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Live Blog: Big East Softball Championship Louisville vs. Notre Dame

That's right, I'm taking it there. A place no other blogger has dared to venture.

I'm live blogging a softball game.

But this is no ordinary softball game, this is the Big East Championship game featuring the third-seeded Louisville Cardinals and fourth seed Notre Dame in a rematch of last year's title game. You can check it out on CSTV if you wish to watch along.

I've already missed the top half of the first, so let's get to it:

5:55- Holy shit, that didn't take long. Shortstop Courtney Moore (cutie) blasts a two-run home run down the left field line and it's 2-0 Cards. U of L already has more runs than they did in all of last year's 1-0 loss to the Irish.

5:56- The crowd is chating "let's go Cardinals," I think it's the first time I've ever heard something other than "C-A-R-D-S" or "U of L...U of L" from the crowd at a Cardinal sporting event.

5:57- Louisville center Eric Wood's girlfriend Brooke McCrain grounds out to end the inning, but she looked good doing it.

5:59- Kristen Wadwell bringing the heat early, and the Notre batters look overmatched early as they go down in order in the visitors half of the second.

6:00- I love the pace of softball, it's extremely quick and easy to watch.

6:01- My Irish Setter Casey is less enthused as she has officially fallen asleep on my lap.

6:02- These announcers really don't want to be here, and they're not even trying to hide it.

6:04- Candi Hicks ropes a single off the Notre Dame thirdbaseman's (or woman's) glove and the Cards have one on with two out.

6:04- Hicks easily steals her 12th stolen base of the year and we're in business again.

6:05- Audrey Rendon tries to bunt which proves to be an unwise decision, inning over.

6:07- I'm just gonna say it. Best thing about softball: the cheers.

They're creative, catchy, and more often than not I come away impressed.

6:10- Wadwell catches a line drive and then forgets for a moment that she doesn't have to throw it to first. She's perfect through three.

6:15- I officially have a crush on Courtney Moore, who almost goes deep again but her line drive is caught at the wall by the center fielder. I forgot to mention that she did a really cool pose after her first home run, an added bonus that I was not expecting from a softball game.

6:17- Cards go down in order for the first time as Wadwell gets ready to go back to work.

6:19- Announcer Joe Castellano is milking the "I graduated from USC and I'm on Notre Dame's campus" joke more than I ever thought was possible.

6:21- Notre Dame starting to make solid contact on Wadwell, but Moore and Cunningham make nice plays and there are two away.

6:22- Inning ends on another comebacker. Apparently Wadwell walked the lead-off (wo)man in the first so she's not perfect, but she has retired 12 straight.

6:23- I had no idea that softball head coaches coached first base...this is what you learnw ehn you watch softball on TV.

6:24- Speaking of head coaches, Notre Dame's head coach just gave the fastest and least friendly in-game interview in the history of in-game interviews.

6:26- Apparently softball pitchers beg for the corner even more than baseball pitchers.

6:27- Cards go down in order yet again, and as we head to the fifth it's still Louisville-2, Notre Dame-0.

6:29- Center fielder Kristi Cunningham makes another nice play on a line drive to preserve the no-hitter.

6:30- Ummm Wadwell just got yanked...IN THE MIDST OF A NO-NO. Sandy Pearsall you're getting a long, hard look from my couch.

Cassie Stanfill is warming up.

6:33- There is a rather large man sitting directly behind the fence on the Notre Dame side. I think if he knew how much he was on TV, he'd at least try to sit up a little bit.

6:34- Stanfill strikes out the first batter she faces...and looks good doing it.

6:35- Beth Northwood singles to center and the no-no is broken up. If Louisville loses, I'm pretty sure I know who I'm going to blame.

6:36- Stanfill gets out of the inning with a pop-up and we soldier on to the hime half of the fifth.

6:37- The Irish are proving what everyone already knew: softball pants are not flattering. The U of L gals, conversely, look lovely in their high socks and shorts.

6:39- Notre Dame hurler Brittany Barger was an all-conference performer, and she's showing why as the Cards haven't come closs to threatening since the second.

6:40- The lovely Candi Hicks shows the wheels again and beats out an infield single, she's 2 for 2. Before I can hit the "save" button, Audrey Rendon slaps another single into center field.

6:41- Apparently Rendon, who as we all know was a first-team All-Conference performer, was drafted to play professional softball. So congrats to Audrey, and congrats to me, who can now claim victory in an argument I had with my mom over whether or not a professional softball league exists.

6:44- Moore grounds out to quell the rally, but the Cards are just six outs from the big, uh, dance...I guess.

6:45- Pearsall says (in another borderline hostile in-game interview) that she yanked Wadwell because Notre Dame was starting to make solid contact. Papa's still not sold.

6:46- Softball is awesome. Seriously, the brisk pace, the teams chanting the Jeopardy theme during mound meetings...slap hitting for God's sake. This has truly been a wonderful experience.

6:49- Hicks nearly makes a sensational catch, but the Irish get their leadoff woman on in the sixth.

6:50- I officially loathe the chick who just singled because she's trying to pump up the dugout and act like she's carrying the team, when she merely blooped a single three feet into the outfield. Shut up and feel lucky.

6:51- After two failed bunt attempts, the Irish hitter slaps a two-strike pitch into the outfield for another base hit. Can we put Wadwell back in?

6:52- Notre Dame bunts and Stanfill's throw to first is too low for the second baseman to handle. Runners on first and third with no out for the Irish and it's 2-1.

Any good softball coaches on the market?

6:55- Wow. Irish batter hits a pop-up back to the pitcher and the girl on first-base inexplicably keeps running to second. Double play and Louisville might get out of the inning with the lead.

6:56- Or not. Base hit, game tied.

6:58- Hicks catches a fly ball to end the inning, but the damage is done. The worse news here is that Barger is in far more of a groove than Stanfill.

7:01- Kristi Cunningham starts the inning with another infield single. The female announcer says infield hits are all about heart, but I still contend that speed in some way plays a part.

7:02- Stanfill lays down a sacrifice bunt to move Cunningham (who somehow got a little shaken up) to second. Eric Wood's girl is coming to the plate.

7:04- Cunningham moves to third on a passed ball and McCrain singles to right to send home the go-ahead run. The atmosphere in my living room is electric.

7:08- Pinch hitter Brittany York strikes out to end the inning, but the Cards are a mere three outs away from a championship. We're probably going to see closer Cat Bishop on the hill.

7:10- You know you're about to be hit by a professional montage when the announcer starts by saying "Webster defines champion as..."

7:11- Bishop is in, but Notre Dame's leadoff hitter doubles on the first pitch she sees.

7:11- Rendon makes a terrific play to get an out on a sacrifice bunt, but the tying run still moves to third.

7:12- Bisho can't keep the ball down and it's making me nervous.

7:14- Great stop by catcher Melissa Roth to keep the runner on third. This is intense.

7:15- I hate rally caps. Always have, always will.

7:16- Strike three on a check swing! Two down, runner on third, conference championship on the line.

7:16- And, uh, apparently the pitcher is coming in to pinch hit for the girl who singled to start the rally last inning. Softball is crazy like that.

7:19- Strike three! Strike three! Cards win!!!!

7:20- And the C-A-R-D-S cheer finally makes an appearance.

7:21- All right time to take a shower, check my balls to make sure they're still there, and then hit the town to celebrate the win. If anyone knows where Courtney Moore is going to be, please let me know and you will be rewarded handsomely (three pogs).