Bulls Fall On Senior Day, Softball Stadium Not Forgotten
"You can't ask enough about a team who beat a team who is nationally ranked and if you ask our team, they believe they could have swept this weekend," said head coach Ken Eriksen. "The inclination is there and we just have to continue going and get better."
Louisville took a four-run lead in the second inning on four hits and one USF error. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Katelyn Mann singled to right field driving in the Cardinals first run. After the error and a Louisville RBI single by their RBI leader Melissa Roth, the Cardinals extended their lead 3-0. A wild pitch tacked on another for the fourth run of the inning.
Sophomore Janine Richardson reached base for the Bulls, their first base runner after getting hit by a pitch. Freshman Stormi Grzybek followed with a walk but the Bulls were unable to score a run to cut the lead.
In the fourth, Louisville added another run with a bases loaded single by Jennifer Esteban giving the Cardinals the 5-0 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, senior JoJo Medina broke up the no-hitter as she led off with a single to left center. Senior Alison Savarese followed with a single to the shortstop for the Bulls' second hit. USF didn't muscle a run as the Cardinals took the final game of the series.
"It feels really good," said Medina. "I don't think if I would have ever forgotten being no-hit on senior day. I wish we would have come out with a win but we just need to come out and work hard this week and get us three wins next weekend."
"The last inning was a pride inning for us," said Eriksen. "With the kid no-hitting us and JoJo steps up and breaks it up with a tremendous at-bat and Ali getting a base hit, and things were running in mind like we are going to knock in six on senior and it's going to be a senior to hit in the winning run and we have had that kind of magic on this field for a long time, but this year it wasn't meant to be in that kind of situation."
Louisvilles' Tori Collins (15-4) earned her second win against the Bulls as she threw a complete game, only giving up two hits. She struck out six, walking one.
Redshirt sophomore Capri Catalano (2-5) suffered the loss only lasting 1.2 innings. She gave up four runs, one earned on four hits, striking out one and not allowing a walk.
There have been 765 games played at the USF Softball Stadium since 1985 and 175 players have stepped foot on the field. The new five-million dollar stadium is set to begin construction next month.
"There are a lot of memories here, a lot of championship banners that are going to be transferred over to the new stadium," said Eriksen. "You just got to find the right and best way for this program to get better and it is a new facility is the next step."
The Bulls conclude the regular season with a three-game set against Georgetown next Saturday and Sunday in Washington D.C. The Bulls take on the Hoyas in a doubleheader at noon before closing out the series with a single game on Sunday, with an 11 a.m. start time.
"The positive part about this weekend is we are living five more days," said Eriksen. "We are still alive and that is all we can ask for. Let's move on and look for the next "W" next weekend."