Freshman Greiner gets nod in USF softball opener
USF softball opens its 2012 season with a home doubleheader Friday afternoon, and coach Ken Eriksen said Thursday that freshman left-hander Sam Greiner will get the opening-game start at 1:45 against Maine.
Greiner, a top recruit from Sparta, N.J., is one of three starting pitchers Eriksen intends to use this season, along with sophomore lefty Sara Nevins of Pinellas Park and junior right-hander Lindsey Richardson.
"We've got three pitchers I think we can throw against anybody in the country. We're fortunate," Eriksen said. "I think Greiner, Richardson and Nevins are a pretty good three, and then (senior right-hander Brittany) Bowles is going to do a pretty good job as a middle relief person right now."
Of the positions that were up for grabs entering preseason practice, Eriksen said senior Alexis Nowell will start Friday at second base, while junior college transfer Kenshyra Jackson will open the season as USF's designated player. As a other talented newcomer, freshman D'Anna Devine, won't start Friday but should be the Bulls' top bat available off the bench. "She's like our sixth man in basketball," Eriksen said. "She has an opportunity to fit in, whether it's in the infield, the outfield or at DP. That's a pretty good luxury. It's a nice problem to have right now."
Eriksen said he hasn't decided who he will pitch in his second game at 4 against Florida Gulf Coast, waiting to watch Friday's morning games to decide the best matchup. USF will play five games in this opening weekend, including a Sunday showdown against Florida at 1 p.m.