USF softball dominates Rhode Island in 8-0 shutout

Freshman infielder Kathy Garcia-Soto hit a crucial double in a four run fourth inning. ORACLE PHOTO/JUSTIN SEECHARAN

USF softball had its explosive offense on full display during a 8-0 victory over Rhode Island on Friday night.

The Bulls (8-9) extended their winning streak to four after suffering losses to a number of ranked teams at the beginning of the season. Rhode Island (1-5) has now been outscored 20-0 over its last two games after a 12-0 loss against Northern Illinois

After beginning their season with an unfavorable schedule, facing off against powerhouses such as Clemson and Tennessee, the Bulls are beginning to find their rhythm.

Friday’s game was arguably one of USF’s most dominant this season, and sparks optimism that the Bulls’ rocky first couple of weeks could be attributed to the strength of their earlier opponents.

A three-run homer by freshman catcher Camile Ortiz-Martinez in the bottom of the first inning marked the Bulls’ first run of the game. Ortiz finished with a home run and three RBI.

A triple from sophomore outfielder Hallie Bryant that barely soared over the glove of Rhode Island centerfielder Leilyn Alvarez led to another RBI, putting the score at 3-0.

The Bulls began pouring it on in the bottom of the fourth inning. A URI error led to a double by freshman infielder Kathy Garcia-Soto. Sophomore infielder Julia Mrochko scored on a USF single to make the score 5-0. A triple by freshman utility player Alexa Galligani brought in two runs.

Offense wasn’t the only bright spot of the game. The USF bullpen dominated as well, with freshman pitchers Jaden Martinez and Morgan Grubb racking up a collective shutout, only allowing five hits. Martinez picked up her first career win, throwing a solid four innings.

Coach Ken Eriksen said he was pleased with his team’s all-around performance against Rhode Island.

USF racked up season highs in both hits and runs scored with eight a piece.

“Offense, defense and pitching all played great. You can’t ask for much more against a talented team like Rhode Island,” Eriksen said.

The game ended after a fifth inning mercy rule.

USF will go on to play USC-Upstate on Saturday. The Spartans (16-1) have had a dominant season thus far, with their only loss being a 1-0 shutout versus Northern Illinois. Senior Infielder Tiffany Domingue has hit six home runs this season, and is currently batting at .415.

USF will face off against USC-Upstate on Saturday at the USF Softball Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and Bulls Unlimited.