A tale of two softball teams
The South Florida softball team played a game during the day Sunday and another one that night.
The team also played like night and day.
In the first game against Indiana, the Bulls looked like a team that went to the NCAA regional tournament last season and was preseason ranked No. 25 this year. They committed no errors and had 12 hits in a 9-0 victory against the Hoosiers.
Against Seton Hall, the Bulls (6-10-1) committed three errors and allowed six hits and two home runs in a 4-3 loss.
“We played flawless softball in the first game and we made the plays defensively and had timely hitting. In the second game we had three errors and how many walks and looked at how many pitches in crucial situations,” coach Ken Eriksen said. “We basically played like a varsity team and then we played like a JV team.”
Against IU (1-3-1) Niki Trowell improved to 6-4, throwing a shutout for five innings and allowing three hits. Stephanie Roberts and Shelly Riker both reached base with bunt singles, and Courtney Lewellen drove them home with a double.
The Bulls’ next run came when Rena Rodriguez pinch hit for Shelly Riker in the fourth inning and hit a sacrifice grounder to drive in Trowell.
The following inning, the Bulls hit four consecutive balls to the warning track, including a line drive double by Carmela Liwag that scored Holly Groves. Liwag then scored on a hit to left field by Trowell.
In the sixth inning USF ended the game with the eight-run rule when Liwag hit a two-run double, leaving two runners on base with two outs.
In the second game the Pirates (2-1) took the lead in the first inning when Laura Taylor hit the first of her two home runs, driving in Lindsay Trottier.
“Unbelievable,” Eriksen said in reference to Taylor. “The kid is going to be a great player for Seton Hall. It shows our young people if you swing the bat at pitches that are hittable really good things are going to happen, and the kid did her job.”
The Bulls answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the first when Lewellen hit a double, driving in Ginny Georgantas.
The Pirates scored again in the second inning when Kate DePaul scored on an error. Taylor hit her second home run in the third inning to give the Pirates their final score of four runs.
The Bulls showed some power hitting when Rodriguez hit a solo home run in the fourth inning.
In the next inning Rachel Williams scored off a double by Lewellen for her fourth RBI of the day.
The Bulls attempted to tie the game and possibly take the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. With the bases loaded, Georgantas, who earlier hit a single after pinch hitting for Williams, advanced to third, and Lewellen advanced to second after being walked, and Holly Groves reached on a fielder’s choice.
“I was just thinking I have got to get a hit,” Georgantas said. “I just wanted to help the team.”
Georgantas played second base in the first game instead of her customary third base and committed no errors. In the second game she moved back to third and committed her eighth error of the season.
“You can not play like that and we have played like that seven times this year and they have all resulted in L’s,” Eriksen said.
“You can’t just put your gloves on the field and expect to win, not in Division I softball. I don’t care who you play.”