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Nevins carries red-hot Bulls to weekend sweep

Published: Sunday, April 1, 2012

Updated: Monday, April 2, 2012 09:04

Not satisfied with three consecutive Big East Pitcher of the Week awards and two no-hitters in one season, sophomore pitcher Sara Nevins added another no-hitter to her resume over the weekend and setting herself up for another conference award.

The consistent southpaw pitched two complete games for the USF softball team in its three-game weekend sweep over the University of Pittsburgh, giving the Bulls 33 wins this season and matching last year’s season total.

Nevins came into the first game of the weekend touting a 17-2 record while leading the nation in earned run average, along with two no-hitters to her name. She put up her third no-hitter of the year, striking out 16 and allowing just one base runner while retiring 19 straight batters in USF’s 5-0  win  Saturday.

True freshman Sam Griener, the second half of USF’s deadly pitching duo, took to the circle in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader and almost matched her partner’s production.

Greiner went 6.2 innings and allowed just two hits, frustrating the Pittsburgh lineup once again. The freshman was helped out by senior infielder Jessica Mouse, who recorded a sacrifice fly and a solo home run, accounting for two of USF’s four runs in the 4-0 win.

Nevins went right back to the circle for the final game of the series Sunday, ready to seal USF’s 33rd win of the season. But the Panthers refused to be swept without a fight.

Though the sophomore sensation recorded yet another complete game, allowing just six hits and one earned run, one tough inning almost resulted in her third loss of the season.

The Panthers scored two runs, one earned and one unearned, in the bottom of the fourth inning, thanks to mental and physical errors by USF’s infield, to tie the game. Nevins quelled the damage with two quick outs to get out of the inning.

In the top of the seventh inning, sophomore Ashli Goff drew a key two-out walk, setting up Stephanie Medina’s clutch at-bat. USF’s resident power hitter struck with a big double, which scored the speedy Goff and gave the Bulls a 3-2 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

“That’s the first time in Big East play we had a lead, lost a lead, then came back and won,” coach Ken Eriksen said. “But we responded really well. This team has no fear. There isn’t a situation they haven’t walked into and thought they wouldn’t be successful.”

USF will return home for five consecutive games, beginning with a weekend series against the St. John’s Red Storm. The series will begin with a double header Friday. First pitch for the first game is set for 2. The second game will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

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