Softball begins Big East play

Despite an impressive performance by winning the Under Armour Invitational in Clearwater this past weekend, USF softball coach Ken Eriksen is looking for more improvements in the team.

The Bulls (17-10) will host a doubleheader today at the USF Softball Field against the Connecticut Huskies (4-5) at 4 and 6. The games will be the Big East Conference opener for both teams.

“I wish I could say I’m comfortable with the team, but I’m not,” Eriksen said. “I’m still looking for a perfect practice out of my team. We can’t play a perfect game until we have a perfect practice, so that’s what I’m looking forward to with this team.”

Senior second baseman Britta Giddens and junior first baseman JoJo Medina continue to lead the Bulls offense.

In Saturday’s game against N.C. State, Giddens recorded her 200th career hit and her
15th career home run, making her seventh on the all-time career home runs list at USF. She comes into today’s game with three home runs and 19 RBIs this season.

Medina enters with three home runs and 18 RBIs on the year.  She said the team is trying to use the past weekend to move in the right direction.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re getting there,” she said.  “Our pitching staff has been huge for us this year, and it’s our job to score runs. I feel like the group dynamic and the effort is improving, so I feel good about our team.”

USF’s pitching staff combined to give up only eight runs in last weekend’s tournament, and junior pitcher Kristen Gordon said the consistency of the staff has really helped the team.

“It’s an honor being on this pitching staff,” Gordon said. “All five of our pitchers do a great job, and we have the confidence to do what we’re supposed to do.”

Eriksen said he’s impressed with how all of his pitchers are currently performing.

“All of our pitchers had outstanding performances last weekend,” he said. “They all have the physical talent to perform at a high level. They’re learning how to get out of certain situations, and that’s really helped this team.”

The Huskies also appeared at the Under Armour Invitational last weekend and posted a 3-2 record.