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Softball loses three this weekend

By the end of the weekend, USF’s losses came down to simple mistakes.

The Bulls (28-16, 7-5) posted a 1-3 record against Villanova (14-7, 1-3) and Notre Dame (17-11, 4-1) this weekend at the USF Softball Field.

“In crucial situations all weekend, we couldn’t step up and make plays,” said coach Ken Eriksen. “We play Division I softball, but right now we’re making high school mistakes.”

In the first game against Villanova on Saturday, the Bulls trailed 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth when senior second baseman Britta Giddens hit a two-run double down the right field line to give USF a 2-1 lead.

“I was looking for a pitch to hit to the right side, and fortunately for me, it happened,” she said.

Senior pitcher Cristi Ecks (6-1) got the victory for the Bulls, pitching a complete game and giving up only two hits and one run on nine strikeouts.

“It was a good game for us,” she said. “We were able to battle through some things, and it was big to get a win against a good team like Villanova.”

That was the best the Bulls would play all weekend. In Saturday’s second game against Villanova, they committed two errors en route to an 8-0 mercy rule loss.

“I’m really disappointed that we didn’t compete at all against Villanova,” Eriksen said. “We have to quit pointing fingers at each other and make simple catch-and-throw plays.”

On Sunday, the Bulls fell 3-2 and 6-4 in a doubleheader against Notre Dame.

In the second game, the Bulls held a 2-0 lead until the sixth inning, but the Irish scored three runs in the sixth and seventh innings to accumulate for six runs.

Ecks said the team needs to prepare better.

“We’re struggling in situations we shouldn’t be, but I think our team will bounce back,” she said.

After this weekend’s results, Eriksen is anxious to see how his team will bounce back.

“We need to regain our championship mentality,” he said. “I told my team to go home and reflect. We simply need to regain our focus.”