USF (16-5) didn’t waste much time Tuesday continuing its offensive onslaught from last weekend; the Bulls added two more wins and have now outscored opponents, 62-5, in their last eight games.
The Bulls took the field around 2:15 p.m., about five hours prior to USF baseball’s showdown in the same complex with FSU, and the Bulls were firing on all cylinders from the start.
Already with a 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Bulls loaded the bases, setting the table for sophomore catcher Lee Ann Spivey.
Spivey jumped on the first pitch and hit a scorching line drive over the left field wall, giving the Bulls a 5-0 lead. USF added two more in the second, and in the third inning, USF was already in its third round through the batting order.
“I don’t know that we’ve had a first round knockout like that in a long time,” USF coach Ken Eriksen said. “That pitcher was throwing the crap out of it. Our kids just did a really good job.”
The Black Bears held USF scoreless for two innings, but the Bulls took the game 8-0 in the bottom of the fifth with senior Courtney Goff’s walk-off single.
Senior pitcher Sara Nevins continued her dominant play late, with her ninth straight win in a one-hit, eight-strikeout complete game.
In Game 2 of the doubleheader, USF faced off with the Western Michigan Broncos, and the Bulls went two innings without a run.
But USF took a 1-0 lead in the third, followed by three-run innings in each of the next two frames to win 7-0 in seven innings.
USF may have fallen short of another run-rule victory, but the Bulls have run-ruled opponents in five of their last seven games, and are one short of their total for last year just one month into the season.
At least four Bulls have had an RBI in each of the last seven games, but Eriksen said pitching is still key to USF’s success.
“Coach (Monica) Triner is doing an unbelievable job with the pitching staff right now,” Eriksen said. “Keeping teams at zero as long as they are makes it a little easier.”
Spivey was 3-for-5 and drove in six of the Bulls’ 15 runs and scored four times, while freshman outfielder Juli Weber went 3-for-4 against Maine and senior Ashli Goff pushed her batting average to .412.
USF plays Northwestern and Kansas on Friday afternoon at the USF Softball Stadium.