Baseball, softball sweep Big East doubleheaders
USF's baseball and softball used dominating pitching to earn doubleheader sweeps in Big East play Saturday, with baseball bouncing back for a 3-2 conference record and softball now 3-0 in league play.
Baseball earned 7-1 and 10-1 wins at Villanova, getting gems from starters Randy Fontanez and Kyle Eastham. Fontanez went eight innings while allowing just one run, and Eastham nearly matched him, going seven innings for his win. USF had balanced production at the plate, with seven players each getting one hit in the first game; Sam Mende had three RBIs in the second, and Peter Brotons, who entered the game with two hits all season, had two in the game. The Bulls are now 12-14, one game better than their record at this point last season.
Softball picked up two key Big East wins, against a Syracuse team that entered the weekend with a 24-5 record. Lindsey Richardson pitched well in a 3-1 win, and after striking out five in two relief innings in the first game, freshman Sara Nevins struck out eight in a 7-3 win in the second game. Another freshman, Kourtney Salvarola, hit a 3-run home run, her team-best sixth of the season.
On the season, Nevins has 121 strikeouts against just 12 walks, an incredible 10-to-1 ratio, until you see that Fontanez has 38 strikeouts against just two walks, good for a 19-to-1 ratio. Looking at the season statistics, it's surprising to see how reliant USF softball has been on the top half of its batting lineup -- Salvarola and fellow freshman Stephanie Medina have combined for nearly half of USF's RBIs, while speedy Gina Kafalas and Ashli Goff are nearly the opposite, combining for 77 runs and just nine RBIs this season. Softball wraps up a three-game series with a home game today at noon ...