TAMPA - The University of South Florida softball team lost just their second game in their past 17 tries as they were no-hit by Laura Winters, falling to No. 22 Notre Dame in game one of their double-header Wednesday.
The no-hitter was the first thrown against the Bulls since March 25, 2010 as Florida pitcher Stephanie Brombacher threw a perfect game against the Bulls in a five-inning 10-0 win in Gainesville.
The feat was the first for Notre Dame since Jody Valdivia against Seton Hall on March 27, 2010, and was the first of Winters’ career.
USF pitcher Sara Nevins had a spectacular outing of her own in the 1-0 loss, throwing a complete game three-hitter while allowing just the one run of the game, the first that the freshman has allowed since April 2.
Nevins extended her scoreless streak to 46.0 innings before the Irish were able to put one across in the top of the fifth on Wednesday.
She also struck out eight in the loss, surpassing Capri Catalano’s 2008 mark of 176 strikeouts in a season for fifth all-time in program history.
Gina Kafalas led off the game by taking a pitch to the facemask, and Janine Richardson drew a walk to put two on in the top of the first, but they would be the only two Bulls to reach base in the game as Winters retired the final 19 batters in a row in the 1-0 Notre Dame win.
It wasn’t until the top of the fifth that either team was able to get on the scoreboard.
Sadie Pitzenberger laid down a perfect bunt, the first of the day for either team, to set up the Irish and was pinch-run for by Monica Torres. Two batters later, Erin Marrone sent a lazy fly ball to right center, and just as Kafalas was about to make the catch she collided with Kelly McCarver allowing Torres to score all the way from first, breaking the scoreless tie, before Nevins was able to get out of the jam.
The Irish put another pair of runners on in the sixth, but Nevins got out of the first and third jam again to keep the Notre Dame lead at 1-0.
Winters retired the Bulls in order in the seventh and finished out the no-hitter as she got Stephanie Medina to fly out of the first pitch she saw to end the game.
The Bulls and Irish square off again at 1:15 p.m. in game two of the double-header.