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Softball takes doubleheader from Eastern Michigan

Whether it’s playing in right field or pitching, junior transfer Courtney Mosch is making a name for herself. Mosch pitched a five-inning shutout Tuesday, allowing four hits and five strikeouts in an 8-0 victory over Eastern Michigan in the first game of a doubleheader at the USF Softball Field.

Mosch went 2-for-5 in the doubleheader with two RBI and two runs scored as the Bulls swept Eastern Michigan. She improved her record to 4-1 and has become a solid No. 3 starter on the pitching staff.

“Courtney is not flashy; she’s blue collar and she plays the game hard,” coach Ken Eriksen said. “If she doesn’t get any accolades but she wins, she’s happy and we are happy to have her.”

With the dominance of Cristi Ecks and Bree Spence at the top of the rotation, Mosch tends to get lost at the back end. Mosch, however, is tied for first in wins and had a 1.00 ERA coming into Tuesday’s doubleheader.

“I just try to go out and do my job, whatever coach Eriksen asks of me,” Mosch said. “I give everything I can every time I step on the field. Eriksen is so motivational so he makes me want to give everything I have.”

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Bulls (13-6) jumped out to a 7-0 lead, but had to hold on to a 7-6 victory. Second baseman Lauren Rodriguez had three errors in the game that were responsible for six unearned runs.

Kristen Gordon struggled in relief allowing four runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings. Cristi Ecks got her first save of the season, working 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to clinch the victory.

“(Lauren) Rodriguez had a tough night, and if she catches three balls then the score is 7-0,” Eriksen said. “And no one feels worse about that than she does, but we will stick with her and she will bounce back tomorrow.”

Playing their ninth game in Florida in the past five days, the Eagles put together a rally in the second game, scoring at least one run each in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Catcher Heather Han went 2-for-4 with three RBI in the loss.

USF scored 15 runs combined against Eastern Michigan without Britta Giddens and Danielle Urbanik in the lineup. Urbanik and Giddens, who are ranked first and fourth in batting average this season, were given the night off to rest.

“It’s nice to give these players a little downtime because they have been playing hard,” Eriksen said. “It also gave us a chance to give some of our young players some at-bats as well.”

Junior left-fielder Aya Nakajima picked up the slack, going 2-for-5 with five RBI including a grand slam. Nakajima ended the first game with a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning.

The grand slam was the first home run for Nakajima this season.

“I didn’t try to hit a home run, so I was surprised,” Nakajima said. “It was my first non-single this season.”