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May 19, 2013

Bulls Survive to Set Up Rematch

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The level of play shown by the Bulls Saturday was for the most part not the caliber that fans are used to seeing, but when their season came down to the line the Bulls played gritty, tough softball. The day started off very bad for USF (45-15), as they were easily defeated by Florida(54-7) in five innings 11-1.

Offense struggled again for the Bulls in a win-or-go-home game against Georgia Southern (33-30)where USF just escaped with the victory 2-1 in nine innings.

A wild pitch in the second inning allowed Kourtney Salvarola to come home and put the Bulls ahead 1-0. USF's offense continued to struggle to bring around runners in scoring position, at one point being 0-for-5 in the scenario.

For the most part that was manageable because the combination of Lindsey Richardson and Sara Nevins held the Eagles offense at bay as well. That was until the sixth inning when a leadoff triple by Alexa Lewis got some momentum going in Georgia Southern's direction.

With runners on the corners, Nevins allowed a single up the middle by Shelby Morrill to tie the game.

The Eagles threatened to end the Bulls' season in the eighth. With one out, Nevins walked two batters, and then hit the next batter. Eriksen brought in the senior Lindsey Richardson to try and rescue USF.

Facing the potential of pitching in her last game ever in a Bulls uniform, Richardson was electric. She struck out the first batter she faced, and then drew a groundout to avoid any more runs from scoring.

In the ninth Dani Wayt got just her seventh hit all year, and it was a big one. She went to second on a wild pitch, and then stole third. The throw to get her at third sailed into left field and allowed her to score.

Richardson (12-4) came out and recorded the last three outs to keep the season alive. She pitched a total of five innings (starting and re-entering), not allowing any runs on two hits. She struck out eight.

The win sets up the climax to the weekend-a rematch with the Florida Gators, who dominated the Bulls in every way today.

USF gave Nevins the 1-0 lead in the first, but Lauren Haeger hit a three-run shot to give the Gators the lead, and they never looked back.

Nevins record moved to 26-8 after that game.

The tough task for USF will start tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. If the Bulls do win they will have to play another game against Florida right afterwards (because of double-elimination).



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