Eriksen gets No. 300
After sweeping St. Louis 3-1 and 5-4 Saturday, the No. 22 USF softball team had another reason to celebrate.
Their 41st victory of the year gave USF coach Ken Eriksen the 300th victory of his career.
Eriksen’s career record now stands at 300-165-1. Sunday’s game was rained out and not rescheduled.
In the latter game of the doubleheader, St. Louis struck first. The Billikens scored a run off three hits for the early lead.
In the top of the second, USF tied it on Holly Groves’ ninth home run of the year. Tied 1-1, the Billikens took their second lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth. After a Kerri Higgins double and an Ashlee Heady single, senior Nicole Bohnenstiehl stepped up and hit a three-run shot, her fourth of the year.
The Bulls responded, knotting it up at four in the bottom of the sixth. After Courtney Lewellen and Groves singled, Christie Chapman went opposite field and hit a three-run shot over right field for her second home run of the year.
The Bulls finally took the lead for good as Lewellen doubled Shelly Riker in with two outs in the top of the seventh.
Leigh Ann Ellis won her 23rd game of the year for the Bulls, giving up four earned runs and striking out five.
In a game that took an hour and a half, USF edged by St. Louis in its first game. The Bulls took the early lead off a Lewellen sacrifice fly. Lewellen increased the lead in the second, hitting her third home run of the year, a solo shot over center field.
That was all Ellis needed as she would pitch the complete game for the victory. The complete game was her 24th of the year. Ellis struck out 11 through seven innings, upping her total to 239.
With the two wins, USF is now 11-3 in conference with nine conference games remaining. The Bulls now have a season-high 10 days off before they take on UCF on April 16.