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Bulls beaten but win series

For the first time in nearly a month, the USF softball team lost Saturday, dropping a 7-3 decision to Connecticut.

Yet the Bulls still managed to win the series and hold onto the top spot in the Big East as they prepare for a crucial midweek doubleheader against Louisville.

From almost the very beginning, it was evident that No. 18 USF (40-6, 13-1) wasnt at its best in Saturdays doubleheader, needing extra innings to beat the Huskies 6-2 after allowing a pair of runs to tie the game in the fifth inning.

USFs school-record 19-game winning streak ended in the second game of the doubleheader, with UConn (18-17, 7-5) controlling the game from the start, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

USF sophomore Sara Nevins, winner of five consecutive Big East Pitcher of the Week Awards and six total this season, struggled by her standards, yielding two earning runs in game one and three in relief in the loss. All season, she had allowed 14 earned runs.

Sam Greiner was charged with the loss after allowing five hits and four runs in three innings.

The Bulls recovered in time for Sundays game, though, winning the series with a dominant 11-3 run-rule win.

Coach Ken Eriksen shook up his lineup, which had been very consistent all season, moving centerfielder Janine Richardson from the fifth spot to leadoff.

The move worked, as each of the first four batters in the lineup produced two hits and at least one RBI as the Bulls offense scored 11 runs in five innings.

Junior Lindsey Richardson continued her recovery from a shoulder injury, picking up a relief win Saturday and winning Sundays game as a starter, improving to 8-0 on the season.

USF is back on the road again this week for a crucial Wednesday doubleheader against No. 12 Louisville, which is two games behind USF in the conference standings.