With one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, sophomore outfielder Mia Fung blasted a three-run shot over the left-field wall, which ricocheted off the green lettering of the USF batting cage that stands 20 feet back from the field of play.
This was only one of three home runs that USF powered off Jacksonville University’s Victoria Brown in a 9-4 win on Wednesday night in front of an announced crowd of 358.
“You’ll see anyone up at the plate and you’re just like, ‘that person will get the job done,” senior catcher Lee Ann Spivey said, who scored in the second inning. “Before, we didn’t necessarily have that.
“It’s great, because if you have runners in scoring position, from top to bottom in the lineup, you’re thinking, ‘hey, anyone’s going to score right now.’”
After going down 2-0 in the second inning off a two-run homer by Jacksonville, USF fought back scoring nine unanswered runs to take a 9-2 lead.
USF got rolling in the second with a leadoff, two-strike single from Spivey. Fung then followed with a double to the center-field wall to put both players in scoring position before two fielder’s choices and a throwing error brought them home.
“The home runs, those are great. They’re mistakes that happen to go out,” coach Ken Eriksen said. “If you look at the small things that happened tonight — the two-strike changeup hit from Spivey or Lindsey Devitt beating out a potential double play to score a run.
“The hitting and home runs will come, but it’s those little type of things that can really make good things happen.”
The Bulls tacked on three more runs in the third inning off an Erica Nunn double and a two-run home run from freshman third baseman Sam Worrell.
Nunn, who hasn’t hit since her freshman year, is back at the plate and showing her power. Primarily a pitcher, the senior went 2-for-3 with two RBIs before heading back into the circle to throw 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
“We can hit the ball,” Nunn said. “I think we finally settled in today.”
USF tallied eight RBIs from four batters — three of whom were sophomores — showing the depth of what is still a rather young team.
“When you look at the roster, that bodes well for us,” Eriksen said. “I think that only comes from an environment that makes it easy for freshman and sophomores. You have to credit the seniors and juniors who make it conducive for those guys.”
Sophomore Cheyenne Eggens pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up three earned runs and picking up her third win of the season.
Jacksonville was USF’s first of a four-game homestand that continues 2 p.m. Friday when the Bulls take on Kansas in the USF Tournament.