The USF softball team did not disappoint in its return to the USF Softball Stadium.
The team was put to the test with a mid-week doubleheader against the Central Michigan Chippewas and passed with flying colors, winning both games by a combined score of 11-4.
“We responded well when we got behind,” said coach Ken Eriksen. “Both teams played well. We did a good job responding to the challenge in front of us.”
Pitcher Lindsey Richardson took to the circle in the first game and had a strong outing, pitching 4 2/3 innings. She allowed just two hits, one of which was a two-run home run that momentarily put the Chippewas in the lead in the top of the fourth inning. Richardson was credited with the victory to go along with her four strikeouts.
USF’s Janine Richardson responded in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the lead back, launching two runs, part of a four-run fourth inning that proved to be the difference in the game. USF tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth to provide the final margin of 6-2.
In the second leg of the doubleheader, true freshman Sam Griener headed to the circle for the Bulls. Greiner grinded through four innings, allowing seven hits but doing a good job of damage control. She allowed just two runners to cross home plate, including just one earned run. Sara Nevins finished the job with three innings of one-hit pitching to pick up the save.
“When you have a kid like Sara Nevins that can come in and shut the door, it’s a good ace to have,” Eriksen said.
Jessica Mouse was the difference offensively for the Bulls, hitting identical singles to middle left field, picking up two RBIs in the game, including one in the fifth inning to put the Bulls ahead for good. Alexis Nowell had two RBIs as well to lead USF to a 5-2 win, closing out the night.
“Alexis Nowell played one heck of a game,” Eriksen said. “On defense she did a great job with the bases loaded turning the double play and on offense coming out and bringing in a couple of clutch runs.”
The Bulls will remain home for a doubleheader Friday, playing Penn State at 2 p.m. and Virginia Tech at 4:15 p.m, before heading to Clearwater for a Saturday doubleheader.