Sorry about the last few days. We didn't mean for the site to shut off like a faucet once men's basketball season ended. Here's what we've missed since then.
-- Softball is taking a serious run at men's soccer as the best sport on campus in 2011-12. This weekend they swept Rutgers in a three-game series and didn't allow a single run. The Bulls run-ruled the Scarlet Knights twice on Saturday (9-0 and 11-0), and won Sunday's game 1-0 after Kenshyra Jackson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Sophomore pitcher Sara Nevins, who is a boss, collected all three wins and lowered her ERA to a number that is barely visible to the naked eye. USF is now 29-5, their best start ever, and on their current 14-1 streak, they've allowed a grand total of seven runs. For most of the Bulls' opponents, it has to be demoralizing to give up even one run to this team, because the chances of getting it back are so small right now. A big test awaits in Gainesville on Wednesday, as the Bulls look to avenge a 3-2, eight-inning loss to the Gators way back on the opening weekend of the season.
-- Baseball also collected a three-game sweep, over Georgetown. Joe Lovecchio and Alex Reed followed up Andrew Barbosa's great outing on Friday with two more quality starts, and the Bulls outscored the Hoyas 19-2 in the series. I'm still with Mike Nascarella in wanting to see USF do this against better competition before I really buy into this being an improved team. Georgetown was voted last in the preseason coaches poll, and honestly the Bulls should bury that team.
-- Women's basketball season has come to an end after James Madison eliminated the Bulls in the WNIT round of 16. The team finished 19-16 overall. It was a nice comeback season for Jose Fernandez's group, and sets them up nicely for 2012-13. USF has only two senior contributors leaving (one was Jasmine Wynne, who had already been lost with a knee injury) and they get Inga Orekhova back for an entire season as well as Andrea Smith, who redshirted after offseason knee surgery. Plus, like the men, they will return to the Sun Dome, although... and I know we went berserk when we found out they were going to be stuck in the Upper Gym this season, they had a pretty nice home-court advantage in the smaller atmosphere.
-- These football notes are a little old or I'd have put them up at the top of the article, but Lindsey Lamar is back at running back. I don't think Lamar's position has ever been terribly important. He's mostly a kick returner and someone who USF wants out on the edges of the field. I'm more concerned that he's back to his old self, because last year he really lacked the game-breaking speed and burst that he had in 2010, on offense and on special teams.
-- The other piece of news is not good for those of us who are watching the punting battle. Chris Veron's foot is in a boot, as a result of screwing around in his dorm room, according to Skip Holtz. (Same link as the previous item.) I'm more concerned about this than most, I guess, because the only thing worse than one year of a punting horror show is another year of a punting horror show.
-- Here's something you've never seen in the Sun Dome before -- a center-hung scoreboard. The renovated building is about a month away from opening back up to host spring commencement, an occasion that will mark... goddammit... 10 freaking years since I graduated. Don't get older, you guys.
-- Finally, Collin passed this link along to us (which makes sense since it involves volleyball). The backstory of one of the students on the "USF Is Tampa Bay" billboards around town is really interesting.