The baseball team headed to Houston to take on the #12 Cougars this weekend. The series was hard fought, but the Bulls ending up losing two of the three games. The one win, however, was the first win for USF over a ranked opponent since last year (when they beat Pittsburgh on April 7th) and the highest ranked team they have beaten since 2012 (when they beat #2 Florida).
The first game was a heartbreaking loss for the Bulls. USF Head Coach Lelo Prado was not happy with the umpires and even went so far as to blame USF losing the game on them. "An umpire decided the outcome of the game which should not happen in college baseball," said Prado. "I feel bad for my kids because they out-played them and should have left here with a win tonight." The call he was upset about was when Herget got squeezed on what everyone (home and road) thought was strike three. Borders, Herget, and Lelo all pretty much freaked. Of course that turned into a hit, and probably cost USF the game. It was a rough night for the road team with the umps overall, but that call in particular was apparently pretty brutal. The Bulls ended up losing 3-2, read more on game one here.
The second game was a victory for USF, 4-3. Casey Mulholland didn't have his best stuff, but did just enough to earn his fourth win of the year to improve to 4-0. He lasted only just 5.1 innings and gave up two runs off six hits and struck out two. Lawrence Pardo showcased his pitching talents in relief of Mulholland after starting the game at first base. Pardo came on with two runners in scoring position and just one out in the sixth inning and proceeded to strike out the next two batters to get out of the jam. He went on to finish out the rest of the game on the mound and earned his second save of the season. The Bulls got out to a very hot start and scored all four of their runs in the first inning. Back to back singles by Kyle Teaf and Lawrence Pardo and a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position with just one out for Luke Maglich. Maglich grounded out to the shortstop, but it was good enough to bring in one of the runs. Buddy Putnam then beat out an infield single to bring in the second run. Luke Borders walked, then his brother, Levi, drove him and Putnam in with an RBI double to finish off the scoring. Read more on the second game here.
The Bulls ended up dropping the third and final game of the series, 5-3. USF took a 3-2 lead into the eighth, but lost another game late. Tommy Peterson started the game for the Bulls and lasted seven innings, giving up three runs off six hits and striking out four. Much like Saturday, all the runs for the Bulls came in one single inning. After loading the bases with just one out, USF got a run off a single to center, then the next two off a double by Austin Lueck. Houston scored three runs in the eighth to take back the lead and ultimately win the game. Things got started when a double turned into a triple for Houston thanks to a fielding error by USF. The runner then scored on a groundout. The Cougars then loaded the bases thanks to an intentional walk and a throwing error. Back to back walks after that forced in the final two runs. "We played hard all weekend," said head coach Lelo Prado. "We could have won all three games this weekend. We are very close to being a good baseball team."
Next up for the Bulls is a home game against FGCU on Tuesday at 6:30 PM, then they host a weekend series against Memphis starting on Friday at 7 PM.
Men's & Women's Tennis
Both tennis teams won conference titles this weekend and you know what that means...WE'RE GOING DANCING!!
The men's team headed up to Memphis for the Conference tournament. The Bulls dominated UConn in the first match to book their ticket to the championship game, with a 4-0 victory. USF did not drop a single set to the Huskies. Next up the Bulls faced Memphis in the championship match. The Bulls dropped the doubles, but rallied back to win the first three singles matches and four of six total to win the title. "I am super proud of the guys for their effort today," said USF Head Coach Matt Hill. "This team is so young but they want to work and get better every day."
The women's tennis team hosted the American Athletic Conference Championships this weekend and won it all, their first conference championship since 2007. On Friday the Bulls dominated SMU 4-0 in the quarterfinals. They didn't drop a single set in that match and moved on to play Memphis in the semi-finals on Saturday. USF walked away with the 4-2 victory in that one to move onto the final on Sunday. In the Memphis match, the Bulls won the doubles point and three of the singles matches to seal the victory over the higher-rated Memphis Tigers. The championship match saw the Bulls face off against the top-seeded Houston Cougars. The Bulls dropped the doubles point, but rallied back to win four of the six singles matches to secure the victory. "We’ve been very close so many times when we were in the Big East. In 2007 we won it and we came close so many times after, so this is very special," said USF Head Coach Agustin Moreno. "We lost the doubles point, but we came back. The thing that is most impressive is we have a bunch of fighters on our team."
Watch the highlight video here:
Both the men's and women's teams will now head to the NCAA Championships, which is the first trip since 2011 for the women. They'll start on May 15th in Athens, GA.
The women's sailing team headed up to North Carolina to compete in the SAISA Women's Championship. The Bulls finished third out of six teams with a score of 30. The College of Charleston Cougars took home the victory with a score of 21. There was a big drop off from the first three teams to the bottom four, as the Bulls had a cushion of 23 points over fourth place- the hosts, UNC Wilmington.
After losing five of their last six games, the softball team rallied back in a big way and swept Houston in a three-game series. Predictably, Sara Nevins had another huge (and record setting) weekend, winning all three games for the Bulls. She now holds the school record in career wins with 93, beating Monica Triner. "If you're tying or breaking anything that Monica Triner ever did you must be pretty good because that was one of the best players that ever played the game at the University of South Florida," said USF Head Coach Ken Eriksen. "It was an honor to break coach (Monica) Triner's record being that she's done such an awesome job at the school," Nevins said. "She's been a big role model to me and she's helped teach me since even before college."
In the first game, USF took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the third, but gave up a big five run inning to lose the lead. Sara Nevins came in after that to finish out the last four innings giving up only two hits and no runs. The Bulls offense answered back in the fourth with a three run fourth to retake the lead and eventually win the game, 6-5. In the second game, Houston took a 2-0 lead into the fourth, but USF's offense fired up and had a big four run inning- enough to secure the win. The Bulls got their four runs off of four hits and with the help of a fielding error in the fourth. Sara Nevins again finished off the game pitching four scoreless innings to finish it off.
The third game was the big one for Nevins. It was her only start of the weekend and she lasted the full seven innings, giving up two runs off eight hits and striking out eight. It was her 21st win of the year and record-breaking 93rd of her career. The Bulls won the game by a score of 5-2. Lee Ann Spivey led things offensively, going 2-4 with two RBIs. Next up for the team is a home series against Memphis this weekend. The first game is set for 3:15 PM on Saturday, with the second game starting right after.
Track & Field
The track & field team competed as split teams this weekend at the LSU Alumni Gold and the Tom Jones Memorial. It was another big weekend for the triple jumpers on the team, as both the men's and the women's took place first place in the event at the LSU Alumni Gold. Marqueshia Stallworth took first in triple jump for the women, with a distance of 42 feet. Matthew O'Neal and Shane Lewis finished first and second respectively in the men's triple jump. At the Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville, Winston Perry won the men's pole vault with a personal best of 16-1.75. Next up for the team is the American Athletic Conference Championships May 2-4 at the USF Track Stadium.
The women's golf team opened up competition in the American Athletic Conference Championships yesterday. It was a rough day for all teams as 10-15 mph wind made conditions not ideal as not a single golfer managed to hit par. As a team the Bulls finished sixth, but are sitting just 10 strokes out of third. UCF is leading with a team score of 307, which is 19 over par. Round two started today, and to follow the scores live, click here.