Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF, Florida win NCAA softball openers

GAINESVILLE — It took extra innings and a gutsy play at the plate for USF to earn its 1-0 win over Georgia Southern, while No. 2 national seed Florida fell behind in the first inning, then rallied for a 7-1 win over Hampton in Friday's NCAA Softball Gainesville Region. It was the 19th comeback win for the Gators this season.

The Bulls (44-14) earned their victory in dramatic fashion. In the bottom of the eighth, shortstop Kourtney Salvarola's squeeze bunt scored Ashli Goff — who singled to lead off the inning, then stole second and moved to third on a single by twin Courtney Goff.

"I knew she'd (Salvarola) get it down, so I was just running as fast as I could," said Goff, of Sickles High. "I just wanted to beat the play at home so I just ran as fast as I could."

USF coach Ken Eriksen said had a gut feeling Georgia Southern left-handed pitcher Sarah Purvis would present some problems for his mostly right-handed hitters. The Bulls had just four baserunners.

"We knew going into the ballgame that Purvis was a heck of a pitcher and she was going to keep the ball away for our bats and as close in the strike zone as possible," he said.

So when there was an opportunity to manufacture a run, Eriksen took it.

"We're fortunate we got around the turn, then we had one of the best bunters on the team coming up," Eriksen said.

USF pitcher Lindsey Richardson went five innings, gave up one hit and had 11 strikeouts. Pinellas Park's Sara Nevins had seven strikeouts in three innings.

Florida (53-7) rallied with a four-run third inning, then added two in the fifth on home runs by Durant alum Kelsey Horton and Taylore Fuller.

"I just made some adjustments in my first and second at-bats," Horton said. "We did a really good job getting the momentum going."

Sophomore pitcher Alyssa Bache of East Lake won her first postseason start.

USF lost twice to the Gators this season, but UF coach Tim Walton said he expects a challenge today.

"They've got Sara Nevins and I'm sure the other pitchers on their staff and the other players on their staff are probably tired of hearing Sara Nevins because they have a full, complete team, but she's really good," Walton said. "She's one of the best pitchers in the country. We know that, they know that. … And you can prepare all you want for someone like that, but you've got to be able to go out there and execute."

FSU starts well: Sophomore Lacey Waldrop struck out 11 in a complete game and junior catcher Celeste Gomez hit a long two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth to lead Florida State past Mississippi State 5-2 in the opening game of the Mobile (Ala.) Region. The Seminoles (42-16) face host and No. 13 seed South Alabama, a 10-0 winner over Mississippi Valley State, today in the double-elimination region winner's bracket.

Antonya English can be reached at english@tampabay.com. Information from Times wires was used in this report.

USF, Florida win NCAA softball openers 05/17/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 17, 2013 11:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies settle for draw at home

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The good news for the Rowdies is that they still haven't lost a game at Al Lang Stadium since late April. The bad news is they had to settle for a 1-1 tie against Ottawa on Saturday night in front of 6,710 sweaty fans.

  2. Bats come to life, but Rays' freefall continues (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG —The six runs seemed like a ton, just the second time the Rays had scored that many in a game during their numbing two-plus-weeks stretch of offensive impotency, and amazingly, the first time at the Trop in nearly two months.

    Lucas Duda connects for a two-run home run in the sixth, getting the Rays within 7-5. A Logan Morrison home run in the ninth made it 7-6, but Tampa Bay couldn’t complete the comeback.
  3. Rays journal: Cesar Puello, who has one major-league game, claimed off waivers

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Looking to add punch to their right-handed lineup, the Rays claimed OF Cesar Puello off waivers Saturday from the Angels.

  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  5. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends

    Bucs

    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

    Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Simeon Rice works with defensive end Noah Spence (57) after practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017.