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‘Clutch’ weekend keeps Bulls atop Big East

Syracuse 0, USF 1

A “double clutch” performance from the USF softball team completed a 4-0 sweep against the University of Syracuse and the University of Pittsburgh.

A pitching battle between the Bulls (36-13, 11-1) and the Orange (14-23, 5-10) held the game scoreless until the sixth inning, when sophomore first baseman JoJo Medina hit a home run to left field that gave the Bulls a 1-0 victory.

“Courtney Mosch and the pitching staff has been clutch enough to make JoJo (Medina) clutch,” coach Ken Eriksen said. “It’s a double clutch.”

Mosch and freshman Capri Catalano combined for eight strikeouts and allowed six hits to shut out the Orange.

“These (games) are huge. If we could walk away from this being regular season champs, that helps us with regionals,” Mosch said. “We’re just building on these to get further and further.”

With two runners in scoring position and Syracuse’s best hitter, junior catcher Amy Kelley, at the plate, Catalano threw three consecutive strikes to keep the Orange scoreless.

Catalano was awarded the win and remains undefeated on the mound at 11-0.

“Catalano was crucial against one of the best hitters in the Big East in Kelley and struck her out with runners in scoring position and the winning run at second base,” Eriksen said. “Can’t say enough about what she did.”

The Bulls came away with a 5-4 win in game one against Syracuse despite three errors and four runs given up in the final three innings.

“It was a testament for us to win a ball game making three errors at least in a game and walking a couple people,” Eriksen said. “They didn’t panic, they’re just playing ball right now.”

Catalano recorded her fourth save of the season, one away from tying a school record for saves with teammates junior Cristi Ecks and sophomore Kristen Gordon.

“Catalano showed a lot of savvy and got the last out in game one,” Eriksen said.

The Bulls defeated Pittsburgh 1-0 and 2-1 on Friday to start the weekend 2-0.

With game two tied 1-1, freshman outfielder Kelly McCarver hit the game-winning single, scoring freshman Kati O’Brian to defeat the Panthers.

“(McCarver and O’Brian) fit right in. That’s why we recruited them. We don’t recruit them to sit the bench.” Eriksen said.

The Bulls remain No.1 in the conference and will return to the USF Softball Complex on Wednesday to take on Stetson University in a doubleheader.

“They are a very good team,” Eriksen said. “We’re going to take tomorrow off, come back on Tuesday and prepare mentally for Stetson.”