The USF softball team breezed to a doubleheader sweep against Radford at the USF softball complex Tuesday as the Bulls knocked off the Highlanders 8-1 in the first game and 6-1 in the second.
“I think we played well,” USF associate head coach Stacey Heintz said. “We could have done better, but we played well enough to win the games.”
In the first game, the Bulls got started early with one run in the first and a pair of runs in each of the next two innings.
But Heintz was unhappy with the Bulls’ performance at the plate in the first game because the team twice didn’t capitalize with the bases loaded.
“I think in the first game we stranded a lot of runners and we could have scored a lot more runs,” Heintz said. “We need to take advantage of situations like that a little better.”
Even so, the run production was more than enough for Leigh Ann Ellis, who struck out 11 and allowed one hit in five innings.
Freshman pitcher Danielle Urbanik flirted with a no-hitter in the second game, but a dribbler by Radford’s Lindsay Woody in front of home plate turned into a base hit in the sixth.
“Danielle had a great night, so you don’t want to take anything away from that,” Heintz said. “If that’s the (only) hit that we’re going to give up, then we’ll take it.”
Urbanik finished with a complete-game one-hitter with two strikeouts.
Leading 2-0 after the first, second baseman Kattrina Dowd smacked a solo home run to right-center field in the second, giving the Bulls (29-7) a three-run advantage.
It was her fourth homer of the season.
Carmela Liwag, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, added an RBI single in the fourth, and USF added two runs in the sixth to close out the game.
Though the Bulls came away with a pair of victories, the team still struggled defensively, committing five errors.
Against a team like Radford (11-14), the Bulls were able to escape the defensive miscues with few repercussions.
However, Heintz knows that won’t be the case every game, especially in Conference USA play.
“It’s definitely something we’re working on every day,” Heintz said. “We definitely need to eliminate the errors in our game. In different games, they’re going to come back and haunt us.
“What we’re working for right now is to get a little more bounce in our step, be a little bit more aggressive in our play, and our aggressiveness will eliminate those errors.
“If you’re aggressive on every play and attack every play, (errors won’t happen). If you sit back and think it’s routine, that’s when it’s a bad situation.”
The Bulls host Wagner today at the USF softball complex for a doubleheader beginning at 4.