A couple of missed opportunities may have been the difference in a good matchup between two of the Big East powers Wednesday night.
Thumbnail Photo is Courtesy of USF Athletics
LOUISVILLE - A couple of missed opportunities may have been the difference in a good matchup between two of the Big East powers Wednesday night.
USF (40-7 overall, 13-1 Big East) left eight runners on base in game one, losing to Louisville (39-2, 10-2) 4-1 in a well-pitched game from both sides.
Sara Nevins picked up the loss, allowing three hits in three innings, and was relieved by Sam Greiner, who threw two-plus innings without allowing a hit.
Lindsey Richardson came on for the final three outs, surrendering just a single.
Louisville scored three early against Nevins, making use of a two-RBI single in the second and an RBI double in the third to set the pace in the first half of the game.
The Bulls got one back in the fifth as Janine Richardson hit a ball sharply to third and reached on an error, then stole second. She scored as Jessica Mouse drove a single just over the Louisville infield.
USF had other opportunities, loading the bases with one out in the second, and collecting back-to-back leadoff singles in the sixth. Both times, the Bulls stranded all runners as Louisville pitcher Tori Collins pitched out of jams with a good off-speed selection.
The Cardinals picked up an insurance run in the sixth inning, taking advantage of a USF throwing error, but Louisville wouldn't need it, putting the Bulls down 1-2-3 in the seventh to ice a 4-1 finish.
USF out-hit the Cardinals 6-4, getting two hits from Kourtney Salvarola and all six hits from the 2-7 hitters in the lineup. The Bulls had five runners reach scoring position, but could only plate one in the loss.
LOUISVILLE - Strong Louisville pitching and a big fourth inning sent the 17th-ranked University of South Florida Bulls to just their third Big East loss of the season.
Ranked 11th in the NFCA, the Cardinals (40-2 overall, 11-2 Big East) broke free to score five runs in the fourth and four more in the fifth, ending the game early to beat the Bulls (40-8, 13-3) in Louisville, Ky. Wednesday.
Reigning Big East Player of the Week Alicja Wolny drove an RBI double off the bottom of the wall in right to get Louisville on the board in the fourth.
Two batters later, Jordan Trimble took a high pitch over the fence in right, clearing the bases for her first career grand slam, and chasing Nevins from the game. Nevins had thrown three perfect innings to start the game before running into trouble.
Louisville put up four more in the fifth, the big blow coming on a three-run homer off the bat of Taner Fowler as the Cardinals walked off with the win.
USF stranded seven runners on base, including three in the second and two in scoring position in the fourth as the Louisville pitchers did a great job of mixing speeds in key situations against the Bulls.
Kourtney Salvarola had another strong game at the plate, going 2-2 to finish with four hits Wednesday. Ashli Goff and Jessica Mouse would record the only other hits for USF.