Bulls bring strong performance to Clearwater Elite Invitational

Senior pitcher Georgina Corrick was dominant for the Bulls in the Clearwater Elite Invitational, winning all three of her starts. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

The USF softball team had a strong showing at the Clearwater Elite Invitational tournament over the weekend, going 3-1 against some of the best teams in the country.

The Bulls (6-2) were among the 16 teams to compete in the tournament hosted at the Eddie C. Moore Complex. Multiple ranked teams competed in the tournament and USF ended the weekend with a pair of victories against top 25 opposition.

With the performance it put in, USF put itself on the map and proved it could compete on the biggest of stages.

USF 7, Notre Dame 0

USF kicked off the weekend with a resounding victory against Notre Dame, a team that received votes in the latest top 25 polls.

The Fighting Irish (7-3) came into the game after two losses against Tennessee and Wisconsin on Thursday. A fresh Bulls team took advantage of their tired opponents.

The Bulls came out with a quick lead in the top of the first inning, scoring three runs quickly and leaving the Irish in an early hole. They would go on to get 11 hits off Notre Dame pitching, scoring in each of the first four innings.

Senior pitcher Georgina Corrick only allowed two hits and struck out nine batters. It was her first shutout of the season. 

USF 7, No. 7 Oklahoma State 1

The Bulls once again came out swinging Saturday against No. 7 OSU, for the program’s first win against a top-10 opponent since 2019.

The Cowgirls (6-4) used three different pitchers against USF, each of whom struggled to contain the Bulls’ offense. Graduate pitcher Morgan Day started for four innings and was relieved by freshman Tatum Clopton and graduate Miranda Elish. 

OSU pitchers combined for the seven earned runs, nine hits and two walks.

Corrick was once again dominant in her second start of the tournament, throwing another game in which she allowed just one run on three hits to go along with six strikeouts. 

Up 2-1 in the fourth inning, junior outfielder Alexis Johns sealed the victory with a bases-clearing triple, giving the Bulls much-needed breathing room.

No. 25 Auburn 5, USF 1

The first loss of the tournament for the Bulls came against Auburn (9-1) on Sunday afternoon as their offense finally cooled down and Corrick took a game off.

Coach Ken Eriksen sent out multiple pitchers throughout the game, starting with senior Erin Poepping, followed by junior Camryn Dolby and redshirt freshman Antoinette Hill.

Poepping allowed six hits and three runs in just over three innings in the circle, ultimately taking the loss. Although she gave up just one base hit, Dolby allowed two further runs thanks to a walk and hitting two batters.

The Bulls still seem to be figuring out their second pitching spot but have definitely cut down the amount of contenders. Unlike the Michigan game last weekend, only three players went out this Sunday, compared to the six that pitched against the Wolverines.

USF 2 , Wisconsin 1

To wrap up the weekend, USF took down Wisconsin in its second game Sunday following their loss to Auburn. 

Corrick returned to the circle after her one game break in dominant fashion. She struck out 13 batters in yet another complete game.

An error by junior infielder Megan Pierro in the third inning allowed Wisconsin (6-6) to score its lone run of the game and take an early lead.

The Bulls struggled offensively for most of the game, being held scoreless until the sixth inning until redshirt sophomore Megan Sheehan’s single brought in junior Alexis Johns to tie the game in the sixth. 

The game went into extra innings where sophomore Vivian Ponn’s single in the top of the seventh drove in junior Emilee Hanlon for what would turn out to be the game-winning run. 

The Bulls will return to the USF Softball Stadium on Friday at 2 p.m. against St. John’s (NY) in the USF Tournament. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and iHeartRadio Bulls Unlimited.