Road wins again for USF softball, baseball
USF softball and baseball got road wins Sunday to clinch another series won in Big East play, with both teams staying atop the conference standings for another week.
Softball (40-6, 13-1) got a mercy-rule 11-3 win in five innings, with the top four hitters in the USF lineup -- Janine Richardson, Gina Kafalas, Jessica Mouse and Stephanie Medina -- each had two hits and the four combined for eight RBIs. Pitcher Lindsey Richardson, back in old form after missing a month with shoulder tightness, struck out six batters in four innings for the win.
Baseball (25-12, 10-2) trailed 5-1 at Pittsburgh after four innings, but struck for five in the fifth on the way to a 9-8 victory. USF's bats get full credit for this win, as the Bulls managed to give up 17 hits and still win. USF had 14 hits itself -- six starters had at least two hits and outfielder Alex Mendez had three. Down again 7-6 in the eighth, the Bulls rallied for the lead on an RBI single by Chad Taylor and a sacrifice fly by James Ramsey. Pitt trailed by two in the ninth, but opened with a double and RBI single before reliever Steven Leasure got a key double play, then the final out for the save.
Baseball remains a game up on Connecticut for the league lead, still less than halfway through conference play, and softball leads the standings by 2 1/2 games on Louisville (9-2) as the Bulls travel to the Cardinals for a key doubleheader Wednesday that will be shown on ESPNU. Syracuse and DePaul are only one game behind USF in the loss column, like Louisville, so the top of the standings are still tightly packed. USF has next weekend off, with only nine regular-season games remaining before the Big East tournament at Notre Dame, starting May 10.