Nearly every spring sport was in action from Friday to Sunday, playing some top notch competition with varying degrees of success.
Baseball Picks Up Opening Series Win Over Marist College
The weekend started tough for the Bulls, as they dropped the first game of the series against Marist College in extras, 6-4.
Senior RHP Collin Sullivan got the start on the bump for the first game of the season, but Marist was able to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning. The Bulls tied the game in the bottom of the ninth, adding two runs to make the game 4-4. In the top of the 12th inning however, Marist added two runs to give them the 6-4 victory.
Saturday faired much better for the Green and Gold, defeating Marist 3-2 with a walk-off victory in extra innings.
Freshman RHP Jack Jasiak got his first career start for USF and was solid for the Bulls striking out nine in seven innings of work. Utility freshman Carmine Lane came up clutch in the bottom of the 11th inning, hitting a single to right field to score Dylan Buck, tying the series between USF and Marist with the rubber match on Sunday.
The rubber match went to USF, with the Bulls defeating the Red Foxes more comfortably 4-2. Junior RHP Carson Ragsdale got the start for USF on Sunday and was dealing all afternoon, striking out 10 batters in six innings while only allowing one hit. USF was able to score all four runs on unearned plays, when Marist had a disastrous fifth inning resulting in four errors.
The Bulls will return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Coral Gables to take on the No. 3 Miami at 3 p.m.
Softball’s Tough Opening Schedule Yields Two Big Upsets
USF softball got their first taste of victory in the Jessica Moore era, grabbing two upsets against top 20 teams over the weekend during the St. Pete/Clearwater Invitational.
Friday night, the Bulls faced No. 9 Alabama (4-3) and were defeated quickly by the Crimson Tide. The game went to run-rule when Alabama was leading 9-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Junior Georgina Corrick fell to 0-3 and the Bulls fell to 0-6 to start the season for the first time in program history.
Alabama got on board first with a solo home run in the bottom of the first. USF answered in the top of the second when sophomore Dezarae Maldonado hit a home run of her own to tie it. The bats went silent for a few innings until the fourth inning, where Alabama tacked on five runs, and added three more in the 5th to close out the game.
Saturday saw the Bulls get their first win of the season, defeating No. 17 Texas Tech (7-2) with a final score of 3-0 to move USF to 1-6 on the year. Sophomore Camryn Dolby started in the circle for the Green and Gold and held the Red Raiders to a three-hit shutout. Senior Brooke Hartman hit a three-run home run in the fourth that proved to be the difference maker on the night.
The Bulls were right back to it on Sunday morning, getting another upset, this time over No. 15 Georgia (8-3) by a score of 2-0. It was the Georgina Corrick show, and the Bulldogs were lucky to be witnesses to it. Corrick pitched a complete game shutout, giving up three hits and striking out nine batters. The star junior also hit a two-run dinger in the top of the seventh to give USF the 2-0 final score.
Finally, on Sunday afternoon, the Bulls faced off against No. 2 and reigning National Champion UCLA (10-0), where the Bruins came away with a 15-2 victory. Dolby got the start, but gave up a grand slam in the first inning to give UCLA a lead they wouldn’t give up. Brooke Hartman hit an inside the park home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to bring the Bulls within four of UCLA. However, the Bruins added nine runs in the top of the 6th to put the game firmly out of reach.
Softball is now 2-7 on the year and will host the USF Invitational this week, starting on Friday against FIU, Saturday against Tennessee and FIU, and then on Sunday against Tennessee again.
Men’s and Women’s Basketball Struggle Against Tulsa and UConn, Respectively
We touched on the men’s basketball having a woeful first half against Tulsa, leading to their 56-48 defeat against the Golden Hurricane. Women’s basketball had an equally lacking second half against No. 5 UConn (21-3, 11-0 AAC), leading to a 67-47 final score.
The Bulls started out strong, leading the Huskies at halftime 29-25 by relying the three ball. UConn used a dominant defensive performance in the second half to hold the Bulls to just 18 points down the stretch, including only 6 points in the fourth quarter to pull away.
Elisa Pinzan led the Bulls with 15 points and collected five assists and seven rebounds to round out her performance. Bethy Mununga hit double-digit rebounds by collecting a game-high 10 rebounds and adding six points for her efforts. The Bulls as a unit out rebounded the Huskies 37-34, marking the 24th time this season that USF has out rebounded their opponent.
USF women’s basketball is now 15-10 on the season, and 7-4 in the AAC. They will look to get back into the win column when they travel to Oviedo to take on Central Florida on Wednesday.
Women’s Tennis Splits Weekend, Defeats FGCU but Loses to Alabama
USF women’s tennis utilized crucial tie breaker points against FGCU (2-4) to come away with a 5-2 victory over the Eagles on Saturday. The Bulls won the doubles point after Freshman Grace Eland and sophomore Laura Pellicer won 6-2 and Senior Janvhi Clark and junior Evelyne Tiron clinched it by wining 6-4.
Shortly thereafter, FGCU rallied past and took a 2-1 lead after Amelia Boy and Lucia Garrigues both dropped their singles set. Grace Eland tied it up after winning on court six, which was followed by victories by Evelyne Tiron, Laura Perello and finally Alexandria Mjos.
On Sunday, Alabama (9-1) got the upper hand against USF, winning in decisive fashion 7-0. The Crimson Tide quickly took the doubles point giving a 1-0 advantage going into singles. The Tide then won in straight sets over Laura Perello, Grace Eland, and Evelyne Tiron. Amelia Boy kept her match close, winning the first set, but dropped two straight to clinch the victory for Alabama.
The Bulls will travel to take on North Texas on February 27th, and then will face Memphis the next day in Denton, Texas to start conference play.
Men’s Golf Has Strong Outing in Their First Spring Match
Men’s golf used an even par final team round on Sunday to finish tied third at the Florida Gators Invitational in Gainesville. The field included programs like Florida, Vanderbilt, North Florida, West Virginia, and UCF.
The Gators won the Invitational, scoring -12 at their home course, followed by Vanderbilt at +6 and then USF with +12 tied with Penn State. Sophomore Luke Gifford lead the Bulls at +1 and finished T-10th in solo scoring. Freshman Runchanapong Youprayong finished T-18th with +3 to give USF two top 20 finishers.
Star sophomore Albin Bergstrom used a strong final round scoring -2 on Sunday to bring his total to +5 on the weekend, good for T-24th. Senior Kyle Flexsenhar score +7 and sophomore Massimo Mbetse finished +10 to round out the Bulls.
USF’s next outing will be at the Fort Lauderdale Intercollegiate from March 2nd to 3rd.
Women’s Sailing Cruises to First Place at the USF Women’s Intersectional
USF Women’s Sailing continues their dominance in the sport, getting a first place finish at the USF Women’s Intersectional Regatta this past weekend. Other schools included were Southern Cal, Hawaii, Miami, and Washington.
Next up, the Bulls will face off at the Eckerd Intersectional on February 29th to March 1st.