Softball survives, advances in Big East tourney
USF's softball team got a scare from seventh-seeded Pittsburgh but advanced to the Big East tournament semifinals with a 2-1 nine-inning win on Thursday.
USF starter Cristi Ecks took a one-hitter into the seventh, but left with two on and no outs. Freshman Kristen Gordon relieved Ecks and gave up a game-tying RBI groundout, facing runners at second and third with one out. Gordon got out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts swinging.
USF got out of another mess in the eighth, as Pitt got its first two runners on. USF got an unusual double play with a strikeout by Gordon, followed by Pitt's lead runner getting caught trying to steal third. Gordon forced a pop foul to first base to end the rally.
The winning run came in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Kit Dunbar that scored freshman Lauren Rodriguez, who singled to lead off the inning. USF advances to face third-seeded Louisville at 4 p.m. on Friday.