(NOTE FROM JAMIE: Each week, we're going to do a baseball recap post and a softball recap post. As a child of the 80s, I am ompelled to name these posts This Week in Softball and This Week in Baseball and play certain cuts of music at the start and end of each post. Please press play and keep reading.)
USF wasted no time returning to their 2012 Women's College World Series form. In their first game of the season against Marshall, Lindsey Richardson threw a no-hitter and the offense run ruled the Thundering Herd 8-0 in five innings. Richardson walked just one batter and struck out nine, including the first five batters of the game. Kourtney Salvarola went 2-for-2 with a walk, scored twice, and drove in two. Ashli Goff and D'Anna Device each scored two runs, and Kenshyra Jackson had three runs batted in as the Bulls made Friday's game a short one.
The Bulls played twice on Saturday, and in the tournament's marquee matchup, USF rallied past the 13th-ranked Michigan Wolverines 3-2. Michigan struck first with a two-run home run in the top of the first off of Sara Nevins, but Nevins went into boss mode after that and shut down the Michigan offense. That homer was the only hit Nevins allowed in 6.2 innings of work, and she added nine strikeouts with only two walks. Stephanie Medina and Lee Ann Spivey drove in runs, and Nicolette Levine's go-ahead RBI helped USF beat their first ranked opponent of the season.
In the second game of the day, USF shut out Samford 3-0. Freshman Erica Nunn got the start, allowing just two hits in four innings while striking out seven. Sam Greiner added two innings of one-hit relief, and Richardson worked a quiet 7th inning. On offense, Salvarola hit the Bulls' first homer of the season and scored twice, while Medina and Spivey drove in the other runs.
On Sunday, though, USF's bid for a perfect weekend came up short as their offense couldn't get anything going and lost to Florida Atlantic 2-1. (Not a good loss -- the Owls aren't very good and the Bulls can't afford too many losses like these if they want to be able to host NCAA Tournament games later.) Lindsey Richardson worked the entire game, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out eight. Kourtney Salvarola and Ashli Goff both got two hits, and Spivey drove in USF's only run with a double in the bottom of the 7th. But the Bulls' rally didn't quite make it.
This coming weekend, the 3-1 Bulls will host the USF 4 Team Tournament, starting on Friday when they play NC State at 4:15pm and then Coastal Carolina at 6:30pm.
(See ya next week, y'all, on This Week in Softball!)