TAMPA - Kourtney Salvarola set a new USF record with three home runs to lift the Bulls to a 4-3 victory over Rutgers in extra innings at the USF Softball Stadium.
Sara Nevins also set the all-time record for strikeouts at USF when she struck out Ashley Bragg in the fourth inning. Nevins passed USF assistant coach Mo Triner and now has 648 for her career.
With the win the Bulls won their first conference series of the year and improve to 24-11 overall.
Rutgers jumped out to an early lead with a solo home run by Jackie Bates in the first inning. That was the only hit Lindsey Richardson would allow all game as she picked up her eighth win of the season while striking out nine batters in five innings of work.
The Bulls took the lead in the third on Salvarola’s first homer of the day, a two-run shot to left center field.
Sara Nevins came on to pitch in the fourth inning and gave up a two-run home run to Alexis Durando that allowed Rutgers to retake the lead, 3-2.
After the home run Nevins settled in and proceeded to strike out Bragg to set the career strikeouts record. She pitched four innings, allowing only one hit to go along with seven strikeouts.
Salvarola came up clutch again in the fifth with her second homer of the game, a solo shot to left field that tied the game at three.
The Bulls had a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh but were unable to take advantage of runners at second and third with two outs.
After a scoreless eighth inning, Salvarola came up with her biggest hit of the game, a walk off blast to left field for her record third home run of the game and eighth of the season.
USF will play their first road series of the year when they head to Villanova for a three game series starting Wednesday at 3 p.m.