TAMPA - Head coach Ken Eriksen got everything he asked for
and more in the No. 10 Bulls' season opener Friday afternoon at USF Softball
Senior Lindsey Richardson tossed a no-hitter and the USF
offense looked like it was in midseason form in an 8-0 run-rule victory over
"Lindsey gave us an opportunity to score some runs by
keeping them at zero today. I didn't really expect this," Eriksen said with a
Richardson fanned five straight batters to start the game
and finished with nine strikeouts a season after helping USF reach the Women's
College World Series for the first time.
"Lindsey was spinning that baby up there pretty nice today
and when you're getting ahead in the count, it makes it pretty tough against a
pitcher like that," Eriksen said. "She was locked in today."
Kenshyra Jackson led the way with three RBIs and Kourtney
Salvarola went 2-for-2 with two RBIs from the leadoff spot. Stephanie Medina
and freshman Lee Ann Spivey also drove in runs for a USF team that scored in
all but one inning.
"I wasn't really shocked that we all came out fired up and
ready to get going," Richardson said. "We've been counting down to this first
game for months now once we got back from the World Series."
USF started to turn the heat up in the second inning when Erica
Nunn and Spivey started off with walks. A sacrifice bunt by Dani Wayt moved the
runners over and an illegal pitch by Marshall ace Andi Williamson sent pinch
runner Ilaura Reeves home.
The Bulls were back to being busy on the base paths during a
two-run third inning. Medina got the scoring started with an RBI single up the
middle and Jackson followed with an RBI bunt single placed perfectly between
the pitcher and catcher.
USF's offense kicked things into high gear during a four-run
fourth inning. Williamson exited the game with one out in the frame after
Salvarola's RBI double made it 4-0 Bulls. Right-hander Halie Vance started with
two walks to load the bases and Jackson sent two home with a hit up the middle.
Spivey added an RBI double to make it 7-0 USF.
Salvarola capped off the scoring with a sacrifice fly to
deep center field in the eighth.
"I'm a pitcher, so I love offense. That was awesome,"
Richardson said. "I love seeing eight runs on the board in these five-inning
games. They've been working hard, so they deserve all that success."
The Bulls' run at the USF-Wilson DeMarini Opening Day
Tournament continues 4 p.m. Saturday with a battle against No. 13 Michigan. USF
sees Samford 6:15 p.m. Saturday and finishes up 1:30 p.m.
Sunday against Florida Atlantic.