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Giddens stepping up for Bulls

USF (14-7) vs. Robert Morris (1-1)When: Today, 5 p.m.Where: USF Softball Field

Sophomore second baseman Britta Giddens has displayed a winning attitude from the first moment she put on a USF softball uniform. From taking the role of leadoff hitter as a freshman to coming up big when the spotlight is the brightest, Giddens leads by example.

She leads the Bulls into a doubleheader contest against Robert Morris today at the USF Softball Field. The contest was originally just one game, but since the cancellation of games Saturday in the Louisville Slugger Tournament, USF and Robert Morris will play two.

Giddens showed her love for the big moment once again with a two-run home run in a win against Central Michigan on Sunday. She leads the team with five doubles, has a .279 batting average and is third on the team in on-base percentage at .404.

Future goals for Giddens include reaching the College World Series, which would be a first for USF.

“She’s a winner, has played on winning programs and players look at her as a leader,” coach Ken Eriksen said. “Britta is a hard-nosed kind of player. She hates to lose before the game starts and she wants to be a part of the first team at USF to reach the College World Series.”

Giddens showed her big-game prowess as freshman in 2006, hitting a game-winning home run against Louisville. Giddens looks forward to moments in a game when the bright lights are shining on her.

“She thrives on the spotlight and lives for that moment,” Eriksen said. “She doesn’t fear the big moment.”

Keep an eye on: Kristen Gordon, who will be the starter in the first game of the doubleheader. Gordon, who has stepped up as a freshman in the reliever role, will start for just the second time this season. Gordon has pitched 29 1/3 innings this season with a 0.95 ERA and is second on the team in strikeouts with 35.

“I think having Gordon in the rotation gives us depth as a reliever and a spot starter that we’ve never had before,” Eriksen said. “She’s had nothing but baptism by fire … she’s coming out of high school with little exposure to national teams, and she’s averaging better than a strikeout per inning.”