Game-winning home run leads USF past Massachusetts Minutewomen

Massachusetts 1, USF 2

A night of freshman heroics helped lead the USF softball team to a 2-1 victory against the University of Massachusetts (10-11) in game two of a Monday night doubleheader.

With the game tied at one in the bottom of the sixth inning, freshman utility player Kendall Arnold hit a homerun to give the Bulls (22-11) a 2-1 lead. The solo homerun was Arnold’s first as a Bull.

“She got a good pitch and she jumped on it,” coach Ken Eriksen said. “For a freshman to do that in a clutch situation that can only be a confidence booster for her.”

Freshman pitcher Capri Catalano came in to relieve senior Courtney Mosch, allowing just one hit to finish the game, and her third save of the season.

A tough schedule of games over the past week caught up with the Bulls, who dropped their first game 2-0 against Massachusetts.

Junior pitcher Brandice Balschmiter proved to be more than the Bulls could handle, allowing three hits and 11 strikeouts.

“(Balschmiter) is an All-American. She’s phenomenal,” Eriksen said.

Junior pitcher Cristi Ecks gave up a triple, a double and a walk to give Massachusetts its two runs in the game. Sophomore pitcher Kristen Gordon came in relief for Ecks, and didn’t allow any hits for the remainder of the game.

“We didn’t meet the challenge tonight. We made some mistakes a little bit in the field defensively but those are things we’re only going to get better at,” Eriksen said

After splitting both games, Eriksen is confident that the Bulls will continue to battle as the season moves forward.

“I can’t guarantee that we’re going to win if you play hard. I can guarantee if you don’t play hard you’re not going to win an that’s been our motto all year,” Eriksen said.