TALLAHASSEE — USF's dramatic Saturday ended with a seventh-inning rally that kept it alive in the NCAA softball tournament.
Lee Ann Spivey's double in the seventh tied it, and Kristen Wyckoff's walkoff single gave the Bulls a 3-2 win over South Carolina.
"Wow," USF coach Ken Eriksen said. "What a great day for college softball in this regional."
USF had to play the elimination game after losing Saturday's opener 2-0 to Florida State in 11 innings. Today, USF and FSU face off again. USF needs two wins and FSU one to reach the Super Region. Game 1 starts at noon on ESPN2. Game 2, if needed, would be immediately afterward, also on ESPN2.
Sara Nevins, a Pinellas Park High grad, pitched three scoreless innings of relief against the Gamecocks, capping a day in which she threw 249 pitches over 14 innings.
Down 2-1 to South Carolina, Courtney Goff, a graduate of Tampa's Sickles High, led off with a pinch-hit single. After a sac bunt, Spivey's double and a walk, Wyckoff, a Plant City High grad, singled to right-center to win it.
Alex Kossoff's two-run single lifted FSU over USF. Nevins threw 203 pitches, allowing four hits and nine walks and striking out 11.
"What you saw was a culmination of two very good programs with historical traditions toe it up with each other," Eriksen said of the loss to FSU. "At some point … it's just the name of the game that somebody is going to end up with another run than the other team."
USF had a chance in the 10th when Goff led off with a single and advanced to third on a throwing error. But after a groundout and intentional walk, she was picked off by the catcher when she wandered too far down the line.
Gators roll: Lauren Haeger's grand slam capped a seven-run sixth that helped lift host Florida past Stetson 14-0. The Gators have two chances to reach the Super Region today (1 p.m. and immediately afterward) against UCF. The Knights eliminated FAMU 2-1 behind Farrah Sullivan's two-run homer in the fourth, then Stetson 6-4 with help from Sullivan's three-run homer in the third.
Baseball: Giovanny Alfonzo's two-run single capped host Tampa's four-run ninth and lifted it to a 9-5 win against Alabama-Huntsville in the semis of the Division II South Region. Tampa has two chances to reach the World Series today (noon and 3:15) against Florida Southern.
Women's lacrosse: Kat DeRonda scored with 16 seconds left in overtime to lift visiting Northwestern past host Florida 12-11 in an NCAA quarterfinal.
Men's tennis: Florida lost 4-3 to Ohio State in the NCAA tourney's third round late Friday in Athens, Ga. Mike Alford, from Tampa's Wharton High, fell 10-8 in a third-set tiebreaker of the deciding match.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.