No. 24 Bulls enter crucial final week


The No. 24 USF softball team has five regular season games remaining between Tuesday and Sunday, and each will be critical toward seeding in the Big East tournament.

The Bulls with a Big East record of 15-2 are currently tied with Louisville for most conference wins, but sit behind Louisville (15-1) and Notre Dame (13-1) in third place due to their overall winning percentage.

USF will look to improve in the standings this afternoon when they take on the Seton Hall Pirates in a doubleheader in South Orange, N.J at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

A win today would mean coach Ken Eriksen would surpass former baseball coach Eddie Cardieri as the coach with the most wins in USF history with 732.

The Pirates are 16-24 and No.11 in the Big East with a record of 10-4.

The Bulls will try to take advantage of the Pirates’ weak pitching staff, which has posted a 5.25 Earned Run Average this season, almost four runs higher than that of the USF pitching staff.

The Pirates are a solid offensive squad, however, averaging four runs a game with five hitters batting over .300.

Bulls freshman catcher Lee Ann Spivey seemed to have recovered from a bad bruise on her throwing hand that she suffered April 14 as she drove in the go-ahead run during the 13 inning against DePaul two days ago.

The run went on to be the difference in the series and knocked DePaul back to fourth place.

If the Bulls are able to win each of their next five games, including a three-game set at the USF softball stadium against 8th place Syracuse (17-24, 5-9) this weekend, they would be sitting in prime position for the number one seed in the Big East tournament with a record of 20-2.

The Bulls aren’t strangers to battling for the conference title.

By comparison, at the same point last season, with five regular season games remaining en route to the first Women’s College World Series in USF school history, the Bulls were ranked 17th in the country with a 42-8 record and a 14-3 record in the Big East.

After suffering through a month of struggles that gave the Bulls a below .500 record at the beginning of March, Eriksen’s squad has now set itself up nicely for postseason success once again.

And even if the Bulls don’t earn the number one seed in the Big East tournament, they have the luxury of hosting the event May 9-11, and being the home team — regardless of who they play in the tournament.