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USF sweeps 49ers

What may have been the only sour spot in the USF softball team’s season was dropping two games on the road to Conference USA foe Louisville, which gave the Bulls a 1-2 record starting league play.

But the No. 20 Bulls turned the tide this weekend and put to rest any thoughts of struggling against league opponents on the road with a three-game sweep against C-USA foe Charlotte, capped by Sunday’s 12-0 mercy-rule-shortened game at the Phillips Complex.

Senior Leigh Ann Ellis picked up her 26th victory of the season, and 60th of her career, with a complete-game four hitter. Ellis struck out five and walked none, while holding the 49ers to one hit in the first five innings.

Ellis also picked up the victory in a 7-0 win in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday and came in to earn her fourth save of the year in a 9-7 victory in the night cap, pitching 1 1/3 perfect innings of relief.

For the weekend, Ellis scattered five hits in 14 1/3 innings while striking out 16.

Though Ellis was as dominant as she’s been all season against the 49ers, the senior southpaw couldn’t have gotten it done without some help from the offense. USF scored 28 runs on 32 hits during the three-game sweep, including at least 10 hits in each game. Senior Holly Groves continued her stellar season with a pair of home runs in Saturday’s doubleheader, her 13th and 14th on the season, which broke her own single-season school record (12) set last year.

The Bulls (39-7, 7-2 C-USA) continued their hot play, extending their winning streak to a season-high 13 games.