1. USF Bulls

Softball: Nevins nearing millenial mark

Human nature suggests Bulls fans may have grown mildly numb to left-hander Sara Nevins' repetitive torment of batters over the last four springs. Ken Eriksen suggests it too.

"We're here in Tampa and...the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and it's not exotic because it's in your hometown," USF's veteran softball coach said. "But that's pretty exotic stuff."

Pretty exclusive stuff as well.

Nevins, named Thursday as one of 25 finalists for the USA Softball Player of the Year Award, needs only seven more strikeouts to become the fifth active Division I pitcher with 1,000 for her career.

Considering the opposition, it's a milestone as credible as the Pinellas Park alumnus' fastball. Of Nevins' school-record 993 strikeouts, 140 (14.1 percent) have come against ranked opposition. Her 189 strikeouts this season rank ninth nationally.

"It's not an every-year occurrence. Actually it's not an every-four-year occurrence," Eriksen said.

"I think you're probably going to see the end of an era from that right now, simply because the hitters are so much better. So when you're spending four years against the schedule she has played against, that's pretty special."

Nevins can hit the millenial mark Saturday, when the Bulls (29-11, 3-3 American Athletic Conference) host UCF in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m..

Quality K's
USF senior left-hander Sara Nevins has posted double-digit strikeout totals against four ranked opponents in her career:

Michigan/2014/10/L, 2-3
FSU/2012/11/W, 2-1
Florida/2012/12/W, 1-0
Michigan/2011/13/L, 2-7

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