TAMPA – The No. 22/25 Bulls’ impressive 2013 season came to an end Sunday with a 2-0 loss to No. 2 Florida in the championship round of the Gainesville Regional.
Florida (55-7) advanced to Super Regionals after managing just one hit against USF pitching all game. The Gators put together a two-run fourth inning without getting a hit before Kelsey Stewart singled in the seventh inning against Sara Nevins.
"I'm very proud of the way the young women at the University of South Florida bounced back after a devastating game yesterday against the University of Florida, an 11-1 game," head coach Ken Eriksen said. "Sometimes it is not working, but if you can put things behind you it says a lot about your program and a lot about the people you recruited. I am so proud of the way our team battled today in the heat and the hostile environment.
Nevins (26-9) struck out six but also walked six and hit two batters in 6 1/3 innings. Senior Lindsey Richardson capped off her stellar USF career by striking out one of the two batters she faced.
Nevins and Richardson finished as USF's only pitching pair to collect more than 200 strikeouts each in the same season.
"These two young ladies have made my life very easy over the last three years," Eriksen said. "There are not many pitchers who come through a program and in one year, both of them exceed 200 strikeouts with earned run averages below 1.20.
"Needless to say, they have probably saved me a bunch of grey hairs over the years," Eriksen added.
The Bulls had runners in scoring position in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings but couldn’t find a way to score against UF ace Hannah Rogers (31-5). The junior right-hander scattered three hits, struck out five and didn’t surrender a walk in her complete-game performance.
The Bulls (45-16) were looking to make their second straight trip to Super Regionals after defeating UF in the Gainesville Regional championship last season. The Bulls booked a return trip to Gainesville after winning the program’s first Big East tournament title in Tampa last weekend.