USF softball picked as Big East preseason champs
It's little surprise, given the Bulls' trip to the College World Series in Oklahoma City last summer and the dominant pitching staff back this spring, but USF was picked Monday as the preseason pick of league coaches to win the Big East.
USF picked up seven of 13 first-place votes, finishing just ahead of Notre Dame. Third-place Louisville -- which went 55-5 last year and 20-2 in conference -- earned four first-place votes but finished a single vote-point behind the Fighting Irish, with DePaul as the fourth team to earn a first-place vote.
Ken Eriksen lost some key bats from last year's 50-12 squad, which had a 1.22 staff ERA, led by ace Sara Nevins, who went 31-6 and led the Big East with a 1.03 ERA. Lindsey Richardson was third in the conference with a 1.34, and Sam Greiner was sixth with a 1.58; Eriksen adds freshman phenom Erica Nunn to that deep staff this spring.
We'll have much more on softball later Tuesday ...