USF struggles in Clearwater

After a promising 4-1 start last weekend, USF’s bats struggled to score runs over the weekend at the USF Tournament in Clearwater, bringing its record to .500.

“We’re putting ourselves in a position to win,” coach Ken Eriksen said, “but we didn’t put up more than the other team.”

The Bulls (5-5) began the weekend with a tough loss to Fordham, losing in extra innings. Fordham scored to get the first run of the game in the eighth inning, heaping the pressure on USF. The Bulls left the bases loaded, ending the game in a 1-0 loss. Junior Gina Kafalas got two of USF’s mere three hits.

The hitting dry spell continued to plague the Bulls, as they could only muster two hits each in a 6-2 loss to UAB and a 5-1 loss to Indiana.

“We’re standing there too much with the bat on the shoulder,” Eriksen said. “I don’t care how great a player you are, you are not going to hit the ball with the bat on your shoulder.”

The Bulls’ bats awoke for their sole win during the weekend against Ole Miss on Saturday, scoring eight runs on eight hits. Freshman Kourtney Salvarola led the balanced team effort with three hits as the game ended in six innings.

No. 25 DePaul clinched the tournament title with a win over USF in the finale Sunday. The Bulls fell short of a late-game comeback, losing 4-2.

“I thought it was great competition,” Eriksen said. “It is just unfortunate we ended up on the down side.”

The Bulls play their next game Thursday against Central Connecticut State. It will be the first game played in the brand new on-campus stadium.

“It’s a new era waiting to happen,” Eriksen said. “I can’t lie to you, I’m excited.”