CLEARWATER, FLA. (March 4, 2017)--The USF softball team picked up a pair of victories on the second day of the Under Armour Invitational, topping Ball State, 6-2, before exploding for nine runs in a 9-3 victory over Towson.
GAME ONE: USF 6, BALL STATE 2
Brooke Hartman went 2-for-3 with five RBI and her first career home run to lead USF to a 6-2 win over Ball State Saturday afternoon.
Ball State took a 1-0 lead after the top of the first, but the Bulls responded with a three-spot in the home half.
Kristen Wyckoff led off with an infield single and AnaMarie Bruni walked to put two on with no outs. Lauren Evans laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position. With one out and a 2-2 count, Hartman launched her career home run to give USF the 3-1 lead after one.
USF would plate another three runs in the second to extend its lead. Bethaney Keen and Morgan Gross walked and singled, respectively, to put two on with no outs. Lindsey Devitt sacrificed the runners over before a strikeout would put two outs on the board.
With two outs, Bruni singled up the middle, plating Keen. Evans drew a five-pitch walk to put runners on the corners for Hartman. After a nine-pitch at-bat, Hartman singled through the right side, plating Gross and Bruni to make it a 6-1 game.
Ball State would score a run in the third on a solo homer from Rachel Houck, but that would be the final run for the Cardinals.
Cheyenne Eggens picked up her fifth win of the year, throwing five innings and allowing just the two runs.
GAME TWO: USF 9, TOWSON 3
The offense exploded as the Bulls used a five-run fifth inning to defeat Towson, 9-3. Samantha Worrell would go 3-for-3 with four RBI to lead USF hitters.
In the first, the Bulls plated four runs on three hits and an error. Wyckoff and Bruni led off with back-to-back infield singles and Hartman drew a walk to load the bases with one out.
Worrell delivered a two-RBI single to right field to plate Wyckoff and Bruni and make it a 2-0 game. With two outs on the board, Keen reached on an error, allowing Hartman and Worrell to score and giving USF the four-run lead after one inning.
In the fourth, Towson got on the board, plating a pair of runs. The Tigers used three singles and a groundout to cut the USF lead in half.
USF would get the runs back in the bottom of the fifth thanks to Worrell’s second home run of the season. Hartman led off the inning with a walk and came home as Worrell launched a two-run bomb over the left field wall.
After back-to-back singles and a sacrifice bunt, Cassidy Boyle launched her first career home run to left field, plating pinch-runner Sam Blashinsky and Keen to give USF a 9-2 lead.
The Tigers would get a few base runners in the sixth, but the Bulls would limit them to just one run on an RBI groundout.
UP NEXT The Bulls will wrap up the Under Armour Invitational at home against Villanova Sunday, March 5, at 4 p.m. at the USF Softball Stadium.
Be sure to follow USF softball on social media (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram) and visit GoUSFBulls.com for the most up-to-date information. The USF softball program has been one of the most successful on campus, making 12 NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the Women’s College World Series in 2012. USF returns 14 players from the 2016 squad that advanced to the NCAA Tournament, including, first-team all-conference selection Lauren Evans, and second-team selections Astin Donovan and Kristen Wyckoff.