There won’t be any champagne, confetti or cheers at the Eriksen household tonight — not because the Bulls lost, but because even with surpassing the 800-win mark, for softball coach Ken Eriksen, “life goes on.”
Eriksen has been the face of USF softball for the past 18 seasons and has taken the team to 11 NCAA tournaments. After a 6-1 victory over Yale on Tuesday night, Eriksen became just the 22nd active coach to eclipse the 800-win milestone.
“I’m going to go home, clean the dishes, take the garbage out and clean whatever the dog made a mess of,” Eriksen said of his plans Tuesday night. “As for the 800, it’s just part of the journey.”
Although he may try and hide it, the milestone means a lot to the USF legend — just ask junior catcher Lee Ann Spivey.
“He’s one of the most humble people you’ll ever meet and he’ll never recognize something like that, but as a team, we definitely recognize it as a huge accomplishment and everyone should be proud of it,” she said.
Eriksen has led USF to an 801-407-1 record in his tenure, including a 50-14 record in 2012 that culminated in the programs’ first Women’s College World Series appearance.
His leadership and strategy led USF to two wins Tuesday, extending their win streak
USF got its offense rolling in the first game of the doubleheader and scored four consecutive runs in the fourth to take a 4-0 lead.
Freshman Astin Donovan scored first off a bunt by senior D’Anna Devine and a Yale throwing error. Sophomore Kristen Wyckoff and senior Lee Ann Spivey followed suit with two runs off sacrifice bunts, which extended the lead to three.
The Bulls’ defense was anchored by redshirt freshman Susan Wysocki who pitched five innings giving up no earned runs on four hits with six strikeouts.
“We play a lot of games in a short period of time, and for Susan to give us the quality innings that she has been (is) tremendous,” Eriksen said.
USF had a quick turnaround, but didn’t let it affect its focus as it defeated Maine 8-2.
With a three-run shot over the right-field wall, Spivey put the Bulls on the board in the first inning, bringing her RBI total to a team-high 30.
With her 19th homer, Spivey is now tied for eighth on USF’s all-time homer list with Carmela Liwag, now an assistant coach of the team.
It didn’t take long for USF to add to its lead, as sophomore Ta’coia Williams brought the crowd to its feet two pitches later with a solo bomb over left field — clearing the batting facility — to jump out to a 4-0 lead.
“Anytime you can put threats like that in the middle of the lineup, once you get through the first three batters, now it shows we have some other dangerous hitters,” Eriksen said.
USF is now 9-2 this season when hitting a homer and 16-1 when out-hitting its opponents. USF out-hit Maine 14-3.
USF looks to continue its hot streak Thursday in another doubleheader, with games against Lehigh and Georgetown starting at 5 p.m.