Rough Saturday for softball, baseball
USF's top-seeded softball team lost 4-1 to DePaul in Saturday's Big East championship game, and the Bulls' baseball team dropped a doubleheader at St. John's, falling into greater jeopardy of missing the Big East tournament with four conference games remaining.
Softball, facing a ranked DePaul squad, trailed just 1-0 entering the sixth inning, but freshman Capri Catalano gave up three runs that inning, and USF would muster only one run in the seventh, missing a chance to become only the school's second Big East champions. The Bulls haven't hurt themselves with a close loss in the conference championship game and will find out Sunday night where they'll open the NCAA Tournament, the first step toward a goal of reaching the College World Series in Oklahoma City.
Baseball dropped the opening game 8-1 at St. John's, and led 3-1 in the ninth inning of the second game, only to see its bullpen give up the tying runs in the ninth, then lose 4-3 in the 10th. Ryan Lockwood's hit streak is now at 30 games, extending the longest active streak in the nation, but there's not much else good to come from Saturday's two losses.
Freshman Randy Fontanez was sharp, holding St. John's to one run entering the ninth, but closer Shawn Sanford, entering with two out in the ninth, couldn't retire any of the three batters he faced, hitting the first, then giving up two RBI singles to tie the game. Freshman Michael Anzivino got out of the ninth, but gave up a leadoff walkoff home run in the 10th.
USF is one of three teams tied for seventh, and has the tiebreaker advantage over the other two, but a win Sunday would keep them in a tie for seventh -- one of the other two teams will win Sunday. That would take some pressure off the season-ending series at home against Notre Dame, which starts Thursday in Tampa.