TAMPA – Ashli Goff raced home on Kourtney Salvarola’s sacrifice squeeze bunt in the bottom of the eighth inning to give USF a 1-0 walk-off win over Georgia Southern in the opening game of the Gainesville Regional on Friday afternoon.
Lindsey Richardson struck out 11 and gave up Georgia Southern’s lone hit in the first five innings before Sara Nevins (26-7) struck out seven in the final three innings. USF (44-14) will face the No. 2 Florida Saturday at 1 p.m.
Goff produced three of USF’s four hits and started the top of the eighth inning with single to left-center before stealing second base.
"I was just trying to get it in play because I knew it was extra innings," Goff said. "I did what I've been doing. I just wanted to stay on top of the ball as much as I could."
Courtney Goff moved her sister over to third with a single through the right set to set up the dramatic finale. Salvarola put down a bunt between third baseman Andrea Tarashuk and pitcher Sarah Purvis and the throw didn’t get to home until after Ashli Goff started to celebrate with her teammates.
"She doesn't back down from the moment," head coach Ken Eriksen said. "That type of kid like Sara Nevins and Lee Ann Spivey. They are almost emotionless during the ball game, it doesn't matter how big the game is."
Richardson and Nevins produced USF’s fourth straight shutout dating back to the start of the Big East tournament. The Bulls have won five straight and improved to 6-0 all-time against Georgia Southern.