USF softball avenges 9-1 defeat Friday, wins two out of three against Houston

It was a tale of two halves for USF over the weekend. 

The Bulls dropped their first game against Houston 9-1 on Friday and were trailing the second by two runs in the sixth inning. The Bulls, however, fought back to win their second game 3-2 after a three-run sixth inning. USF then won it’s game Sunday 7-4, taking  two games out of three against Houston at USF Softball Stadium.

Freshman pitcher Georgina Corrick saw action in all three games — starting the first and third game, and pitching in relief in the second. Corrick threw a combined 14.2 innings, allowing four earned runs and striking out 12.

Friday’s loss, at the time, was USF’s second in a row. The Bulls tallied their only run in the bottom of the fifth inning, taking a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning. 

After six scoreless innings by Corrick, the freshman hit the first Houston batter of the inning to put the tying run on base. Senior Hannah Parker entered the game after the hit batter to attempt to close the door on Houston. 

Parker was unable to record any outs in her appearance, allowing both batters she faced to reach base and allowed Corrick’s hit batter to score on a wild pitch. She would be charged with her fourth loss of the season after allowing two runs.

The rest of the inning would not fare any better for USF pitching or defense, as the Bulls allowed a total of nine runs on five hits and two errors.

“We can’t win ball games against good teams by giving them four or five freebies from the mound and three errors in the field,” USF coach Ken Eriksen said. “You have to make plays and we didn’t make plays tonight.” 

The Bulls looked to bounce back in its second game of the series Saturday, but Mother Nature had other plans. 

USF trailed 3-0 after four innings before the game was suspended due to lightning in the area, which led to the rest of the game being postponed until Sunday morning.

Once the game resumed, the Bulls came back in the bottom of the sixth inning, putting the first two batters of the inning on base. The rally was capped off by a three-run homer by sophomore Brooke Hartman to give the Bulls a 3-2 lead heading into the final inning. 

Senior Astin Donovan was one of the runners to score on the Hartman homer after hitting a bloop single to short. Donovan’s hit was the 200th of her career.

“It’s a pretty great feeling,” Donovan said. “I just focus on the game and the game rewarded me back.”

Corrick picked up her 10th win of the season, throwing the final three innings of the suspended game in relief of junior Cheyenne Eggens.

During Sunday’s regularly scheduled game, USF and Houston each scored two runs in the second inning before the Bulls were propelled to victory by a five-run fourth inning that saw USF send nine batters to the plate in the inning. 

The biggest blow in the inning would be a Donovan two-RBI double that scored Mia Fung and Jasmine Hayes to give the Bulls a four-run lead. Lauren Evans scored on a Cassidy Boyle groundout to score the seventh USF run of the game, giving the Bulls a lead they never surrendered despite two Houston runs in the sixth.

Corrick collected her 11th win of the season in the 7-4 USF victory, throwing 5.2 innings and striking out four batters.

After the series victory, USF (29-15, 7-2) finds itself first overall in the AAC, leading UCF (26-15, 6-3) by one game. The Bulls and Knights meet in Tampa the weekend of April 27. Before meeting their rivals from Orlando though, the Bulls travel to Tulsa next weekend and ECU the following weekend.