TALLAHASSEE — USF's softball season ended Sunday despite the pitching of Sara Nevins when it suffered a second loss to Florida State.
Stephanie Medina had an RBI single in the first, and the Bulls' seventh-inning rally fell short in a 2-1 loss to the Seminoles in the final of the double-elimination region tournament.
"Two good pitchers locking it up for a second day in a row," said USF coach Ken Eriksen, whose team fell to FSU 2-0 in 11 innings on Saturday. "As far as our team and what they did, you can't ask for anymore. Our kids battled hard."
FSU hosts Michigan in the best-of-three Super Region in Tallahassee this week (times and dates to be determined). The winner of that advances to the World Series.
Nevins threw 464 pitches over four tournament games (249 over two games Saturday). Sunday, the former Pinellas Park High star pitched a complete-game three-hitter, striking out five.
"She did everything that her teammates asked of her, and she did everything for her teammates," Eriksen said. "There was a very slight margin; a call here or there. That's the difference between teams moving on and teams not moving on."
In the seventh, USF's Courtney Goff, a graduate of Tampa's Sickles High, led off with an infield single and Kristen Wyckoff (Plant City High) reached on an error. But Lacey Waldrop got Juli Weber and Ashli Goff (Sickles) to strike out before Kourtney Salvarola grounded out to end the game.
"Obviously, it stinks for us. It's over," Salvarola said. "But I wouldn't have wanted to go out any other way than how we did. The guts that Sara showed (Saturday) was unreal. For her to come back again (Saturday night) … then do what she did (Sunday), I wish we could have helped her out offensively. But I'm really proud of my team."
After USF's run in the top of the first, the Seminoles took the lead in the bottom half. Kelly Hensley had an RBI single, and former Palm Harbor University star Maddie O'Brien walked and scored.
Waldrop allowed seven hits and struck out four.
"Again, it was battle with Sara Nevins and USF," Seminoles coach Lonni Alameda said. "She pitched a great game. She threw a lot of innings (Saturday), and for her to come out and fight for her team like that was pretty awesome."
"For our program, we knew we would be battling her and made some adjustments. And jumping on after they scored in the first was huge for us. It was a complete team win and a complete team effort."
Gators advance: Host Florida defeated UCF 7-0 to win its region tournament. In three games, the Gators outscored their opponents 29-0. Lauren Haeger, who hit a two-run homer Friday and a grand slam Saturday, hit a two-run homer to make it 2-0 in the first. Florida hosts Washington in a Super Region this week (times and dates to be determined).
Lacrosse: Tampa falls in Division II semis
Host Limestone scored three goals in a span of 2:40 during the third quarter to take the lead for good and went on to beat Tampa 14-10 in the Division II national lacrosse semifinals.
Jake Rooney scored with 8:09 left in the game to cut the Spartans' deficit to 11-10. But the Saints scored three more goals in a span of 5:03 to seal it.
Tampa in baseball finals: Trey Oest of Brandon pitched a complete-game one-hitter and host Tampa beat Florida Southern 3-0 to earn its second consecutive South Region baseball championship. The Spartans (51-2) advanced to their 16th Division II National Championship Finals in Cary, N.C., bidding for a second straight and seventh overall title. Tampa plays Southern Indiana, which won the Midwest Region tournament as the No. 1 seed, at 1 p.m. Saturday. Spartans third baseman Tyler Ding, a former Alonso High standout, was named Most Outstanding Player after batting .625 in four games. Four other Spartans were named to the all-tournament team: Oest, Giovanny Alfonzo, Stephen Dezzi and Kevin McNorton.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.