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May 10, 2013

Women's Softball downs Friars 3-0

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The USF Bulls (41-14, 18-3) advanced to the next round of the Big East tournament after defeating the No. 7 seeded Providence Friars (23-28-1, 9-14) on Thursday evening by a score of 3-0.

A pitchers' duel for six innings, the game saw an inspiring performance from Big East Pitcher of the Year Sara Nevins.

The junior star insisted on getting the start just two days after her father, Joe Nevins, suffered a heart attack. This morning he had bypass surgery. Nevins said her father told her to make sure she pitched well, and to do it for him. She stepped up to the task.

Nevins (23-7) threw six innings of scoreless softball. She held the Friars to just three hits, while striking out nine and walking two.

"For Sara Nevins to come out on a long day like that, and tell me that she wanted the ball tonight, and that she was ok-I was a little hesitant, but I've got to give a lot of credit to her," said Bulls head coach Ken Eriksen, "she was phenomenal."

The lefty held Providence at bay until the bottom of the sixth when the USF offense was finally able to get a rally started off of Friars pitcher Corinne Clauss. The Bulls faced her and did well off of her twice during the regular season, but Clauss stymied USF often tonight with her change of speed pitches.

With one out D'Anna Devine doubled down the third base line. Stephanie Medina followed with a single on which Devine was unable to score on.

Kenshyra Jackson reached base on a fielder's choice in which everyone was safe to load the bases.

Freshman Lee Ann Spivey came to bat in a pressure situation, and as she had many times throughout the season, Spivey came through for the Bulls.

"She's hitting fifth, and that's that RBI spot. She's done it all year for us," said Eriksen of Spivey, "she's like Nevins. Just no emotion, give me the bat, give me the ball, and those are the kind of kids you want."

Spivey said that she loved being in a pressure position.

"All I was thinking was I did not want the season to end," she said, "I had already told Kenshyra to get on base. I was going to do whatever it takes to hit the ball, and I was going to try to put it in play. Hopefully things would fall into place, and they did."

The hit by Spivey scored two runs to break the stalemate.

Dani Wayt got the final RBI on a sacrifice bunt that scored Jackson from third. Wayt would end up being safe at second because of a fielder's choice, and the inattentiveness of the Friars.

Eriksen looked to his senior leader Lindsey Richardson to come in in the seventh and seal the win. She allowed one hit, and struck out one while recording her sixth save of the season.

The Bulls will play again tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. They will face a tough opponent in the No. 3 seeded (and No. 11/12 ranked in the nation) Louisville Cardinals (46-10). It will be the first time that the teams will meet this season.



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