Bulls drop all four games on opening weekend
For the first time since 2002, USF softball is 0-4 after its opening weekend.
After losing to Illinois State 9-3 on Thursday, the Bulls couldn’t find a win in the USF-Rawlings Invitational at the USF Softball Stadium, falling to Fresno State 3-2 on Friday, No. 17 Michigan 2-1 on Saturday and No. 7 Florida 6-1 on Sunday.
“Anybody can compete when you’re supposed to win or when it’s easy,” interim head coach Jessica Moore said. “I think our group has to figure out how to compete and how to win when things get hard.”
The Bulls would have had a chance at a fifth game — a game against Georgia State was scheduled to be the last game Saturday but it was canceled due to previous games running late, rendering what would have been too late of a first pitch time.
USF would have faced a Georgia State team that went 1-3 and gave up 23 runs on the weekend.
“It’s hard because it’s an opportunity taken from you that you didn’t get to fight for it,” ace Georgina Corrick said. “That’s really gutting because all of us wanted to be there.
“All of us wanted to go out on that field and to have it kind of taken away from us is a little difficult to stomach for sure.”
Corrick, who pitched 18 of the 29 total innings the Bulls played, was stellar against Michigan on Saturday in a game that turned into a pitcher’s battle between Corrick and Meghan Beaubien, who both threw complete games in an eight-inning affair. Corrick allowed two runs on seven hits to an explosive Michigan team that just 30 minutes prior had run-ruled the Gators on the very same field.
There were other times over the weekend where USF players had stand out moments, including Madison Epperson’s first collegiate home run in the loss to Michigan, but they were hard to come by, according to Moore.
“It’s a tough weekend to walk away from,” Moore said. “We had some really shining moments, but there wasn’t enough of them. They’ve got to come out and figure out how to not ride the wave.”
USF kicks off the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational on Thursday against Oklahoma State. The Bulls conclude the weekend by playing the reigning national champions UCLA on Sunday.
Where some may see yet another tough weekend ahead, Moore sees a chance to learn from quality programs.
“I’m excited for our pitchers to go out and see some quality lineups. I want to learn early, I don’t want to learn late,” she said. “We need to figure it out within the next … five, six weeks so we can start to get into the conference season going in strong.”