TAMPA — On a 55-degree opening night in which USF softball ace Sara Nevins was as erratic as the accompanying gusts, Florida made the Bulls senior left-hander pay Thursday.
Trailing by a run, the Gators, ranked No. 3 in the espn.com/USA Softball poll, tagged Nevins for seven runs off five hits, an error and consecutive plunked batters in the top of the fourth en route to a 10-3 romp at the USF Softball Stadium.
Sophomores Kirsti Merritt and Taylor Schwarz each had two-run singles during the outburst for UF (1-0), which has won its past five against No. 23 USF (0-1).
The Gators sent 11 to the plate in the inning. Nevins, a two-time All-American, was chased after facing nine. In 3⅔ innings, she surrendered four hits and seven earned runs, walked four and hit three.
Florida's Hannah Rogers pitched a complete game.
Freshman Ta'coia Williams gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead in her first collegiate at-bat with a wind-assisted, two-out home run to dead centerfield in the first. She finished 2-for-3.
USF played again late Thursday night, against Bethune-Cookman.