Softball tourney gives Bulls chance to make noise

Two of the nation’s best lead the USF softball team into the Conference USA Tournament today with its highest seed since 2001.

The No. 3 Bulls (55-10; 18-5), led by a pair of conference players of the year are seniors Leigh Ann Ellis and Holly Groves.

Both will take on the No. 6 seed East Carolina at 1:30 p.m. The team’s 55 wins are its second-highest total ever, behind the 57-win campaign the Bulls put together in 2001.

Ellis, the Bulls’ ace pitcher, is USF’s single-season leader in wins, posting a 39-4 record and .73 ERA while throwing 258 strikeouts.

On the offensive side of the diamond, Groves leads the nation with 80 RBI while batting .434 with 17 homeruns.

Groves and Ellis will try to lead the Bulls into the second round where they will meet No. 2 Louisville at 6:30 tonight.

The Bulls will look to win their first C-USA title without coach Ken Eriksen, who is fulfilling duties as a coach for the U.S. National team.

USF is 6-8 all-time in the C -USA Tournament, which dates back to 2000.

Bryan Fazio

The USF track and field team heads into the Conference USA tournament today with hopes of bagging several individual medals. Both the men and the women’s teams will compete in Louisville this weekend.

“It’s going to be tough to win a championship,” USF coach Greg Thiel said. “But, hopefully, we will have a good meet.”

On the men’s side, pole-vaulter Jonathan Miller and high-jumper Jimmy Baxter are expected to compete for the top spots. Chandra Brewer and Dayana Octavien will look to lead the women’s team in the field events.

“Those people all should be multiple winners in their events,” Thiel said.

Brad Jackson