Rain Delays Make a Long Day
The second day of the NCAA softball tournament saw 31 teams eliminated rather than the expected 32. The Knoxville Regional, where Louisville is playing suffered from several hours of rain delays yesterday pushing what should have been the late game, which would be an elimination game, to today.
The delay wasn't without a bit of drama, with the pause called in the third inning with Indiana at bat. With two outs, bases loaded, the Tennessee pitcher, Ashley Rogers, one of the best in the country was changing softballs out after every pitch to try to get a grip and had walked three straight. With Brianna Copeland up, the umpires called the delay after the first pitch of the at bat. Indiana's coach was furious at the timing of the delay and, for a time, refused to vacate the field to allow the tarp to be rolled out. After more than five hours, the game would resume, though it would experience another approximately 30 minute delay later in the game.
The Cards will be playing in the "held over" game today. The Cards dropped to the elimination portion of the bracket after losing to Indiana on Friday, but were able to send Northern Kentucky home in what turned out to be the late game, starting at 9:05pm, and finishing up around 11pm. The run-rule did come into effect, preventing the game from going even later, with the Cards finishing it off 9-1 after five innings.
Sam Booe pitched the complete five inning game, allowing just three hits, and the one run. She only walked one batter, struck out five, making for a very fine appearance.
No scoring happened in this one through three and a half innings, with the Cards finally breaking through the bottom of the fourth for six. With one out already registered, Taylor Roby doubled out to center field and was replaced on the base paths with Pickle Winkler. Sarah Gordon singled to short advancing Winkler. Daisy Hess singled to left field, scoring Winkler. That brought up Vanessa Miller with two outs. Miller, not particularly known for her power hitting, sent the ball beyond the left center fence, her second home run in two games, and the only two of the season for her.
With the bases cleared, Ally Alexander drew a four pitch walk, then Paige Geraghty singled up the center and both Alexander and Geraghty were able to advance on throws. That was enough to chase the NKU pitcher (Alicia Flores), and the new pitcher (Madi Eads)... with two speedster runners in scoring position had herself quite a challenge. Korbe Otis singled to short, scoring Alexander, and advancing Geraghty. Otis then, predictably, stole second, and finally, Easton Lotus pulled off an excellent squeeze bunt, scoring Geraghty. Six runs in the 4th inning and NKU was still scoreless.
That wouldn't last long, however, as NKU got their only run of the game with a touch-em-all on the fourth pitch of the 5th inning from Brielle DiMemmo. Booe would issue her only walk of the game right after, but a strikeout, and some good defensive work, would shut down the rest of the inning.
With UofL back at bat in the bottom of the 5th, Sarah Gordon decided to one-up the NKU by giving Mr. Spalding a ride only the third pitch of the inning. We, here at Cardinal Couple, hope Mr. Spalding enjoyed his trip out to left center. Having a travel partner is always nice, though, so Hannah File thought it would be fun to provide him a companion, and sent her fourth pitch out beyond the center field fence. I hope to get a postcard from the pair...or invite them to stop by the Cardinal Couple studios.
Vanessa Miller back at the plate, singled up the middle, and the a pair of walks to Alexander, and a pinch hitting Makayla Hurst, filled up the bases. Hurst, having done her job, exited to let Geraghty re-enter and do the base-running. There wasn't too much point to Geraghty re-entering, however. With the line-up back up to the top, Otis singled, which advanced everyone, including Miller from third. That made the score of the game 9-1, which, in the bottom of the 5th triggered the run rule ending the game.
NKU heads home as the only elimination from the Knoxville Regional at this point, where the original schedule would have had two eliminations. That second elimination game will be played today, as mentioned above, with a 2:05pm start, and will be contested between UofL and IU.
Let's hope the third time is the charm for the Cards, having lost to IU during the regular season 10-5, and of course in Friday's game 4-3.
Today's game from the Knoxville Regional will only be available on ESPN+, though plenty of other softball will be on various ESPN properties throughout the day. Why the ACC Network can't pick this one up is beyond me...they ARE showing softball games today from noon to 6 p.m. Just another reason to listen to the Big 12's courting call...
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
|.---Paulie and Jared review the show's (lack of) format---|
The CCRHP was a lot of fun yesterday, mostly talking about softball, but we did take a few moments to catch up on Cards in the WNBA (Don't forget Liz Dixon!), as well as touch a bit on Anna (Stevenson) Hall, and Tori Dilfer-Stringer being selected for the overall roster for the Volleyball Nations League for the USWNT.
Daryl couldn't be with us as she was participating in a, we expect somewhat soggy, charity golf event, but a good time was had by "the guys." Check it out via your favorite podcast directory, or it can be found at Spotify: