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Sports Notebook: No. 19 Bulls get back to practice

The No. 19 South Florida football team returned to the practice field Tuesday — the first practice since losing to No. 24 Pittsburgh 26-21 Thursday.

The Bulls got a little bit of good news before Tuesday’s practice — senior linebacker Brouce Mompremier was cleared to participate in conditioning and weight training.

Mompremier injured his neck in a collision with teammate Carlton Williams on Sept. 20 against Florida International. He was taken off the field in an ambulance and transported by helicopter to a local hospital.

USF coach Jim Leavitt said he was happy that Mompremier got clearance.

“Any time Brouce is around is great,” he said. “I’m sure it means a lot to these guys. They think the world of him.”

USF defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said it was a good first step for Mompremier, but there are a lot of things that need to happen before he can play.

“I’m sure him being out there helps and gives them a ray of hope that he’s back, but we really have no idea,” Burnham said. “He’s just out there doing some light jogging and just getting out there with the team.”

While Mompremier is trying to play back from injury, several players have been playing through injuries. Junior defensive end George Selvie and sophomore defensive tackle Terrell McClain have been dealing with ankle injuries since the FIU game.

“(Selvie) shouldn’t have even played Thursday,” Leavitt said. “He was playing on one leg. McClain shouldn’t have played either.”

Leavitt said both were limited in practice Tuesday. Another injured player, Williams, has been dealing with a hip injury since the FIU game and also has an injured shoulder.

Despite the injuries, Williams has continued to play, and has earned the admiration of Leavitt.

“Carlton Williams might be the toughest kid we have on our team,” Leavitt said. “He practiced today and there’s no reason that he should’ve. His shoulder is hurting him bad, he has a hip pointer and he still refuses not to practice. My heart goes out to him. He’s as tough of a competitor as I’ve ever been around.”

Softball picks up two wins
The USF softball team played two exhibitions against St. Petersburg College on Sunday at the USF softball stadium, picking up two wins.

In the second game of the doubleheader, senior Cristi Ecks pitched four innings and allowed zero runs.

Ecks collapsed at practice April 1 and needed to be resuscitated on the field with an automated external defibrillator. She was taken by ambulance to University Community Hospital and missed the second half of the 2008 season.

USF coach Ken Eriksen said Ecks was consistent and made great pitches during her time on the mound.

Jovita advances
Lucas Jovita — a sophomore on the men’s tennis team — advanced to the second round of the D’Novo/ITP Men’s All-American Championships on Tuesday.

The Tulsa, Okla., tournament was moved from outdoor courts to indoor courts because of inclement weather. Jovita defeated Tulsa’s Rusty Turpin 6-1, 6-3 in his first match of the season.

He will return to the court today to play Gonzalo Escobar of Texas Tech, who advanced to the second round with a three-set win over Sacramento State’s Kiryl Harbastuik.