Softball splits spring break tournaments
The USF softball team (21-16) bounced back from a tough 8-0 loss to the No. 2 Tennessee Volunteers on March 11 to go 6-3 and earn one championship title in two tournaments hosted by the Bulls over spring break.
The Bulls kicked off the USF Spring Break Tournament on Tuesday with a 6-3 victory over Buffalo before dropping the second game of the doubleheader 1-0 to Canisius. On the second day of the tournament, the Bulls defeated Fordham University 5-1 to earn a spot in the tournament championship game against Northern Illinois. The Huskies proved no match for the Bulls in the final game, as USF racked up 12 hits in its 9-1 championship victory.
The Bulls returned to the field Friday to host the USF Speedline Invitational. USF came out swinging in the opening game against George Mason University, racking up 14 hits in a dominant 12-2 victory over the Patriots. Senior Tiffany Stewart, who was named the Big East Softball Player of the Week on Tuesday, had a strong outing in the victory, going 3-for-3 at the plate with three runs and four RBI.
After losing the second game of the Day 1 doubleheader 5-0 to Purdue, the Bulls rallied back Saturday with wins over Ohio and Troy University. However, they were eliminated from championship contention in a 5-2 loss to Florida International on Sunday morning.
“You know, I think we’ve played well in our last 15 ball games, which included those two tournaments, and I like the direction we’re going in right now,” coach Ken Eriksen said. “We just have to get a little tighter right now on defense and be a little bit more aggressive on offense – but I think we’re going in the right direction for that.”
The Bulls have gone 10-5 in their past 15 games, outscoring their opponents 75-43.
Despite the Bulls’ 21-16 record this season, Eriksen is disappointed with the mistakes his team has made and knows the Bulls will have to improve if they want continued success.
“We’ve committed 63 errors in 36 games, and you can’t give teams extra at-bats in that respect,” Eriksen said. “Our game is about playing catch and throw, and we’ve got to do that better.”