The Weekend Wrap-Up 3/28-3/30 Edition: Courtney Williams Gets Bulls To WNIT Final Four

Photo by USF Athletics, GoUSFBulls.com

Everything you missed this weekend USF Athletics related including baseball playing Cincinnati, the football spring game, and the women's basketball team advancing to the Final Four of the WNIT for the second time in school history.

Baseball

Coming off a 9-0 loss to #30 FIU on Tuesday, the baseball team traveled to Cincinnati for a three game series this weekend. Things got started off with a 2-1 win for the Bulls on Friday. Jimmy Herget (4-3) had another lights-out performance for USF. He went eight innings, giving up only four hits and grabbing 11 strikeouts. Both runs for the Bulls came in the second inning. Nik Alfonso came up with two outs and the bases loaded and knocked a two-run single into centerfield. The hitting struggles continued for the Bulls in this game as they only managed to grab four.

The Bulls dropped the second game of the series- and first of the Sunday doubleheader- by a score of 3-2. USF got the first two runs of the game in the second inning in a similar fashion to Friday's game. Nik Alfonso once again came up with the bases loaded and once again came through in the clutch- this time with a two-run double to left-field. The Bulls again loaded the bases in the fifth, but were unable to capitalize. The Bearcats turned things around in the bottom of that inning, tying the game with an RBI single and an RBI groundout. In the bottom of the seventh (they only played seven innings per conference Sunday double-header rules), Justin Glass came up for the Bearcats with the bases loaded and two outs. Glass then drove in the game-winning run with a hit to the right side.

The second game of the Sunday doubleheader (and last of the series) was a win for the Bulls, 7-6. The Bearcats got the first run of the game in the bottom of the first, but then the Bulls got seven of the next eight to jump out to a 7-2 lead. USF survived a four run eighth from the Bearcats to preserve the victory. Austin Lueck got the scoring started for the Bulls in the third inning off a bases clearing (they were loaded) triple. He would finish the game batting 2-3 with four RBIs. Tommy Peterson earned his second win of the season after coming into the game in the fourth. He pitched four innings of shutout ball, picking up four strikeouts along the way and giving up only two hits. After this weekend USF's record improved to 17-10 on the year and 4-1 in the AAC. The Bulls will have a full schedule this week with five games, including a three game series against UCF at home this weekend.

Football

The annual spring game was this weekend for the football team and the stakes (or steaks- if you're into really corny jokes) couldn't be much higher- the winning team will be treated to a steak dinner later this spring. The Steven Bench led Team White (Mike White was on Team Green cause you know- it just makes sense) went home victorious by a score of 35-3. I'm not going to make any ridiculous predictions about the season based on an intra-squad scrimmage, but I will point out that Team White also won in 2007 and led USF to #2 in the polls later in the year after beating WVU...

Steven Bench (Team White) was the clear MVP of the game after going 19-24 for 317 yards and three touchdowns, but to be fair he did have the three best receivers on his team in Andre Davis, Chris Dunkley, and Deonte Welch. Davis and Dunkley combined for 11 catches, 232 yards, and two touchdowns (meanwhile the top two recievers on Team Green, Alex Mut and Rodney Adams, combined for 11 catches, 87 yards, and no touchdowns). Team White didn't have much of a running game, with the main back, Rodney Watson, getting only 15 yards off eight rushes (1.9 average). Team Green's offense was led by qb Mike White, who went 20-34 for 174 yards and no touchdowns. The running game for Team Green was better than White's, but still nothing to get too worked up about. Michael Pierre got 78 yards off 15 attempts for a 5.1 average.

On the defensive side of things, there was a total of 12 tackles for loss between the two teams and four sacks. On the turnover side of things, there was only one forced fumble and a grand total of zero interceptions. Auggie Sanchez led both units with seven solo tackles and Tyler Robb came in second with five.

After the game everyone seemed really excited that there might actually be a quarterback battle brewing. "It's been going back and forth this entire spring, one game just doesn't do it for us. We look at the overall work and both guys are doing a really good job this entire spring," Coach Willie Taggart said. "I said it earlier this spring I feel we have two quarterbacks that can really get it done for us. It's amazing what competition will do for you, but it's also amazing what experience will do."

The game was hosted on-campus at Corbett Stadium (where the soccer teams play) in hopes to create a better atmosphere. However, mother nature had other plans in mind and decided to send a monsoon through the area just before game-time. The game still started on time as the weather cleared up at about 3:45, but the rain most likely scared a good number of people away. This sums it up pretty well:

Men's Tennis

The #31 men's tennis team took pleasure in dominating C. Florida on Friday by a score of 10-0. It was senior day for the team and they were able to accomplish their goal of remaining undefeated on home court this year. The lone senior, Federico Sabogal, finished off the singles competition with a win for the Bulls over Reece Acree 7-5, 6-2. The Bulls now go on a four match road trip before moving on to the conference tournament.

Sailing

The women's sailing team competed in the Dellenbaugh Women's Trophy over the weekend up in Providence, RI. They finished 10th out of 18 teams. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology team took home the trophy, with Yale coming in second. The Bulls also competed in the SAISA SP-5 in Jacksonville over the weekend. They finished fourth out of eight teams, ahead of the University of Miami (fifth) and University of Florida (seventh). Eckerd College finished first.

Softball

The softball team was set to play Rutgers in a three-game series this weekend up in New Jersey, but all three games were canceled due to inclement weather. A makeup date has not been announced yet.

Track & Field

The men's team took home six championships at the UCF Invitational this weekend. The winners were: Michael Babinec (3,000m steeplechase), Alex Hoffman (800m), Chris Grinley (400m hurdles), Devin Screen (discuss and hammer throw), and Wyatt Metzger (pole vault).

The Bulls also participated in the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Matthew O'Neal beat his already school-best record in the triple jump by improving on it by 2 inches. His score of 53-feet-0 inches is the best in the NCAA so far this year. Shane Lewis also set the record for the school-second best triple jump. His score of 51-feet-6.25 inches is the third best in the NCAA so far this year.

Women's Basketball

The women's basketball team played an absolutely sensational game on Sunday, beating Mississippi State 60-58 to advance to the Final Four (!!!) of the WNIT. The last (and only) time the Bulls made it this far was in 2009 when they won it all. It was all thanks to Courtney (Coldblooded) Williams, who sank a buzzer-beating three to win the game. Just play this over and over in your cubicle to get through Monday:

Forget about quarterback battles, we got a best female student athlete battle!

Shalethia Stringfield also stepped up in a BIG WAY and #DidSomething. She got a career-high 20 points (previous high was 13), career-high five steals, and 5 assists. Inga Orekhova had 15 points and Alisia Jenkins got a nice 12 points and 8 rebounds. Akila McDonald had a disappointing game, getting zero points and three rebounds and played only 14 minutes.

The Bulls were out-reboubounded 47-36 and shot a disappointing 23% from three (meanwhile Mississippi State didn't make one all game). Another huge factor was foul trouble- Orekhova, Williams, and McDonald had four fouls down the stretch. The Bulls will now play the winner of tonight's Rutgers vs Bowling Green game. Date and location will be announced after the game also, with the Bulls having a chance to host.

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