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USF Athletics Weekend Round Up: Middle of March Edition

A busy St Patrick’s day weekend for USF, with sweeps, upsets, and postseason news for basketball.

Anthony Vito / The Daily Stampede

With both men’s and women’s basketball regular season and conference tournaments coming to an end, we can now shift our focus to the #SpringOfRings teams, who happened to have a very busy St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

Here’s what you missed.

Baseball (11-7, 0-0 AAC)

Baseball got the sweep against the Dartmouth College Big Green (4-8, 0-0 Ivy League), but not without a share of highlights and lowlights. It started Friday night with an explosive six-run eighth inning to defeat Dartmouth 7-3, behind timely hitting by junior Jordan Santos, senior Joe Genord, and junior Austin Bodrato to erase a 3-1 deficit. Junior RHP Collin Sullivan started the night on the mound, going 6.1 innings and giving up one run, before being relieved by junior LHP Logan Lyle. Lyle pitched two and gave up one run in two innings, then redshirt junior LHP Connor Eason came in, only to walk the first batter and being pulled for junior Nelson Alvarez, who came in the bottom of the 9th to get the save.

Saturday fared much better for the Bulls, as they won easily 16-1, capped by an eight-run seventh inning to get everyone accounted for on the stat sheet. Senior RHP Alec Wisley got the start and was efficient through six innings, giving up three hits and no walks. Offensively, 10 different bulls collected hits, with Bodrato and Santos both hitting two-run home runs.

On St. Patrick’s Day, the Bulls yet again used a big late inning to lift themselves to victory, winning 4-1 and registering their second sweep on the year. Junior RHP Ben Koff struggled to start the game, giving up four hits and one run in the first inning, but got things under control as the game progressed. Junior LHP Noah Yager earned himself the win, after throwing six strikeouts in the final five innings. The duo of Koff and Yager did not surrender a walk, which is the third time this year that the Bulls did not issue a free pass. Santos and Bodrato were once again heroes, collecting two-run RBI singles apiece to spark the offense.

USF will travel to DUUUUUUUVAL to take on University of North Florida on Tuesday, before starting conference play Friday versus Cincinnati at the USF Baseball Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.

Softball (22-12, 0-0 AAC)

Ken Eriksen and his team rounded out non-conference play with the USF-Michele Smith Pediatric Cancer Spring Invitation, hosting #21 Minnesota, Butler, and Florida A&M.

USF started their Friday afternoon doubleheader with a 3-0 loss to #21 Minnesota, where USF was held to just two hits during the game, a single by redshirt sophomore Bethany Keen, and a single by junior AnaMarie Bruni. Senior Nicole Doyle (6-8, 2.67 ERA) got the start in the circle, throwing 6.2 innings, two earned runs and no walks.

USF turned it around in game two against Butler, winning 4-1, despite a late rally by the Bulldogs in the seventh. Senior Macy Cook got the scoring started for the Bulls in the third inning when she recorded a two-run RBI single to left field, which scored senior Lindsey Devitt and junior AnaMarie Bruni. USF added two more runs with an Bruni RBI-single, and a Megan Pierro RBI-single in the sixth inning. Senior Cheyenne Eggens started the game, and pitched 5.1 innings with three strikeouts before Nicole Doyle came to record the final five outs for the save.

USF took Saturday off, before returning to face Florida A&M and Minnesota again on Sunday. The Rattlers struck first, scoring three runs in the first inning, but USF responded in the bottom of the inning with two runs of their own with RBI singles by Macy Cook and Megan Pierro. Junior AnaMarie Bruni’s single in the first inning extended her hit streak to 14 games. USF tied it up in the bottom of the fourth inning when Pierro scored on an error by the FAMU shortstop. The Bulls took the lead in the bottom of the sixth on a Macy Cook home run to left. Pierro scored on a fielder’s choice shortly thereafter and Bruni came up big again with a two-run RBI triple to give the Bulls a 7-3 win.

The Bulls looked to get redemption against #21 Minnesota, but fell 3-0 again to end non-conference play. Cheyenne Eggens started and pitched a complete game for USF, and was able to keep the Golden Gophers mostly in check until the top of the third inning. A single and an error put runners on first and second. With two outs, Minnesota hit a double to right center to score two, but the batter was thrown out while trying to advance to third. In the sixth inning, a home run to right added to Minnesota’s lead. Bruni was able to extend her hit streak to 15 games entering conference play.

USF will get the week to recharge before Tulsa comes to Tampa to begin conference play Friday evening at 4:30 PM, the first of a three game series.

Men’s Tennis (10-5)

The USF Men’s tennis team snapped South Alabama’s ten match win streak Friday, winning 4-3. USF lost the doubles point falling 6-4 on court one and 6-2 on court two. No. 29 Senior Alberto Barroso-Campos got USF going on court one, winning 7-6, 6-2, followed by freshmen Chase Ferguson on court two, winning 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.

Junior Pierre Luquet and freshmen Sergio Gomez Montesa lost on courts three and five respectively, before freshman Ivan Yatsuk tied the match on court six 4-6, 7-6, 6-3.

Junior Jakub Wojcik came up clutch on court four, coming back from a 4-6 deficit to start his match to win the next two sets 6-4, 7-6 to seal the victory for USF.

USF returns home to battle Georgia State Monday, March 18th at 1:30 p.m. and Tulsa on Wednesday, March 20th at 1 p.m.

Women’s Tennis (8-7, 3-0 AAC)

USF stays undefeated in conference play after defeating Wichita State 4-1 on Friday afternoon. USF won the doubles point after victories on courts one and three 6-2, 7-6 respectively.

Senior Vanja Klaric won easily on court one (6-2, 6-1), and freshmen Laura Pellicer Perello won shortly after 6-3, 6-2.

Freshmen Amelia Boy fell in her match on court three to bring the score to 3-1 in favor of USF, but senior Nicole Dzenga sealed the victory winning on court five, winning 7-6, 6-3.

No. 43 senior Ana Roman Dominguez and sophomore Alexandria Mjos both left their matches unfinished.

USF will host Tulsa on Wednesday at noon at the USF Varsity Tennis Courts.

Notables:

  • No. 20 USF Men’s Golf team started their first round at the Valspar Collegiate Invitational, ending the day at 13-over and in 15th place. No. 42 freshmen sensation Albin Bergstrom leads USF at 1-under and is tied 17th. That middle school in Lubbock leads the way at 4-under overall. They will play 36 holes today due to impending bad weather on Tuesday.
  • USF Women’s golf posted a top ten finish at the Valspar Augusta Invitational shooting +28 tied 8th. Seniors Jacqueline Twitty and Natalia Villavicencio finished in the top 25, going 3-over and 5-over, respectively. Once again, the middle school in Lubbock lead the pack at -4 to win the Valspar Augusta Invitational.
  • No. 19 Women’s Sailing was scheduled to meet at the St. Mary’s regatta over the weekend, 10th out of 18. The field (or waters in this case) was rigorous, with 12 of the 18 schools being ranked. USF finished ahead of U.S. Naval Academy in sailing again.
  • USF Men’s basketball found out Sunday evening they received an invitation to play the College Basketball Invitational, where they will host Stony Brook at 7 p.m. on Wednesday March 20th. This marks the first postseason tournament for USF since the 2012 season.
  • USF Women’s basketball will find out their fate on selection Monday, where most expect USF to accept an NIT bid after an injury-riddled season left them at 18-15 and 7-9 in conference play.