When: Saturday, 2 and 4 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.
Where: George Ward Park
The story: The USF softball team goes on the road to Birmingham to face the UAB Blazers in a pivotal conference series. The Bulls are looking to bounce back after losing four of their last five, including two losses to in-state rival Stetson. The Bulls face a UAB team that has struggled so far this season. UAB is batting .217 as a team and their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.01. UAB has lost seven of its last 11 games and is currently sitting in eighth in the Conference USA standings. No game has been easy this year for the Bulls, who have struggled to play consistent softball all season. The Bulls are first in conference with a team batting average of .295, but they also lead the conference in errors (55). The Bulls are 3-5 on the road this year and are sitting in fourth place in the conference standings. An advantage for the Bulls is they have only lost once in six trips to Birmingham, and they lead the all-time series 12-6.
Keep an eye on: Bree Spence. The freshman pitcher has seen action in 13 of the last 15 games and has pitched over 140 innings so far this year. Spence has been out on the mound more than usual due to an injury to sophomore pitcher Danielle Urbanik, who is out with a torn meniscus. Spence’s ERA is a solid 2.19 and though she has pitched a large share of the innings, coach Ken Eriksen is confident in the abilities of the freshman.
“I don’t think we’ve overextended her,” coach Ken Eriksen said. “I knew she could handle this type of load; that’s why we recruited her.”