On an afternoon when USF's offense, pitching and luck mostly were sporadic, Bulls coach Ken Eriksen cast the blame elsewhere.
On the team's resident insomniac.
"I'm gonna have a tough time sleeping tonight," said Eriksen, whose club emerged from a 12-day layoff Saturday by losing both ends of a doubleheader to Louisville. "I might not. I might grab a cot and sleep in the office, and take a look at what I can do better."
In their first live action since March 23, the Bulls, whose series at Rutgers last weekend was postponed due to inclement weather, stranded 15 base runners in 14 innings to watch their seven-game win streak vanish.
A microcosm of their day materialized in the third inning of Game Two. With one out and the bases loaded, Lee Ann Spivey smacked a line drive down the third-base line, but Whitney Arion snagged the ball and caught Kourtney Salvarola off the bag for a double play.
Louisville would prevail, 3-0. The Cardinals (22-15, 4-4 American Athletic Conference) took the opener, 5-1, essentially clinching things on Katie Keller's seventh-inning three-run home run to left off reliever Sam Greiner.
Bulls left-handed ace Sara Nevins started Game One and pitched five scoreless innings before being pulled after allowing a one-out single and walk in the sixth. Three batters later, sophomore Erica Nunn issued a two-out, two-run single to Kayla Soles.
"We didn't do a very good job this week preparing 'em for Louisville," said Eriksen, whose club hosts the Cardinals in the series finale Sunday at 11 a.m.
"The aspect of coming off last weekend...it was my fault really for not turning up the heat a little bit on Monday and Tuesday at practice. It's a bad assumption that you've got things going in the right direction and the team feels comfortable.
"You can't let that happen, and that's on me."
Senior Stephanie Medina led USF (29-10, 3-2) at the plate, finishing the day 3-for-6. In five American Athletic Conference games, Medina is 6-for-15 with a home run and five RBI.