USF (36-19, 6-0) at Louisville (26-5, 5-1)
When: Sat., noon and 2 p.m.
Where: Ulmer Field
The story: The USF softball team will attempt to remain undefeated in the Big East on Saturday when it travels to Louisville for a conference doubleheader against the Cardinals.
The Bulls are 12-11 all time against Louisville, a school that transferred from Conference USA to the Big East along with USF last year.
Louisville is riding a five-game winning streak and is ranked No. 20 in the nation, highest among Big East teams.
The Cardinals boast a talented lineup including junior Courtney Moore and senior Lacy Wood, whose .416 and .389 respective batting averages are good for third and fifth in the Big East.
The Bulls will be looking to bounce back from a tough loss against UCF on Wednesday in which the Golden Knights snapped an 18-game losing slump while simultaneously ending USF’s nine-game winning streak.
If the Bulls hope to contain Louisville, they will need solid outings from starting pitchers Cristi Ecks (15-10) and Bree Spence (16-6). Both hurlers have been dominant on the mound this season, with Ecks’ 1.10 ERA and Spence’s 1.23 ERA ranking second and fourth in the Big East, respectively.
Keep an eye on: Louisville pitcher Catherine Bishop. The junior right-hander has amassed a Big East best 17-2 record this season, during which she’s allowed only 10 earned runs. Bishop’s 0.56 ERA is fourth lowest in the nation, and the junior is leading the Big East in both opposing batting average (.140) and wins.
– Eric Moeller