We've hit May, which means we're reaching the end of USF sports in our weekend updates, which is sad. But the Bulls going to have more than a couple exciting finishes to the spring season. On with the news!
Baseball: The Bulls visited UCF this weekend and only won one out of three games to fall out of first place in the AAC, but it wasn't a terrible series on the whole-- UCF, despite their conference record, is a pretty good team, and the Bulls will have a chance for revenge when they host the Knights in both team's regular season finale in a couple weeks.
You would've liked for the Bulls to find a way to take the series and stay tied for first place, but given the circumstances-- a 3-0 shutout loss when Jimmy Herget took the mound on Friday and a 2-1 heartbreaker in the second game-- a 9-3 win on Sunday (in which Kyle Teaf had a monster day, going 5-for-6 with two runs and two RBIs) was vitally important, as a sweep could've buried them in the AAC. It's pretty tough for the Bulls to win both the Saturday and Sunday games of a series against top competition, so Herget's outings on Fridays are becoming more and more important.
Can't get much closer than that. USF has a monster chance for a RPI boost tomorrow against Florida (9th in RPI), though a midweek road win over a top-ten opponent might be a bit much to ask. At any rate, the Bulls are still in the mix for an at-large NCAA bid and a regular season AAC crown, and their last two weekend series-- at Tulane and vs. UCF-- will be critical. If the Bulls can win both, that'd be gigantic. D1 Baseball's bracketology had the Bulls in the field last week; keep an eye out for this week's projection.
Softball: The softball team also visited UCF, and while losing two of three against UCF is never any fun, it was a good showing for the Bulls in their regular season finale. After a tough 2-1 loss in the series opener on Saturday, USF rebounded with their best performance of the season in the nightcap, a 3-2 win over the #15 Knights that marked their first win over a ranked opponent on the season. Monica Santos was the hero of the day, with an RBI double in the top of the seventh that knocked in the winning run. The series ended with a thud in a 6-1 loss on Sunday, but you can't sneeze at that result.
The Bulls end the regular season at 35-19 with a fairly disappointing 6-10 record in the American, and will need a near-miracle in the AAC tourney to grab an NCAA bid. It's not impossible, though! The Bulls have the fifth seed, and draw East Carolina in the first round. The Pirates took two of three from the Bulls in April, but they're not world-beaters. UCF awaits the winner of that matchup, and well, the Bulls know that they can play with the Knights. So yes, it's unlikely, but give the softball team your full support in the AAC tourney-- they've certainly earned it-- and hope for a few fun games. We'll keep you posted on the results here.
JUST DANCE: The men's tennis and men's golf teams will be competing for national championships over the next couple weekends, so here are a few handy brackets to keep you up-to-date. Tennis will be playing in an old fashioned, 64-team tourney in Blacksburg. Here's their regional:
May 8, 11 a.m.
#18 USF vs. #63 Boise State
May 8, 2 p.m.
#15 Virginia Tech vs. East Tennessee State
Winners play May 9, 1 p.m.
This is a pretty great draw for the Bulls, all things considered. They swept Boise State 4-0 back in February, and Virginia Tech is far from untouchable. USF made it to the Round of 32 in last year's tourney; let's hope they can spring an upset on the Hokies this year and make it a step farther.
Golf works differently-- the Bulls will play in a fourteen team-regional in New Haven on May 14. If they can finish in the top five at that regional (a reasonable expectation, as they're seeded third out of the bunch), they'll get to advance to the championship in Bradenton (!!!). Here's the regional lineup:
#20 Oklahoma State
#31 San Diego State
College of Charleston
So we could reasonably have three USF teams competing for national championships this month. Hold onto your butts.