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USF looks to remain atop Big East

With six games left in the regular season, the No. 23 South Florida softball team will host Louisville today in the final home doubleheader of the season before going on the road to play Providence and Connecticut next week.

Defeating their final three conference opponents would solidify the Bulls’ first place position in the Big East tournament May 8-10 in Louisville, KY.

The Bulls (40-15, 14-2) played the Cardinals (25-18, 10-6) three times last season, including a 5-1 loss in the Big East semifinals.

Louisville is fifth in the conference, led by sophomore catcher Melissa Roth, who leads the conference with 18 doubles, and freshman third baseman Chelsea Bemis, who leads the conference with 45 RBIs.

The Cardinals’ pitching staff is led by sophomore Kristen Wadwell, who leads the team with a 2.15 ERA and 125 strikeouts.

The all-time series against Louisville is tied at 14. Saturday, pitcher Courtney Mosch, outfielders Aya Nakajima and Kit Dunbar, and catcher Laura Wolf play their final home game as Bulls at the USF Softball Complex.

The Bulls will play Providence and Connecticut May 3 and May 4 on the road.

The Bulls are 4-0 all-time against Providence, outscoring the Friars 20-8.

Sophomore Kristen Gordon was credited for the 3-1 win against the Friars last season, not allowing any hits in two innings pitched.

Providence (23-19, 7-7) is coming off of a doubleheader sweep against Rhode Island led by sophomore pitcher Danielle Bertolette, who held the Rams to one run. Providence scored 14 runs in five innings for the win.

Connecticut (25-17, 11-3) is second in the conference behind the Bulls, having won seven of their last eight games. Their last loss was 6-0 to Massachusetts.

Junior outfielder Micah Truax leads the Huskies with 42 hits and junior catcher Danielle Del Ponte leads the team with 26 RBIs.

The Bulls will finish the season in the Big East Championship tournament.

Last season, the Bulls defeated Pittsburgh 2-1 in the first round of the tournament, losing to Louisville in the second.

Coach Ken Eriksen said that despite the end of the season being tough for the team, the Bulls will need to put in a good effort after splitting games against Stetson University.

“We still have to practice hard and get ready for Louisville,” Eriksen said.