP is available at it's
anchor.fm home.... Oh wait, anchor.fm got bought by Spotify, so the URL has changed a bit (and likely broke all of the old links in the CC archives...lovely). It's available at https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/pod/show/cardinal-couple/episodes/Spring-Sports-Busy-NCAA-Tourney-on-the-Horizon-e2084vr and any quality podcast directory.
The men's and women's selection shows are on tonight, the men at 6 pm and women at 8 pm . CBS will have the feed.
We'll wait and see, on the Cards. We'd love to see them open somewhere close, obviously, so we and the Cardinals WBB fans can attend.
We'll also start taking entries for the Cardinal Couple NCAA WBB Pick 'Em once the bracket is released. You know the routine. Leave your picks in the comments section before the first round games get under way. Don't forget your tiebreaker for total points in championship game. Yep, we got gift cards again, your choice of a $25 Cracker Barrel or $25 Starbucks Gift Card.
Good luck and let the madness reign
So many questions who knows there's only one answer Big Time bracket Busters