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USF eliminates Florida, advances to softball Super Region

GAINESVILLE — The USF softball team stayed unbeaten in the NCAA tournament, knocked out No. 5 seed Florida and reached the Super Region round on Sunday.

Sara Nevins struck out 12 as the Bulls (48-11) outdueled the host Gators 1-0 in the region final. USF went 3-0 to reach the 16-team Super Region for just the second time.

This week USF hosts Hofstra, the Los Angeles Region winner, in a best-of-three series for the right to go to the College World Series in Oklahoma City. The series starts Thursday or Friday.

In the sixth, Nevins loaded the bases on two hits and a walk, all with no outs, but the former Pinellas Park High standout struck out the next two and forced a grounder to short to escape the jam.

"I try not to let things faze me," Nevins said. "Definitely my stomach was tossing a little bit, but I try not to show anything."

The sophomore allowed just five hits in her seventh shutout this season.

"We've got a cool cat right there," coach Ken Eriksen said, pointing to Nevins. "I walked out to the mound with the bases loaded and pretty much she looked at me and says, 'I got it.' "

USF scored its run in the fourth. Former Chamberlain High star Stephanie Medina led off with a double to centerfield and scored on Kenshyra Jackson's two-out infield single.

Hannah Rogers took the loss for the Gators (48-13), last year's national runnersup.

USF's only other Super Region appearance was in 2006 when the Bulls lost to host UCLA.

BASEBALL: Florida State, the top seed in the ACC tournament, plays the opener at 11 a.m. Wednesday against Georgia Tech in Greensboro, N.C. The Seminoles (43-12, 24-6 ACC), ranked first by Baseball America, also face Clemson at 3 p.m. Friday and Virginia at 3 Saturday in Division A round-robin play. In Division B, No. 6 seed Miami (34-19, 16-14) faces N.C. State (3 p.m. Wednesday), North Carolina (3 Thursday) and Wake Forest (7 Friday). Group winners play May 27 in the final. … USF opens the Big East tournament at Clearwater's Bright House Field against Connecticut at 8 p.m. Wednesday. See below for a complete tournament schedule. … In the Division II South Region in Tampa, Delta State (Miss.) defeated Nova Southeastern 6-5 and Alabama-Huntsville 7-6 in 10 innings to reach today's final against Stillman (Ala.), which is unbeaten. Delta State must beat Stillman twice to reach the CWS; today's first game is at noon at the University of Tampa with the rematch to follow if necessary.

BASKETBALL: Michael Ojo, a 7-foot-1, 290-pound center from Chattanooga (Tenn.) Temple, became the sixth member of FSU's recruiting class. He's the third player of at least 6-11 on FSU's roster, which was the nation's second-tallest last season. Ojo averaged 15 points, 14 rebounds and 5 blocks as a senior.

WOMEN'S TENNIS: Defending champ Florida plays No. 3 seed Duke at 1 p.m. today in the NCAA semifinals at Athens, Ga.

FOOTBALL: Air Force running back Asher Clark, whose playing eligibility had ended, is out of the academy days before graduation, the Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colo., reported. The paper reported that Clark was removed as part of an investigation into drug use.

USF eliminates Florida, advances to softball Super Region 05/20/12 [Last modified: Monday, May 21, 2012 1:06am]
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