USF softball baptizes new stadium with 8-0 win
TAMPA -- Ken Eriksen had waited 15 years for a new ballpark, and USF's softball coach got a grand opening to be proud of Thursday night as the Bulls one-hit Central Connecticut State with an exciting 8-0 win to introduce USF Softball Stadium.
"I had to bring them down -- they were so jacked up, I was afraid they might burn out in the first or second inning," said Eriksen, who didn't get the green light from a late fire marshal inspection until mid-afternoon Thursday. "I think the experience of our coaching staff kind of kept them in a cool position to play the whole game on an even keel."
With a crowd of 785 watching, sophomore Lindsey Richardson took a no-hitter into the fourth, allowing only a single down the rightfield line, with freshman Sara Nevins closing out a perfect fifth to clinch the win. A pair of freshmen led the way at the plate for the Bulls (6-5), with shortstop Kourtney Salvarola and first baseman Stephanie Medina getting three RBIs each -- six of USF's runs came with two outs in the second inning, making it easy for Richardson.
"It was kind of terrifying," she said of earning the stadium's first start. "We're not used to this amazing facility, and with everybody here and screaming, you can't hear anything out there. It was crazy to finally have it done, and I think everybody had an amazing time."
The Bulls expect another strong crowd tonight next door for the grand opening of USF's new baseball stadium against Elon. Admission is free for all three games this weekend.