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USF hangs on for 4-3 win over struggling Rattlers

Sam Worrell has hit four of her team-leading six homers over the past week. 
ORACLE PHOTO/JACKIE BENITEZ

Holding off a last-inning push from Florida A&M, the Bulls secured their third win of the weekend in nail-biting fashion.

Jumping out to an early 4-0 lead, the Bulls defeated Florida A&M (5-25-1) 4-3 on Sunday afternoon at the USF Softball Stadium.

Players were once again not made available to The Oracle.

Down 4-3 in the top of the seventh inning, the Rattlers had a runner on first, and were down to their final out.

Looking to keep the game alive, Amber Fullwood stepped up to the plate and delivered a shot down the third base line, setting FAMU up with runners on second and third.

The double ignited the Rattlers bench into frenzy, and prompted USF coach Ken Eriksen to make a change on the mound, replacing Hannah Parker with the game’s original starter, Kalen McGill.

With the crowd buzzing, and the potential game-winning run on second, McGill closed out the game the same way she started it — a strikeout.

The win prevented USF (20-14) from dropping its third game in a row, and what would’ve been the worst loss of the season, based on opponent’s record.

Despite the tight finish, USF appeared to be cruising to their third win of the weekend in the game’s early innings.

Starting off hot in the circle, McGill didn’t allow a single ball out of the infield until the fourth inning.

Though the Rattlers weren’t hitting it with much pop, as the game continued on, they found their groove, picking up 13 hits in total.

In contrast to Florida A&M’s small ball, the Bulls relied on a three-run homerun from Sam Worrell in the bottom of the first inning to give them enough cushion to win the game.

The homerun was Worrell’s fourth over the past five days, and solidified her as the Bulls’ top power-hitter thus far, with a team-leading six homeruns.

“It’s all the extra work paying off,” Eriksen said. “Put in the extra work and it pays off. You work hard and things come to you.”

The Bulls will be back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to take on No. 3 Florida (26-1), who mercy ruled USF in their first meeting of the season.