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Softball team wins second consecutive tourney

Despite the softball team winning its second tournament championship in two weeks, coach Ken Eriksen was disappointed with the play of his team throughout the tournament.

“Well, we ended up 3-2,” Eriksen said. “But even though we won the championship, which is great, in this tournament, I thought we should have played a lot better.”

USF kicked off the Louisville Slugger Invitational on Friday with games against Siena College and Indiana University. Pitcher Kasey Cash (1-2) earned her first victory of the season and helped increase the Bulls’ winning streak to six games in a 7-2 win over Siena in the early game. In the second matchup of the day, pitchers Bree Spence (4-0) and Christi Ecks (4-4) combined to pitch nine scoreless innings before the Hoosiers were able to get a run and clinch the victory in the top of the 10th. Ecks was credited with the loss.

The Bulls’ second loss of the tournament came Saturday in their game against Kent State. USF was held to just one hit and no runs in its 2-0 loss to the Golden Flashes.

“(The) one game was a real tough battle against Indiana,” Eriksen said. “We just didn’t capitalize on our opportunities, and (in) the Kent State game our energy level was way down.”

The Bulls rebounded after the loss Saturday to defeat Indiana 2-0 in the late game. The rematch against the Hoosiers earned the Bulls a bid in the tournament championship Sunday against Siena.

The Bulls got their bats going early Sunday against the Saints, which led to a 9-0 Bulls lead after only two innings. Siena got on the board in the third when senior Jamie Walker scored the Saints’ only run of the game. The Bulls added four more runs to their total before the game was called due to mercy rule in the fifth inning.

Ecks was credited with the win after pitching a one-hitter and allowing only one run in the 13-1 victory.

Despite the dominating performance in the championship game, Eriksen feels that his team has a lot of room for improvement.

“I’m not happy as far as, ‘I feel good about what were doing right now.’ We need to be a lot better,” Eriksen said. “We have to really start to play flawless softball. We’re doing things that are looking good, you know, but we just got to tighten it up a little bit more. We’re progressing, we just need to progress a little bit quicker from now on.”