TAMPA - The University of South Florida softball team improved to 31-16 and 11-1 in BIG EAST play with a 2-1 win over Connecticut to take game two of the double-header Friday.
The Bulls got a clutch single from Ashli Goff in the fifth inning which scored Gina Kafalas all the way from first giving the Bulls the eventual game-winner.
Freshman Sara Nevins earned the win, her team-leading 13th of the season, as she relieved starter Lindsey Richardson and pitched the final 3.2 innings of scoreless ball allowing just two hits while striking out two.
Richardson got the start and pitched the first 3.1 innings with one run allowed on two hits while striking out five.
Seven different Bulls collected hits in the winning effort led by Gina Kafalas, who scored both of the Bull’s runs and went 1-for-2 with a walk on the day.
The first inning has been crucial to Bulls success this season, accumulating 59 runs in the first frame this season , and today was no different. The Bulls jumped out to the early 1-0 lead with a Kafalas run on a Janine Richardson fielder’s choice, upping their record to 20-4 when scoring in the first inning.
After being hit by a pitch in the arm during her second at bat, first baseman Stephanie Medina left the Softball Complex to evaluate her injury, but Erin Bly replaced her at first, and helped fill the void of the two-time BIG EAST Player of the Week.
Nevins replaced Richardson in the fourth and allowed one inherited runner to score before getting out of the jam without further damage.
After a hard line out to left by Alexis Nowell to start the fifth, Kafalas quickly found her way on by drawing a walk. Right-fielder Ashli Goff then ripped a single off the second baseman with the ball carrying which allowed Kafalas, who was off on the pitch, to score all the way from first giving USF the 2-1 lead.
That was all the Bulls needed as Nevins continued to be fantastic in the late innings. Nevins shut down the Huskies without any damage in both the sixth and seventh to give the Bulls the sweep of Connecticut on the day.