By NOLAN KRAUSE
Special to GoUSFBulls.com
TAMPA - Sara Nevins picked up her first win on the season, throwing a
one-hitter and leading No. 10 USF to a 3-2 victory over the No. 13
Michigan on Saturday at USF softball stadium in front of a record setting crowd of 1,625.
Before the start of the game, an opening ceremony took a look back at
last season’s team and its first trip to the Women’s College World
Series. The team was presented with a bronze plaque and a video
presentation that showed its journey to Oklahoma City.
Director of Athletics Doug Woolard, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn,
Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan, Provost Ralph Wilcox and
Executive Associate Athletic Director Bill McGillis were all in
attendance to present the team with pendants from the 2012 WCWS and also
throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Once underway, Michigan wasted no time jumping out to an early lead.
Sierra Romero hit a two-run home run to left-center field that put the
Wolverines up two runs before USF ever came to the plate.
USF didn’t wait long to get those two runs back. In the bottom of the
first inning, Kourtney Salvarola led off with an infield single and then
stole second base. After fouling one off of her ankle, Stephanie Medina
took advantage of having a runner in scoring position and knocked an
RBI single bringing Salvarola into score. After a single by Kenshyra
Jackson gave the Bulls runners on first and second, catcher Lee Ann
Spivey tied the game at two with an RBI single that plated pinch runner
The game then shifted to a pitcher’s duel, as another run would not
cross until the bottom of the sixth. Nevins and Michigan’s Sara
Driesenga battled it out as both pitchers fought to keep the game tied
What turned out to be the game-winning run was scored in the bottom of
the sixth. Kenshyra Jackson ripped a two-out double off the left field
wall and then scored when the following batter, Nicolette Levine, hit a
single to right field. The Bulls held on to that 3-2 lead to come away
with its second victory on the season. Michigan fell to 2-1.
Nevins finished the game with nine strikeouts, two walks and only gave
up the one hit in the first inning. Lindsey Richardson entered the game
for Nevins with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and recorded the
final out of the game.