USF won three games in a row for the first time since the beginning of the season and will try to keep the momentum going Wednesday against Central Michigan at 6 and8 p.m.
So far, the Bulls have struggled to meet the high expectations that came after a 2012 WomensCollege World Series campaign, with a 6-10 start and aseven-game losing streak halted last Friday.
Junior shortstop Kourtney Salvarola said the Bulls are almost in the clear.
Weve talked about going through a storming phase to start the season, she said. I feel like with three wins in a row now, were not out of the storm yet, but we can see our way out.
The voyage out of the storm may have begun last Wednesday against the No. 4 Florida Gators.
The Bulls lost 3-1,but competed with anexcitement and vigor that hadnt been seen since theopening weekend of the season.
USF played flawless defense and hit Gator pitching hard, butunfortunately for the Bulls, right into the Gators defense.
Playing well against a team of that caliber was a confidence boost that carried us into a good weekend, she said. It proved to ourselves once again that we are a good team.
The Bulls brought positiveenergy to Fridays contest against No. 17 Kentucky, keepingthe game tied at two until aninth-inning defensivecollapse cost the Bulls four unearned runs and their10th loss of the season.
USF didnt dwell on thecatastrophe and went on to win the next three games of theweekend series against Illinois, Toledo and Illinois-Chicago.
The one thing Coach keeps telling us is to play like were kids again, she said. A lot of us were putting too much pressure onourselves trying to repeat lastseason right away, and I think that weve relaxed now.
Two more opportunities to make it out of the storm comeWednesday night against theCentral Michigan Chippewas.
The first game of adouble-header will begin at6 p.m. in the USF softball stadium, with the second game starting30 minutes after the conclusion of the first.
The Bulls could take advantage of the Chippewas pitching staff, which has posted a collective3.28 earned run average while the Bulls have posted a 1.80 ERA.
The Chippewas are 6-4 coming into Tuesdaysaction, while the Bulls are 9-10.
I didnt even know ourrecord, Salvarola said.