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Hitting leads to four-win weekend

Before the season, South Florida softball coach Ken Eriksen said that pitching would be one of the team’s strengths.  Now, he’s learning he can count on his offense.

The Bulls (10-5) used pitching and hitting en route to a 4-1 record — a tournament-high — at the Game Tournament this weekend at the USF softball field.

“We are getting better in certain aspects of the game,” Eriksen said.  “We scored a bunch of runs on Friday, but we needed some on Saturday.  We need to get ahead in the counts more often but overall, I feel like this team is moving in the right direction.”

USF was led on offense by freshman centerfielder Janine Richardson.  Friday, Richardson recorded her first career triple against Eastern Michigan and hit her first home run against Rhode Island.  Richardson said it felt great to give the team a big lift.

“I’m not a big power hitter, so it’s always exciting for me to hit one out,” she said.  “It was a perfect pitch, and I didn’t feel anything so I knew I hit it good.”

Richardson’s leadoff home run set the tone for the Bulls in a 7-1 win over Rhode Island.  USF got home runs from junior designated hitter JoJo Medina and sophomore outfielder Kendall Arnold, as well.

The Bulls combined for 18 runs in mercy rule wins over the Jacksonville State Gamecocks and the Florida A&M Rattlers Sunday.  Arnold had three singles and scored two runs.

On the mound, the Bulls only gave up four runs this weekend.

“We are getting great pitching from everybody on this team and it’s a great feeling,” Eriksen said.

Junior pitcher Kristen Gordon said she was glad to be able to keep her team in games throughout the weekend.

“It was good to come out this weekend and help the team,” she said.  “When I came in Saturday, I knew I had to be effective.  Overall, it was a great weekend for me.”