By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA – The USF softball program will welcome Dawn Melfi-Kosilla, Kit Dunbar and Carmela Liwag into its Alumni Hall of Fame during Saturday’s home doubleheader against Syracuse.
“These three players are the epitome of what you’re looking for,” head coach Ken Eriksen said. “They were team players and kids that performed in the clutch. You wish you had 15 to 20 of those players all the time.”
Melfi-Kosilla played for the Bulls from 1991-92 and finished her career as the program’s lone career .400 hitter. She came to USF from Onondago Community College in upstate New York and made an immediate impact in her debut season, batting .395 and going 3-for-3 against three-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Fernandez.
Melfi-Kosilla became USF’s third NCAA All-American in 1992 when she hit .407 and finished her career second in the Bulls’ record books in on-base percentage (.475).
“Her bat was like a magic wand. She was unbelievable with what she could do with the bat and make things happen,” Eriksen said. ”I don’t think we’ve had anybody from the left side that’s as good as she was in the slap game. She made some really good pitchers look foolish.”
Dunbar played for the Bulls from 2007-08 and finished her career with a .388 batting average. The two-time All-Big East selection batted .395 and racked up 73 hits as a senior while helping USF capture the 2008 Big East regular season title.
“She could drive it, slap it and bunt it with great instincts,” Eriksen said. “She had one of the most accurate arms from the outfield that we’ve ever had, too. She loved to play the game.”
Liwag, now an assistant for Eriksen, was an all-conference selection from 2002-05 and posted a career .309 average as a switch hitter. She still holds USF records for career putouts (1,872), career RBIs (171), doubles in a season (20) and doubles in a career (57). Liwag also holds single-game records for putouts (20) and RBIs (6) and was a member of three NCAA tournament teams.
“She was one of the best pure hitters we’ve ever had,” Eriksen said. “Everybody took a look at the skinny, little kid batting third for us and was like, ‘Wow, how much power could she get?’ From her elbows to her fingertips, she was one of the strongest players that we’ve ever had.”
Saturday’s Hall of Fame ceremony will highlight Alumni Weekend and the three former standouts will be recognized in between games.