Key series ahead for USF softball, baseball
With the Big East regular seasons winding down in softball and baseball, USF's teams are both in second place in the league standings with a chance to retake the lead in key road series this coming weekend.
-- We'll start with softball, now 44-8 overall and 16-3 in the Big East, one game behind Louisville in the standings entering the final weekend of the regular season. The Bulls are assured of a top-four seed in the conference tournament, but need help if they're going to leap back ahead of the Cardinals for the regular-season crown. USF is playing at Syracuse, which is 15-4 and fourth in the standings.
The Bulls are coming off a three-game sweep of Villanova, punctuated by a 3-2 walkoff win in Sunday's final home game of the season. It was a pair of seniors closing it out -- Jessica Mouse got a single up the middle, and Alexis Nowell brought her in with a clutch double to the wall in left. You can see a great video of the final hits on USF's official site.
-- Baseball, meanwhile, needed a win Sunday to avoid a sweep against Villanova, and got that thanks to clutch pitching by senior Derrick Stultz, who improved to 7-1 with the victory. USF is now 29-16 and 12-6 in the Big East, in a three-way tie for second place behind first-place St. John's (14-4). The Bulls now travel to face the Red Storm -- a three-game sweep would put them back in first, while taking two of three would have them within a game of first place with two series remaining in the regular season.
USF men's golf is playing in the Big East championships in Orlando, hoping to follow up on the championship won by USF's women last week. The Bulls are in eighth place out of 12 teams after the opening round, 13 strokes off the lead.