Bulls go on the road

Coming off a 1-3 record last weekend at home, USF softball coach Ken Eriksen is looking for accountability.

The Bulls (28-16, 7-5), who lost one game to Villanova on Saturday and two to Notre Dame on Sunday, play a doubleheader at Syracuse (15-11, 4-2) on Saturday at the Skytop Softball Stadium.

“The important part of this week’s practice is to account for everything we do, such as bunting, base running and hitting behind runners,” Eriksen said. “If we can keep the focus on what we do right and compete, I’d be very happy with this team.”

Things got worse last weekend when junior catcher Cat Olnick left Sunday’s games against Notre Dame with a sprained ankle. She spent this week in a walking boot but is expected to play Saturday, Eriksen said.

“We’re giving her a rest during the early part of the week,” he said.  “We’re being precautionary with it, but she should be ready to go this weekend.”

Junior first baseman Ashley Bullion will try to help the Bulls’ offense with her .294 batting average and 13 RBIs. Bullion said the team needs to get back to the basics and make routine plays.

“This week we’ve been working on being perfect,” she said. “We need to go out there this weekend and make the good plays we’re capable of making.”

Senior pitcher Bree Spence, who has a 4-2 record and is second on the team with a
1.95 ERA, said the team needs to put its losses behind it and focus on the Orange.

“Honestly, I just think we need to learn from our mistakes,” she said. “We need to start the next game with the first pitch and continue to play as strong as we can.”

Syracuse, at fourth in the conference, is coming off a 3-1 weekend with wins over Pittsburgh and Connecticut. Eriksen said the parity in the Big East Conference has improved over the past few years.

“Syracuse has gotten better over the past few years,” he said.  “However, I’d like to think we’re a step above the middle of the pack. We have 12 games left, and right now we need to take one game at a time and things will fall into place.”