TAMPA - The University of South Florida softball team failed to score in game two of their double-header on Wednesday as they fell to Notre Dame 5-0.
After getting no-hit in game one, the Bulls did not record a hit until the sixth inning of game two as junior Janine Richardson singled up the middle, the only hit of the day for USF.
The back-to-back losses were the first for the Bulls since March 11 when they dropped consecutive games to Toledo and Massachusetts. The shutout was just the fourth of the year for the Bulls, and the first time the team had been shut out in back-to-back games.
Freshman Sara Nevins got the start in game two after pitching a complete game in game one of the double-header. Nevins went 3.0 innings allowing four runs, one earned with two strikeouts and two walks to earn her second loss of the day.
The Irish got the bats going first, taking an early 1-0 second-inning lead when Kelsey Thorton scored on the Brianna Jorgensborg double to right.
Irish center-fielder Alexa Maldonado made her way to first and eventually second on a steal, and third-baseman Heather Johnson was intentionally walked for her second time of the day. That set up right-fielder Sadie Pitzenberger who reached first on a fielder’s choice, giving Maldonado the time to run home from second and bump the Notre Dame lead to 2-0.
Troubled defense with multiple errors is what really gave the Irish the edge in game two.
The Irish would pile on as second-baseman Erin Marrone singled to the short-stop to begin the fourth. An attempted sacrifice by Jorgensborg resulted in a throwing error to first base by Nevins, allowing both Marrone and Jorgensborg plenty of time to score, boosting the 4-0 Irish lead.
After pitching 10.0 straight innings between two games, coach Eriksen gave Nevins a rest and brought out Capri Catalano to take over.
Maldonado ripped a ground rule double to left, advancing Amy Buntin to third and Johnson walked to load up the bases for first-baseman Dani Mller. Miler would drill a single to right, bringing home Buntin for the 5-0 Irish lead.
Looking at zero hits going into the sixth, the Bulls hope to prevent back-to-back no-hitters.
Kafalas lead-off the sixth inning with a walk, and Ashli Goff’s sacrifice advanced Kafalas to scoring position on second. Salvarola was struck by a pitch and made her way to first.
Janine Richardson would then blast a single up the middle for the Bulls’ first hit of the day, loading the bases for Stephanie Medina. Medina flew out and Fountain could not extend the inning, leaving the bases loaded.
The Bulls could not get anyone on in the seventh and dropped game two 5-0.