Softball takes bronze medal in Gainesville

The No. 25 USF softball team entered the Florida GRU Classic with a 2-3 overall record on Friday and came out with a 5-5 record as it won three games, two against Coastal Carolina and one against Notre Dame, but was unable to beat the Florida Gators on Saturday, dropping the game 7-5.

On Friday, USF faced the Fighting Irish and Coastal Carolina, winning both 5-0 and 7-3. respectively.

Against Notre Dame, Danielle Urbanik pitched a complete game and a one hitter for her second win of the season. The sophomore’s no hitter lasted until the bottom of the seventh, when Megan Ciolli singled to center field.

USF had a big fifth inning, scoring three more runs of off Notre Dame pitcher Heather Booth. Carmela Liwag had two RBI in the game.

Later that day against the Chanticleers, sophomore pitcher Kasey Cash picked up her first win of the season, while striking out six in 4 and 2/3 innings and giving up only two runs. Bree Spence got her first career save when she came into the fifth inning and struck out three.

The game was tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth when two errors and a passed ball allowed USF to score three runs and take the lead. Coastal Carolina made a total of four errors in the game.

On Saturday, versus the No. 19 Gators, the Bulls started off with a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second, but then freshman pitcher Spence had the bases loaded and walked home the tying run. Florida’s Mary Ratliff then drove in two runs on a single to left center, when Spence (1-2) was replaced by Rachel Rosenbaum.

Rosenbaum then gave up three more runs to bring the score to 7-2 on a double by the Gator’s Lindsey Cameron.

Freshman Carly Griffin hit her first career home run to center field, and USF rallied in the top of sixth, scoring two runs from a homer by Danielle Urbanik, bringing the score to 7-5.

The Gators (10-0) held off the rally with Florida’s Stacey Stevens striking out two and getting a ground out.

Later that day, the Bulls faced Notre Dame again. This time, the Fighting Irish took advantage of four Bull’s errors and won 5-1. With the loss to Notre Dame, the Bulls were eliminated from the gold medal against Florida.

The Fighting Irish (2-2) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third inning off two errors committed by second baseman Alycia LePage.

In the bottom of the third, Samantha Ray extended her nine-game hitting streak with a double to left center, which drove in Tiffany Stewart, who was on third base, to tie the game 1-1.

Notre Dame took the lead in the top of the fifth when Urbanik gave up a two-run home run to Kellie Middleton. Two more errors by shortstop Christie Chapman allowed Malorie Lenn to get on base, eventually making the score 5-1.

In the bronze medal game on Sunday, USF faced Coastal Carolina for a second time, winning 9-1.

Cash (2-2) recorded her second win in just two days, pitching three shutout innings and striking out four. Spence came in as relief in the fourth, picking up her second save. Urbanik hit a two-run home run to left field to put USF up 2-0 in the first.

USF ended the game with a four-run fifth inning, as Griffin hit her second home run of the year. The game was called due to the eight-run mercy rule.