Softball selected to Gainesville regional after going 1-1 in AAC Tournament in Tulsa
Despite losing to C. in the semifinals of the AAC single-elimination Tournament, the Bulls were granted an NCAA bid as the four-seed in the Gainesville Regional alongside Florida, Baylor, and South Alabama. This is the program’s 16th overall NCAA Tournament appearance and seventh in the last decade. The double-elimination regional will be played this weekend and the Bulls will open vs. the Gators whom they are 0-4 against on the year.
USF ended the season 29-17 (16-7) and were one of three American Athletic Conference programs to be selected for a Regional. The Bulls did take three of four at Wichita St. earlier in the season—who were selected as a two-seed in the Norman Regional.
Softball joins women’s basketball, women’s soccer, men’s tennis, and men’s golf as the programs that were selected for the NCAA Tournament this season.
The Bulls beat Memphis in the opening round of the AAC Tournament on Thursday as they run-ruled the Tigers 10-2 in six innings. Memphis opened up the scoring in the fourth to take a 1-0 lead against junior pitcher Georgina Corrick, but the Bulls struck back with two unearned runs of their own in the bottom-half. That opened up the flood-gates as USF scored five in the fifth and three in the sixth to give Corrick her 22nd win while striking out 11 batters.
USF then played the G. Knights in the semifinals of the single-elimination tournament and lost 3-2. This was their fourth loss to C. in a week. Two unearned runs in the top of the first put USF in 2-0 deficit early, but a solo HR in the second (Brooke Hartman) and an RBI-double by Kyndall Williams in the third tied the game at two. A homer by C. in the fourth was the game-winner. Corrick struck out seven leading to her first 300 strikeout season of her career.
Baseball splits series with third place Wichita St.
The bats were alive in the opening tilt at Wichita St. as three homers and stellar pitching propelled USF to an 8-2 victory. Dylan Burns was awarded the victory striking out ten batters in six innings and giving up only one run. Roberto Pena had himself a day going 4-4 with three runs and three-run moonshot in in the third. Daniel Cantu (two-run) and Riley Hogan (solo) also hit homeruns in the game. The Bulls offense chased WSU’s ace Jace Kaminska after only four innings handing him his only loss of the season.
In game 2 of the doubleheader, the Bulls and Shockers were in a pitcher’s duel until WSU scored the first game in the fifth on an RBI single. USF immediately answered with a bases-loaded walk and fielder’s choice of their own to go up 2-1. The Shockers answered with back-to-back RBI triples to put up a three-spot in the sixth and broke the game open with five runs in the seventh to even up the series with a 9-3 victory.
USF took game 3, 7-1 behind stellar pitching by freshman starter Jack Jasiak and reliever Logan Lyle. The pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts and one run on six hits. The Bulls scored in four different frames slugging four homeruns in the game with Carmine Lane launching two on the afternoon. Lane also walked in a run in seventh. Jake Sullivan and Roberto Pena also went yard for the Bulls.
Wichita State ended the season with a victory scoring three runs in the seventh and eighth to clinch the split. The Bulls started off strong with back-to-back jacks by Lane and Hogan to take an early 2-0 lead and extended it to 4-1 on a Nick Gonzalez two-run shot, but couldn’t hold on for the win due to three errors on the afternoon. The final three runs by the Shockers were scored on a wild pitch and two unearned runs.
USF (22-24, 12-12) will welcome no. 10 ECU (36-11, 18-6) to Tampa for a four-game series this weekend to wrap-up the regular season.
Track and Field claims three Conference Champions in AAC Championships in Tampa
Coach Erik Jenkins is building a program in just his second year at the helm with USF claiming their first women’s outdoor track title in a competition since 2013. Junior Jae’Nisa Heckstall—who has rewritten the USF record book multiple times this season—won the conference title in the 400-meter hurdles and received gold again in the 4x400 meter relay alongside Gabrielle DesRosiers, Shaniya Benjamin, and Patricija Roshofa.
Heckstall and Shaneylix Davila were one and two in the 400-meter hurdles prelim with Heckstall claiming an AAC record of 56.94—nearly a full second ahead of second place in the final. That time is a USF record and no. 9 in the entire nation. Davila finished third with a time of 58.55.
The 4x400 meter relay has had an impressive run this season with multiple line-ups breaking program records and being rewarded with claiming the AAC Championship for the competition.
The team placed a time of 3:35.03, less than a second faster than second-place Houston (who is really good at running sports if you haven’t noticed.) This is the program’s first title in the event since 2003 and fourth overall.
Freshman Shaniya Benjamin also added to the total on Saturday in the Women’s Long Jump with a top mark of 6.50m, .15m ahead of second place Samiyah Samuels of Houston. Samuels holds the AAC record of 6.58m placed in 2017.
The Women’s team finished in sixth place (out of 11), which is their highest place since finishing third in the Big East Championships in 2013. The Men’s team also finished in sixth (out of seven) which is their best conference placing since 2016.
Men’s Golf tees off in NCAA Tournament’s Noblesville Regional
Men’s Golf tees off in their eighth straight NCAA Tournament appearance in Noblesville, IN on Monday with the final round taking place on Wednesday. The top five programs will advance to the NCAA Championships in Arizona.