Eriksen unveils his softball team's lineup
There's a lot of excitement surrounding USF women's softball program, with the new facility, of course, along with the fact coach Ken Eriksen was recently named the head coach for the U.S. National Team.
But Eriksen is equally pumped about his Bulls, which open their season in about a week. He said today that there will be several freshmen who could make a big impact, including lefty pitcher Sara Nevins (Pinellas Park), and SS Kourtney Salvarola and LF Ashli Goff (Sickles), as well as 1B Stephanie Medina (Chamberlain).
And two freshmen who were former Hillsborough County standouts will be in the Bulls lineup opening day against N.C. State Feb. 10, Eriksen said.
Here's Eriksen's expected lineup for the first game:
Gina Kafalas, RF
Kourtney Salvarola, SS
Janine Richardson, CF
Stephanie Medina, 1B
Stormi Grzybek, C
Erin Bly, 3B/DP
Laura Fountain, DP/3B
Alexis Nowell, 2B
Ashli Goff, LF
Eriksen said he believes the Bulls will have one of the top 15 toughest schedules in the country, but embraces it. "It's daunting, but it's exciting, "Eriksen said. "We've never backed down from anything."
One reason why is the Bulls deep pitching staff. Of course, there's the hard-throwing freshman in Nevins (66-67 mph), but there's also RHPs Brittany Bowles, Lindsey Richardson and Capri Catalano. Eriksen said he's undecided who will start opening day, but said all four will get a chance to pitch during the first weekend in the USF Wilson DeMarini Tournament. The strength of his pitching staff allows Eriksen to go with a situational pitching, using different pitchers at different time, kind of like "National League" style.
"Any coach that tells you, when you're pitching strong, you get a great night's sleep," Eriksen said. "And I am right now."
- JOE SMITH