Ranked Bulls notch four wins during weekend tournament
Published: Monday, March 19, 2012
Updated: Monday, March 19, 2012 00:03
National rankings and perfect games aren’t enough for the USF softball team, as the Bulls have now moved on to home runs and in-state rivalries.
An eventful weekend that saw the team play five games in three days started slow, but quickly sped up as the Bulls rattled off four straight wins to finish their last non-conference tournament of the season. USF topped it off with a huge win over both a ranked team and a fierce rival — the Florida State Seminoles.
On Sunday, the 21st ranked Seminoles jumped to a 1-0 lead before the Bulls, ranked 24th in the nation, tied the game in the sixth inning. A run by Kourtney Salvarola set the stage for Stephanie Medina to hit her second home run of the weekend in walk-off fashion, giving USF the 2-1 key victory.
Medina’s first homer came Saturday against Northern Illinois at the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater.
Matching up against Northern Illinois, the Bulls got a two-run home run from Jessica Mouse, her first of the season, which would have been more than enough for a Bulls victory. A power surge in the sixth inning locked up the game, when Medina, Kenshyra Jackson and Salvarola took turns knocking pitches out of the park one after another, finishing up the scoring in the 5-1 win.
Pitcher Sara Nevins threw a complete game for the first win, and Sam Greiner and Nevins combined for a shutout in the second game, a 1-0 win over Kent State.
Their weekend began with a Friday doubleheader at their home stadium, with games against Fairfield and Kent State. The Bulls were stagnant on offense, only scoring three runs in 13 innings of offense, but managed to salvage a 2-1 victory over Northwestern after a 2-1 loss to Fairfield.
Pinch hitter Stormi Grzybek was key in the win over the Wildcats, coming into the game in the fourth inning and picking up her first hit of the season, a single that scored the go-ahead run, which would seal the win for the Bulls.
“I’m just happy that I finally get to produce for my team.” Grzybek said. “I finally stepped up and took that opportunity. It just feels good to get a hit and help the team.”
The Bulls, who have now won 10 of their last 11 games, will play for the fourth-straight day tonight when they match up against UMass. The first pitch is set for 6 p.m.