The USF softball team (8-7) lost to the Hofstra Pride (1-4) in its final game of the USF Wilson Tournament on Monday.
The Bulls took a 4-0 lead into the sixth, only to have the Pride battle back to take the game 5-4 in eight innings.
“You have to give a lot of credit to Hofstra,” coach Ken Eriksen said. “They just hung around and did the job they had to do in the end.”
The Bulls took the lead in the third inning when first baseman Carmela Liwag doubled to right field to score junior Samantha Ray from second base. Liwag scored off of Sarah Watson’s single, and when junior Krista Holle hit a ball into center that was dropped by Hofstra’s Kelly Morris, Watson scored and the Bulls took a 3-0 lead.
The Bulls then added another run in the fourth inning when Ray hit a single to left field to score Tiffany Stewart.
Freshman Bree Spence, in her third start of the tournament, held the Pride scoreless for five innings, and with a four-run advantage, the Bulls seemed to be in control of the game.
But in the bottom of the sixth, with two outs and a runner on second, Hofstra’s Ashley Lane took a pitch from Spence deep to right field, making the score 4-2.
Junior pitcher Nicole Christensen got the Bulls out of the sixth, but worked herself into a jam in the bottom of the seventh by allowing runners to advance to first and second. Spence re-entered the game for Christensen only to have the next batter, Hofstra’s Adrienne Clark hit a double to right-center that tied the game.
After an intentional walk and a single by Hofstra’s Pam Dreslinski in the bottom of the eighth inning, the bases were loaded for Lisa Torres, who singled off Danielle Urbanik to score Clark from third and give Hofstra the come-from-behind victory.
“When you have opportunities to put the runs across the plate and put the last nail in the coffin,” Eriksen said, “you have got to take advantage of that.”