Softball hosts Big East rivals over weekend

SOFTBALL GAME TIMENo. 21 DePaul (31-12, 7-3) at No. 25 USF (36-13, 11-1)When: Today, 4 p.m.Where: USF Softball ComplexTV/Radio: Catch 47

The last time the USF softball team defeated a ranked opponent was Feb. 24 against Virginia Tech. The Bulls will get another chance this weekend.

No. 21 DePaul University – who has beaten USF in the teams’ last two meetings – and Notre Dame will travel to Tampa this weekend for two doubleheaders at the USF Softball Complex.

The No. 25 Bulls (36-13, 11-1) are 2-3 against ranked opponents this year, with wins against Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Both games ended winning streaks of six or more wins for the Bulls’ opponents.

DePaul (30-12, 7-3), led by pitchers freshman Lindsey Dean and sophomore Becca Heteniak, is third in the Big East and on an eight-game winning streak.

Dean leads the Blue Demons with a 1.34 ERA, and Heteniak is second in the Big East with 132 strikeouts.

The Blue Demons’ pitching staff held its last eight opponents to 12 runs, including two shutouts.

Notre Dame (27-13, 7-3) is fourth in the conference, coming off of an 11-5 win over the University of Wisconsin.

Despite allowing five runs in one inning against the Badgers, the Irish answered with six runs in the same inning, and five more in the next two innings to win the game.

Fighting Irish junior pitcher Brittney Bargar leads the team with a 1.02 ERA, second in the conference behind Bulls freshman pitcher Capri Catalano.

Coach Ken Eriksen said clutch pitching has put the team in a position to win.

Sophomore first baseman JoJo Medina hit a game-winning home run in the fifth inning last week against Syracuse University to defeat the Orange 1-0.

The Bulls are undefeated at home against Big East opponents and will be tested against this weekend’s foes. USF (1.19), Notre Dame (1.58) and DePaul (1.69) are the conference’s top three teams in terms of team ERA.