USF’s athletics and on-field success aren’t necessarily synonymous.
Football has yet to capture an AAC title and has a 3-2 record in bowl games since 2010. Baseball has just two NCAA Tournament appearances since 2002 and the men’s basketball CBI championship is the result of one successful season.
Granted, there are some programs that stand out like women’s basketball making appearances in 15 postseason tournaments in coach Jose Fernandez’s 19 years at the helm. There is also men’s golf, which has won the last four AAC titles and made six consecutive trips to the NCAA Regional Tournament.
Under the 22-year tenure of coach Ken Eriksen, however, USF softball is an outlier. Eriksen has led the Bulls to 12 NCAA Tournament appearances and is yet again alone at the top of the AAC standings.
Given the current state of sports, USF softball is the most promising sport on campus.
Now I know what most people are thinking: USF men’s basketball is in position to be insanely good next season, which is probably true, but when you consider the numbers that USF softball is putting up, you might reconsider.
Softball just completed its fourth consecutive sweep Friday with two shutout wins over UConn this weekend. Softball currently sits at 12-2 atop of the AAC standings and is in prime position to take the regular-season title.
Pitcher Georgina Corrick continues to be a force in the circle after she reached 200 strikeouts this season in Friday's game at UConn. She currently has 209 strikeouts this season and an 0.87 ERA. Her 13-inning game against UCF matched the record for most innings pitched for a single pitcher in program history.
To top it off, Corrick writes off her impressive stats with her go-to answer along the lines of “I just do what I have to do.”
Needless to say, Corrick is able to control a game while in the circle. Did I mention she’s only a sophomore?
At the plate, junior outfielder AnaMarie Bruni continues to put up impressive stats. She has a batting average of .383 in the AAC and leads the conference with 59 hits. She’s also third overall in individual AAC stats.
Batting? Solid. At least five USF players are currently hitting above .250.
To top it all off, USF softball is currently No. 24 in the NCAA according to RPI.
With numbers as impressive as the ones USF softball is putting up, it’s looking to be an almost dominant season for the Bulls. We may even see USF exact revenge on Tulsa in the postseason, the team that defeated the Bulls in the AAC Tournament final last season.
It’s an exciting time for USF softball and, as long as the team maintains its success, it’ll definitely be a season to remember. The regular season and the tournament could both be in the bag for the Bulls, which would be an impressive feat from an impressive team.