Time to take a look at the weekend that was in USF athletics, and there is certainly a ton to discuss. Baseball in the War on I-4, softball trying to stay atop the conference standings, men’s tennis and men’s golf playing for AAC titles, and more! Let’s check how it all went down.
Baseball (26-14, 9-6)
The Bulls struck out 40 Knights batters and scraped across just enough at the plate over the weekend to take two of three in the only War on I-4 series of the season against C.
Friday night, USF mustered just one hit despite an absolute gem from lefty ace Shane McClanahan in a 1-0 loss. Bulls pitching allowed just two hits of their own, with C. scoring the only run of the game in the first inning.
Behind a two-run seventh inning homer from junior David Villar, the Bulls bounced back on Saturday night hanging on for a 5-4 win. Lefty closer Andrew Perez entered the game in the eighth and picked up the four-out save to force a rubber match.
Sunday, another homer from Villar and a two-run blast from Duke Stunkel Jr. in the third inning lifted the Bulls to a 4-2 win and series victory. Sophomore starter Collin Sullivan, and relievers Noah Yager and Alec Wisely silenced the Knights bats while the Bulls recorded double-digit hits for the 22nd time this season.
(NOTE: no national championships were claimed in the winning of this series)
Next up for USF, a midweek tilt on Tuesday against Bethune-Cookman before the final home series of the year versus Memphis arrives this weekend.
Softball (32-18, 10-5)
The Bulls finished up an extended road trip with their first conference series loss of the season over the weekend at East Carolina.
A five-run rally in the seventh inning on Friday night lifted USF to a 7-3 win in the opener, but the Bulls dropped a pair of tight 3-2 games on Saturday and Sunday to fall in the series.
Freshman pitcher Georgina Corrick, who tossed 5.1 solid innings on Sunday but was hurt by four Bulls fielding errors, was selected as a top-25 candidate for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year award over the weekend.
USF will finish up the regular season at home with a pair of weekend series, first hosting C. this weekend and then Wichita State May 4-6.
The Bulls four-year reign as champions of the American Athletic Conference came to an end in Sunday’s thrilling title match in Dallas.
Our own Nick Simon wrote an entire piece about how that went down and I’ll let him take him over from here.
Carding an even-par 284, USF built a five-shot lead in the first round of the American Athletic Conference championship on Sunday afternoon but my goodness, have they taken off since then.
Correa has a three-shot lead at 5-under. As a team, we're 7-under today and have a 21-shot lead in the second round. pic.twitter.com/4DLsRqlRRr— USF Men's Golf (@USFMGolf) April 23, 2018
The Bulls have built up a giant 21-shot lead in their quest for a fourth consecutive league title at Innisbrook in Palm Harbor. The tournament continues through Tuesday and live scoring updates can be found here.
USF has four tournament title victories this season and needs one more to match the program record of five set in 2014-15.
- With a 4-2 loss to SMU in Dallas, the USF women’s tennis season came to an end in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament last Thursday.
- Junior Natalia Villavicencio placed 19th and the USF women’s golf team finished ninth overall in the final round of the conference tournament at Hammock Beach Resort’s Conservatory Course.
- USF track and field won five events and posted eight other top-three finishes in Houston at the J. Fred Duckett Twilight Meet on Saturday.