By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA - Head coach Ken Eriksen thinks records are meant to be broken, especially when it comes to USF softball.
The Bulls set a new program record when 2,554 fans flooded the USF softball stadium on opening weekend last year and Eriksen wants to raise the bar even higher during this weekend's USF-Wilson DeMarini Opening Day Tournament.
"We want to crush the attendance record opening weekend and we have an opportunity to do it now," Eriksen said.
No. 10 USF gets its season started 2:30 p.m. Friday against Marshall followed by a doubleheader on Saturday. The Bulls face No. 13 Michigan at 4 p.m. and finish the day with a game against Samford at 6:15 p.m. USF's opening weekend concludes Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. game against Florida Atlantic.
A number of home attendance records fell last season while USF went 50-12 and made it to the Women's College World Series for the first time. More than 15,000 fans attended USF softball stadium throughout the year and the Bulls also broke a single-game record with a crowd of 1,561.
"If I was a fan, I'd be excited because there were a lot of fans that got introduced to fastpitch softball last year during the NCAA run," Eriksen said. "That's what we finally did. People came because it was an event, and then they fell in love with that event. They fell in love with the game and fell in love with our team."
USF will honor last season's WCWS team with a special pregame ceremony before Saturday's game against Michigan.
USF-Wilson DeMarini Opening Day Tournament Full Schedule
Friday, Feb. 8
Michigan v. Marshall - 12:15 p.m.
USF v. Marshall - 2:30 p.m.
Samford v. FAU - 5 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9
FAU v. Marshall - 9 a.m.
FAU v. Michigan - 11:15 a.m.
Samford v. Marshall - 1:30 p.m.
USF v. Michigan - 4 p.m.
USF v. Samford - 6:15 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 10
Michigan v. Samford - 9 a.m.
Marshall v. FAU - 11:15 a.m.
USF v. FAU - 1:30 p.m.