USF softball wraps up doubleheader with two walk-off wins
After a win on Monday, USF softball extended their winning streak to three with two comeback wins.
The Bulls’ (12-10) offense was the biggest factor in their victory as they scored 13 total runs throughout both games against the University of Pennsylvania.
Here’s how women’s softball fared in the both games:
USF 6, UPenn 5
In its first win, USF managed to come back from a five-point deficit to take the game 6-5 after an offensive explosion in the fifth inning.
South Florida went down early after giving up five runs to Pennsylvania (0-12) throughout the first four innings. The biggest issue initially was on defense, as the Bulls gave up nine hits in total and had two errors. The team managed to make up for their mistakes with excellent defense by holding UPenn scoreless in the final four innings.
Junior outfielder Jordyn Kadlub said she felt the team’s chemistry is what held the team together through the first game.
“We believe in each other, we know we can do it,” Kadlub said. “Our games aren’t going as well as we wanted in the beginning, but we’re coming back and we’re fighting strong.”
In the fifth inning, the Bulls saw a turnaround after their rocky start. Women’s softball scored four straight runs off RBI from Kadlub, freshman infielder Kathy Garcia-Soto, junior utility Natalie Zweig and senior outfielder Emilee Hanlon.
USF capitalized off of its earlier runs by scoring an RBI from freshman catcher Camille Ortiz-Martinez in the sixth and a walkoff in the eighth from sophomore infielder Lauren Bevis. Coach Ken Eriksen noted that the changes late into the game all stemmed from his players’ desire to win.
“I think they just got a little tougher, I really think they just started to focus on trying to get the barrel to the ball and stop swinging,” Eriksen said. “So those are the adjustments they made and I’m proud of them for doing that.”
USF 7, UPenn 6
The Bulls pulled off another late-game comeback and walkoff win, finishing the game 7-6.
After some much needed adjustment to the UPenn offense, USF managed to keep the match closer than the first game. At the bottom of the fourth, the Bulls were down 5-4 compared to their 5-0 deficit in their previous outing.
South Florida’s offense took off in the sixth inning after two RBI from junior catcher Rian Eigenmann and Kadlub. Its defense managed to be another strong factor in this game as the Bulls held their opponent scoreless for three straight innings. Redshirt freshman pitcher Payton Dixon recorded seven of the eight total strikeouts in the late-game defensive showcase.
Eriksen said he felt the team didn’t carry the momentum from the first win and that it showed early on in the game.
“To come out in the first inning and do what we did there, the main thing that carried over was we can come back against this team,” Eriksen said. “We just have to get stops, you have a stop and all of a sudden here’s a run and another run. We just outlasted the other team….they played really well.”
Softball gets a two day rest after seven back-to-back games in the span of six days. Eigenmann said the break will be much needed before the Bulls look to go on another four day stretch of matches.
“It’s gonna feel good to have a nice mental rest day,” said Eigenmann. “But I think having games back-to-back is just really good at keeping us on a roll.”
The Bulls will come back out on Thursday to face the Pennsylvania State Lions at 6:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.