The USF softball team traveled to South Orange, N.J. with the intention of playing two games on Tuesday afternoon against the Seton Hall Pirates (16-25, 4-11).
But the second game was cancelled so the Bulls (38-13, 16-2) could make their flight back to Tampa due to the length of the first game.
While the doubleheader didn’t go as planned, the No. 24-ranked Bulls boarded the flight back to Tampa with coach Ken Eriksen as the new all-time leader in wins at USF.
The Bulls’ 6-3 win over the Pirates was win No. 732 of Eriksen’s 17-year career as head coach at USF, which passed former baseball coach Eddie Cardieri.
The lone game against the Pirates didn’t go into extra innings, but started at 2 p.m. and ended at 4:34 p.m. — 34 minutes later than the second game would have started. This left less than two hours to get through airport security.
Freshman Monica Santos grabbed the lead for the Bulls in the second inning with her fourth home run of the year, a solo shot to right field.
In the third inning, USF senior Kenshyra Jackson blasted her second three-run homer in the last four games to take a 4-0 lead.
Senior Stormi Grzybek pinch-hit in the fifth inning for the Bulls with the bases loaded and drove in a run on a sacrifice fly. The Pirates drove in two runs on singles in the same inning to make it 5-2.
USF junior Kourtney Salvarola drove in senior Stephanie Juergens for their sixth run.
Seton Hall junior Maria DeLuca’s solo home run off of USF senior pitcher Lindsey Richardson in the 7th inning tacked on another run for the Pirates but it wasn’t enough, as the Bulls walked away with their 38th victory of the season.
Richardson started the game for USF but was removed by Eriksen in the first inning with two runners on base.
Junior left-hander Sara Nevins pitched until the seventh inning, and though it wasn’t a number as high as 732, collected her 21st win of the season, along with 11 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.
The Bulls will finish off the regular season this weekend with a three-game series at the USF Softball Stadium against the Syracuse Orange with two games on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The series will come to an end on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Eriksen could add more highlights to his season.
If USF sweeps Syracuse, it would tie his season high of 19 conference wins, ending the regular season on a high note.
The Orange sit at eighth place in the Big East with a conference record of 5-9.