BREAKING: HVL is in the Transfer Portal
Cards Avoid Run Rule; Fall 13-6
After holding Notre Dame to just one run, getting a stellar pitching performance from Taylor Roby in relief Thursday night, and scattering just six hits and no runs for the entire game, Louisville entered a bizarro world last night. Louisville scored six runs last night, but Roby gave up six earned runs in just 1.1 innings, and Notre Dame wasn't done scoring. Louisville trailed 3-1 after one inning, 8-3 after two, and 10-3 after three. The Cards were able to hold off the five-inning run rule, scoring three runs after going down by ten in the top of the fourth, but they were still well out of reaching distance. A beautiful sunset was the backdrop for a less than stellar performance from the Cards pitching staff and Louisville dropped their first conference series since the first of the season against Duke.
Louisville got to work quickly as well, and it looked like the two teams may be in for a scoring fest. Korbe Otis liked ND's idea of a bunt single, so she did it too, advancing to second on an errant throw. Sarah Gordon hit a deep fly ball to right that acted as a sacrifice, sending Otis to third. Hannah File was intentionally walked and Taylor Roby got a two-strike gift with an HBP (it was probably a painful gift). With one out and the bases loaded, Louisville had the opportunity they had been looking for, but Hess struck out to put them in a position to miss out completely. Makayla Hurst stepped in for Easton Lotus and took another painful gift, getting hit by the first pitch of the at bat to earn an RBI. Aly Alexander, unfortunately, flew out to end the inning. Louisville had shown life and gotten one back: 3-1.
The bottom of Louisville's order went down quickly, turning over to Otis at the top with two outs. Down to her final strike and Louisville's chances dwindling, Otis nabbed a single to spark a two out rally. Gordon followed suit, and File drew a walk to load the bases. Having just been hammered in the top half, Taylor Roby got a bit of payback with a two run single to left field. File moved up to third when the pitcher fumbled the get-in throw, and Notre Dame made a pitching change after just 1.2 innings with an 8-3 lead. The new pitcher induced a pop-out to end the inning.
Sam Booe looked settled in, getting a first pitch ground out to retire her third straight batter. It looked like it would be four straight on a fly ball to right, but the catch was erred and the batter advanced to second. Vanessa Miller got another opportunity immediately after and made the catch to give Louisville a second out. Just like walks, though, errors will haunt. A single scored an unearned run and a triple scored another before Booe could get another flyout to end the inning. I understand the premise of any runs being scored with two outs after an error being unearned, but if another out has been tallied and then back-to-back batters have a single and a triple, I tend to give a little less grace to the pitcher getting the unearned runs. Either way, Louisville trailed 10-3. They responded with a 1-2-3 bottom half.
Louisville got straight to work, getting a four pitch walk from Paige Geraghty and then seeing Korbe Otis reach for the third time in three tries on a single. A Sarah Gordon double (she was also productive in her first three at bats) scored a run and put runners on second and third with nobody out. A sac fly from File scored Otis, but Roby grounded out and Hess continued her evening to forget with another strikeout. Two runs kept the game alive, but Louisville still had work to do down 13-5.
Gabby Holloway took over in the top of the fifth and seemed to finally solve Notre Dame. She got a three-pitch swinging strikeout and a first pitch ground out to quickly take command of the inning. A full count walk briefly disrupted her, but a ground out ended the top half. Louisville's bottom half of the order started out less than thrillingly, with a pair of ground outs digging their hole even deeper, but Pickle Winkler coaxed a seven-pitch walk and Paige Geraghty singled. Korbe Otis stepped up and made her day even better by going to 4-4 and adding an RBI with a single. Gordon, unfortunately, couldn't keep up her hot day, as she ended the inning with a strikeout looking. Gordon had fouled off seven pitches in the at bat and was trying to finally lay off to fill the count when she watched the third strike instead of the third ball.
This weekend has felt a bit like Goldilocks, with Louisville scoring too few runs and then Notre Dame scoring way too many. The Cards could really use a win today to avoid the sweep and get back on track for the remainder of the season. Louisville has some nice wins but they'll need more of them and fewer ugly losses (or losses to ugly teams) to make the NCAA tournament. After pitching just about the entire pen in last night's loss, I'd expect to see Alyssa Zabala get the start again this afternoon, but we also haven't seen Taja Felder in quite some time. Louisville and Notre Dame will wrap the series on ACC Network proper at 2PM.
Wins Away From Home
It wasn't all bad for Louisville yesterday. Louisville Track and Field is in Oxford, Mississippi participating in the Joe Walker invitational, and Aliyah Welter continued her dominance in relief of Gabriela Leon in the pole vault. Welter picked up her second win of the outdoor season. She had three during the indoor season. Zoe Yeast earned fourth with a PB in hammer throw and Katie Martin had a PB 24.38 in the 200m, good for ninth in the event.
Louisville's spirit squads are in Daytona Beach for the NDA/NCA championships and they're bringing home some hardware. The All-Girl Cheerleading squad took first place to earn Louisville's 19th overall championship. Large Co-Ed, Small Co-Ed, and the Ladybirds (team performance) all finished second within 1.1 points of the winners. Additional championships (dance hip-hop, partner stunts, and cheer team) are on the agenda for today.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
We'll be without Daryl and Jared this morning, but this week's show got a lot spicier, so I'm sure Paulie, Jeff, and I will have plenty to cover the hour. We'll do our best to keep it about the joy and excitement of Louisville women's athletics, but down performances and bad news can make it a bit tough to stay positive. It's sure to be eventful, no matter what. 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!
Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
Anchor (podcast host): Link
Apple Podcasts: Link
Google Podcasts: Link
Overcast (free account required): Link
Pocket Casts (free account and app required): Link
Until next time, Go Cards!