Click to read about the best places to eat on campus, freshman packing tips, and how to keep in touch with friends.

USF softball midseason report card

The Bulls have recorded 14 wins and six losses in their last 20 games. USF ATHLETICS PHOTO

Halfway through its disappointing season, USF softball has garnered nearly as many losses as their previous season total.

While the Bulls’ (19-15) offensive production leaves a bit to be desired by scoring just 3.44 runs per game, their high-skilled opponents should be taken into account.

In its first 34 games, South Florida competed against No. 16 Duke, No. 8 Virginia Tech, No. 5 Clemson, No. 9 Tennessee and No. 11 Texas. All five of those teams were ranked on or USA Today’s top 25 polls at the time of competition.

Three of USF’s other opponents, Michigan, Texas A&M and Mississippi State, were receiving votes on at least one of those polls.

With the nonconference portion of the schedule in the rearview mirror, here is a recap of how the season has gone so far.

Best midseason win

South Florida was looking for its first win against a ranked opponent when it faced then-ranked No.11 Texas on March 17 at home.

After jumping out to a 3-1 lead, the Bulls allowed the Longhorns (26-5-1) to score two runs in the fifth inning.

Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, freshman infielder Kathy Garcia-Soto stepped up to the plate and hit a home run off of one pitch to walk off their opponent 4-3.

By beating Texas, USF showed their composure in clutch situations and moved to 1-4 against top 25 teams.

Midseason heartbreak

Earlier in the season, South Florida suffered arguably its worst loss of the year against then-ranked No. 9 Tennessee on Feb. 24 at home.

Through the first four innings, the Bulls played well enough defensively to remain competitive. Neither team had scored a run when the fifth inning began.

However, when Volunteer (24-1) senior center fielder Kiki Milloy hit a three-RBI home run to right-center field, any hope of an upset was knocked out of the park.

USF gave up six runs and seven hits in the final inning to lose 9-0 in a disastrous close to the game.

Midseason MVPs

Two players have proven to be the most valuable to USF softball — junior utility Marissa Trivelpiece and redshirt freshman pitcher Payton Dixon.

Trivelpiece ranks toward the top of the roster in nearly every hitting statistic and has been solid defensively. She leads the team in double plays this season with seven.

She had her best performance on March 7 against UPenn. Across four at-bats, she recorded a season-high three hits and two RBI.

In her first season at USF, Payton Dixon has evolved to be the Bulls’ best arm. She has a 12-4 record in 20 appearances on the mound.

In the March 6 game against Army, Dixon had a career-high nine strikeouts and shut out the Black Knights (7-20) 2-0.

Midseason surprise

Garcia-Soto has put together a string of solid performances over the past week. She has recorded a hit in four of her last five outings and drove in at least one run in four straight.

Garcia-Soto hit a walk-off home run against then-ranked No.11 Texas on March 17. She also scored the winning run against Lehigh earlier that day. For her efforts, the infielder was named AAC Player of the Week for March 13-19.

If Garcia-Soto maintains her recent streak, she could be a key asset for the team going into conference play.

Looking ahead

After a 13-4 start to the month, USF has dropped its last two contests and only scored five total runs across both outings. The team will need to bolster its offensive production as they begin the conference schedule.

The Bulls will kick off their conference schedule with a three-game series against teams like ECU on March 24-26, Wichita State on March 31-April 2 and Tulsa on April 6-8.

The Shockers (24-6) series could be particularly troublesome. They currently receive votes on the top 25 poll and feature reigning AAC Player of the Year junior outfielder Addison Barnard.

Toward the end of its AAC schedule, South Florida will also meet conference title favorites UCF in the final regular season War on I-4 series.

This team can compete with some of the best softball clubs in the country, but they have to put runs on the board to do so.

Grade: B-

USF softball begins league play at home against Eastern Carolina on Friday at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.