TAMPA - Katie Alexander welcomed USF freshman Brittany Hook to college softball when she deposited a grand slam home run over the left field wall to give Michigan a nine-run advantage on Saturday afternoon.
The senior catcher placed an exclamation point on a fantastic offensive showing from the #19 Wolverines. USF, on the other hand, came out with a whimper for the third consecutive game.
Saturday afternoon’s bout was the first of a double-header for the Bulls, and easily a forgettable one.
Nicole Doyle came out strong in the first two innings, before Michigan tagged her for a pair of runs in the third. Haley Hoogenraad delivered with an RBI double, followed up by an RBI single from Lexie Blair, allowing the Wolverines to grab a 2-0 lead.
USF fired back in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run to right field by Bethany Keen, her second on the young season.
From there, Michigan’s bats warmed up as the weather cooled down.
Cheyenne Eggens loaded the bases in the sixth, walking in Morgan Overaitis and Alex Sobczak. Morgan Uden slid home for the third run in the inning on a late throw.
Hook entered for Eggins with one out in the sixth, but by then, the damage was done. Gianna Carosone knocked a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Overaitis.
The Bulls got Anamarie Bruni to third in the bottom half, but stranded her when Macy Cook popped up to the second baseman, ending the frame.
Alexander’s slam in Michigan’s half of the seventh finished the Bulls off.
With the loss, USF falls to 1-2 on the early season, dropping two consecutive games to ranked opponents in the USF Softball Invitational.
It was the third consecutive game where the Bulls couldn’t muster up more than two runs. They scored two on opening night against Illinois State on Thursday and just one against #6 Arizona on Friday.
Doyle suffered her second loss of the season after pitching 4.2 innings. She gave up three hits and struck out one. Keen finished 2-for-2 on the afternoon, including the home run. Bruni registered the other hit for the Bulls.
Former MaxPreps All-American Alex Storako pitched six strong innings for the Wolverines, allowing three hits and striking out five.
Michigan snapped a two game losing streak after being shut out by #5 Florida, 6-0, on Saturday morning.
Next, USF will face NC State in the second half of their double-header at the USF Softball Complex at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday night.