Doubleheader postponed after softball player collapses

With the team’s thoughts solely on the health of Cristi Ecks, tonight’s softball doubleheader between USF and the University of Florida has been postponed.

Ecks – the Bulls’ ace pitcher – spent the night at University Community Hospital after collapsing during Tuesday’s practice. An update on Ecks and the postponement of tonight’s games were announced in a press release sent out by USF’s Sports Information Department early this morning.

“The last thing we thought about (Tuesday) was softball,” coach Ken Eriksen said in the release. “The first and only concern was the health of Cristi Ecks. I saw Cristi (Tuesday night) and she is relaxed and resting at the hospital. Our program feels truly blessed that tonight’s medical reports are positive.”

Ecks was taken to UCH by ambulance and according to an email from Sports Information Director Chris Freet soon after the incident occurred, Ecks was “responsive and in stable condition when she was taken to the hospital.”

USF Certified Athletic Trainers were on the scene, and they were followed closely by Emergency Medical Personnel, Freet said in the email.

Eriksen said USF’s scheduled opponent understood the Bulls’ desire to postpone the games.

“After the unnerving events of (Tuesday), we asked Florida if we could postpone our game scheduled to be played in Gainesville (tonight) and they kindly agreed,” Eriksen said. “We will take the day to regroup and recuperate as a team.”

Ecks is expected to be released from the hospital soon.

“Cristi Ecks is resting comfortably at (UCH),” Freet said in an email. “As a precaution, she will stay at the hospital overnight and is expected to be released Wednesday morning.”

Ecks – a junior from Osbourn High School in Manassas, VA, is 7-3 with a 1.21 ERA in 80 2/3 innings pitched this season. During her three-year career at USF, Ecks is 42-21 and has allowed 64 earned runs.

Players were not made available for comment, but the outlook on Ecks’ condition appears to be optimistic.