Stellar pitching helps USF take four of five
The USF Softball team won four games in the Michele Smith Spring Break Tournament — all without allowing a run — but a shutout loss to Towson on Saturday night brought its 16-game winning streak to a halt.
USF (25-8) has been red hot since Feb. 27, winning 16 games — three by mercy rule — and scoring an average of 5.5 runs a game.
After losing four of five games in early February, the Bulls have now won 18 of their past 19. The latest win comes from a 5-1 victory over Army (7-13) on Sunday at the USF Softball Complex.
Redshirt freshman Susan Wysocki improved her team-best record to 6-0 by throwing 5 2/3 innings with six strikeouts and one earned run allowed.
Sophomore Juli Weber got the offense off to an early start with an RBI triple in the bottom of the first, and scored sophomore Kristen Wyckoff from first to give the Bulls a 1-0 lead.
Junior Lee Ann Spivey followed and put down the squeeze bunt to score Weber.
In the third, junior Monica Santos reached on a throwing error by the third baseman and advanced to second on the throw to first base. Santos scored both Weber and Spivey to put USF up 4-0. Army and USF would both score one run to conclude the game.
The Bulls picked up two shutout wins Friday night with a 2-0 victory over Iowa State (16-9) and an 8-0 win over Boston (6-16).
This was due to dominant pitching by USF.
Prior to Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Towson, USF pitchers were 14-0 in March, with a season-low 0.72 staff ERA.
Junior Erica Nunn pitched five hitless innings against Iowa State before catcher Sammie Hildreth singled with no outs in the sixth inning.
Nunn picked up her sixth win of the season.
Against Boston, USF exploded for all eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Santos, USF’s most consistent hitter over the last dozen games, contributed to the offensive barrage with a three-run home run over the left-field wall — her second of the year.
“This team is showing that they can score in bunches,” coach Ken Eriksen said following the game. “To throw eight up on the board again in one inning — I think we’ve done that a couple times this year, so it’s exciting.”
Senior Sam Greiner earned the win and allowed only two hits in a complete game shutout, which brought her record to 7-1.
USF has three midweek home games starting with Central Connecticut State tonight at 6 and Hartford and Canisius on Tuesday at 5 p.m. before diving into conference play next weekend against Houston.