After chalking up a powerhouse season the Louisville Cardinal’s women’s softball team is set to achieve another victory this weekend; that is hosting the regional softball games for the NCAA tournament.
Ulmer Stadium will host six games, with one more possible depending on how the tourney shakes out, opening with California and Jacksonville State at five on Friday afternoon. The day’s double hitter wraps with the Cards squaring off against Illinois-Chicago at 7:30. This will be a rubber match between the two teams who have met previously twice in the regular season, each winning one.
Prior to the start of this tournament many on the team were concerned about their own possible playoff bid after a heartbreaking lose to Syracuse in the Big East Tournament in Louisville left the Cards as runners up; a loss that the team from the Derby City faced in the exact same circumstances the year before.
It was after an at-large bid though, and the Cards finding out they’d be staying home during a viewing party at the YUM center on Sunday that the team turned all their attention to proving that they were in the tournament for a reason.
With a 36-18 record the Cards have had their share of disappointments this season, as well as successes and it’s in this atmosphere that Louisville has found themselves in for the past couple of seasons. Still with an 18-6 home record, Louisville is hopeful that they’ll be able to transfer that into the post season.
Most heartbreaking for the Cards is the injuries that they faced all season, ranked number three in a pre-season poll the team has had more than their share of injury-related setbacks this year.
Eleven year coach, Sandy Pearsall, who has developed a team that has historically been able to rise above defeats both on and off the field laughed about the injury issue to the Courier Journal in late April saying, “We're going to work harder. Nothing is perfect in life. Something is always going to be thrown at you. If you lay down and think, ‘Woe is me. Why is this happening to us?' you're never going to go anywhere. ” (Grant, 2011) It’s that attitude that the Cards will surely take into the national tournament this year.
Image courtesy of Louisville Softball Promotional Facebook Page