TAMPA (March 9, 2017) – After a heartbreaking loss to Purdue to open play on Friday, the USF softball team rebounded with an 11-inning victory over Saint Joseph’s.
The Bulls fell, 2-0, in game one after being one-hit by Purdue pitcher Maddie Damon. Despite a strong outing from Cheyenne Eggens in the circle, the Bulls offense couldn’t get things clicking. However, the team found their stride in the second game of the day, notching 14 hits to defeat Saint Joseph’s 11-9.
GAME ONE: PURDUE 2, USF 0
The Bulls dropped game of the Under Armour Showcase, falling to Purdue, 2-0. The Boilermakers would score a pair of runs in the sixth and force two pitching changes to secure the win.
After five innings of a classic pitcher’s duel, Purdue struck in the sixth to take a 2-0 lead. The Boilermakers led off with a one-out double and used a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners. Mallory Baker would hit a two-RBI single, giving Purdue the lead.
The Bulls were held to just one hit, coming off the bat of Kassie Moeller. Cheyenne Eggens was saddled with the loss after throwing 5.1 innings and striking out three.
GAME TWO: USF 11, SAINT JOSEPH’S 9 (11 inn.)
It took 11 innings, but the Bulls pulled out a suspenseful 11-9 victory over St. Joseph’s to end Friday evening on a high note.
After pulling back from a 4-1 deficit to take the lead in the fourth inning, the Bulls and Hawks would go back and forth, with neither team able to hold on to a solid lead.
The Bulls were just two outs from a win in the seventh when a two-run homer tied the game at seven-all, sending it to extra innings.
Each team would score in the eighth and ninth innings to keep the game going. After being scoreless in the tenth, Hannah Parker would come up huge in the 11th, stranding the Hawks runners to give USF the chance for the walk-off.
In the 11th, the Bulls started with Bethaney Keen at second base, due to international tiebreaker rules. On a 0-2 count, freshman Brooke Hartman launched a shot to dead center, clearing the 230 mark and giving USF the 11-9 win.
Hartman went 3-for-5 with three runs and two RBI at the plate. Parker threw eight innings, allowing just four earned runs and striking out three.
Ken Eriksen's Postgame Thoughts
Next Up The Bulls will face Butler and Central Michigan in Clearwater on Saturday. First pitch in the doubleheader is at 2 p.m.
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.