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USF Softball Stadium opens with 8-0 Bulls win

TAMPA — Ken Eriksen had waited 15 years for a new ballpark, and USF's softball coach got a grand opening to be proud of Thursday night as the Bulls one-hit Central Connecticut State in an 8-0 win to introduce USF Softball Stadium.

"I had to bring (the players) down. They were so jacked up, I was afraid they might burn out in the first or second inning," said Eriksen, who didn't get the green light from a fire marshal inspection to play in the stadium until mid afternoon. "I think the experience of our coaching staff kind of kept them in a cool position to play the whole game on an even keel."

In front of 785 fans, sophomore Lindsey Richardson took a no-hitter into the fourth before allowing only a single down the rightfield line. Freshman Sara Nevins closed out a perfect fifth to clinch the win. A pair of freshmen led the way at the plate for the Bulls (6-5). Shortstop Kourtney Salvarola and first baseman Stephanie Medina had three RBIs each.

"It was kind of terrifying," Richardson said of earning the stadium's first start. "We're not used to this amazing facility, and with everybody here and screaming, you can't hear anything out there. It was crazy to finally have it done, and I think everybody had an amazing time."

UF baseball records: Sophomore left-hander Brian Johnson retired the first 17 batters, setting a school record of 27 straight (he retired the final 10 USF batters Friday) in a 4-0 win over Boston College. UF set a school record with its 19th straight home victory, breaking the mark set March 16-May 13, 1963, and Feb. 10-March 31, 1998. Bryan Augenstein retired 23 straight vs. Cincinnati on Feb. 11, 2006.

Miami ad leaving? Hurricanes athletic director Kirby Hocutt is having serious discussions with Texas Tech about replacing retiring AD Gerald Myers. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported that Hocutt was offered the job, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported he will take it, though it was unclear when. The job would give Hocutt, 39, a chance to return to his home state and likely a sizable raise.

Football

UF-georgia: The Georgia athletic board put a hold on a proposed $10 price hike for tickets to the annual game against Florida in Jacksonville. The hike recently was approved by UF's athletic board. Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said the increase proposed by UF would be reconsidered for the 2012 game. Tickets are $40 and $70.

Pay updates: The Tulsa World reported that Oklahoma's Bob Stoops got a $1 million raise to bring his yearly salary to $4.875 million, the third-highest paid coach behind Alabama's Nick Saban ($5.16M) and Texas' Mack Brown ($5.1M). … LSU officials will seek a $700,000-per-year contract for new offensive coordinator Steve Kragthorpe and raises for other assistants.

USC: The team hired longtime Nebraska assistant Ted Gil­more as receivers coach. Gilmore, 43, who was also the Cornhuskers' recruiting coordinator, was dumped in a staff shakeup last week. He replaces John Morton, who left last month to join Jim Harbaugh's staff with the 49ers.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

USF Softball Stadium opens with 8-0 Bulls win 02/24/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 25, 2011 12:03am]

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