After playing their first 33 games of the season in the Bay Area, members of the USF softball team will finally pack their bags and leave Florida for the first time this weekend.
South Florida (18-13) has split time between its new on-campus stadium and the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater so far this season. Multiple fields are needed for large tournaments, so the Bulls have been spending their weekends in Clearwater after playing their Friday games on this side of the bay.
This weekend’s travel itinerary is significantly longer as the Bulls are set to play a three-game series against St. John’s this weekend in Queens, N.Y., in the first weekend of Big East play.
The Bulls ended the tournament portion of their season with a 10-3 win over Florida A&M on Sunday afternoon. USF also beat Buffalo and Colorado State, but lost to Texas A&M and Oklahoma State to go 3-2 in the USF-The Game Tournament, the final leg of the three-part USF Series.
St. John’s and USF have had five mutual opponents this year, with both teams going 2-3 against the group – Florida Gulf Coast, Toledo, Massachusetts, Fordham and the Netherlands’ national team.
The Red Storm (13-17) played their first home game of the season Tuesday, losing 5-4 to cross-New York City rivals Fordham.
Two USF players will travel to New York this weekend having received special recognition from the Big East for their play during the USF-The Game tournament.
Freshman first baseman Stephanie Medina was named the Big East Player of the Week for the second week this season. Medina raised her team-high season batting average to .414 by going 9-for-11 during the weekend with three doubles, a home run and 10 RBIs.
She was also walked three times and hit by two pitches, making her on-base percentage .824 for the weekend.
Junior pitcher Brittany Bowles also caught the Big East’s attention and found a way onto the Big East Weekly Honor Roll for the first time this season. Bowles appeared in three games, pitching 7.1 innings and going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA. She surrendered just three hits and struck out 10 batters.
The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday. The games are scheduled to start at 12:00 p.m. and 2 p.m. The series’ final game starts Sunday at noon.