Cards eliminate USF softball 2-0 in Big East tourney
USF softball's season came to an end Thursday night with a 2-0 loss to Louisville in the opening round of the Big East tournament. The Bulls (33-21) mustered just two hits against the fifth-seeded Cardinals, who advance to play top-seeded Notre Dame in Friday's semifinals.
Head coach Ken Eriksen was suspended from the game as his NCAA-mandated discipline for taking his players off the field Sunday in a game forfeited to DePaul. Assistant coach Stacey Heintz filled in in his place, but the Bulls didn't get their first hit until the fifth inning on an infield single by senior Kelly McCarver. Stormi Gryzbeck added a single in the seventh, putting the tying run at the plate, but the Bulls couldn't continue the rally. Freshman Sara Nevins, named a first-team All-Big East selection on Wednesday, took a shutout into the sixth and pitched a complete game for the hard-luck loss.
With an RPI of 53 entering the game and five losses in its final six games, USF isn't in position to land an at-large berth, so the Bulls will miss playing in NCAA regionals for the third year in a row, the longest such stretch in Eriksen's 15 seasons as head coach.