The USF softball team, unbeaten in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, will now host the Super Regionals, as they matchup up against Hofstra in a best of three series that begins Friday at 7 p.m. at the USF Softball Fields.
The Bulls will now battle it out with the Pride to secure a spot in the College World Series, which is scheduled for May 31 through June 6 in Oklahoma City.
Friday’s game is arguably the biggest in program history, as USF has never advanced to the College World Series. If they do, it’ll be the furthest a Bulls team has gone in the NCAA Tournament.
“We are recognized nationally, we’re nationally relevant not only because our football program and our basketball program, but because our Olympic sports our doing very very well,” Bulls Coach Ken Eriksen said.
USF (48-11), knocked off No.5 Florida in a 1-0 victory on Sunday to put them in the Super Regionals. Sara Nevins had another impressive day on the mound, adding 14 strikeouts. The win was Nevins’ 29th of the year, and her seventh complete game shutout of the season.
With the performance over the weekend, the Bulls secured a spot to host one of eight Super Regionals in the NCAA Tournament
It seems like everything is going USF’s way, either defensively or offensively. The team had two outings, the 1-0 win over UCF and the 1-0 win over Florida, where it honed in on their defensive skills and relied on solid pitching.
Then, in the 8-3 drubbing of FGCU, the Bulls’ bats came alive and were able to rely on their hitters to get the job done.
“I like how we are playing ball, I like our pitching, I like our defense; I like that we have gotten timely hitting,” Eriksen said.
Against Hofstra (40-13), USF will have to do both. The Pride knocked off No. 12 UCLA on Sunday in a 7-2 win to advance to the Super Regional round.
All eyes will be on the mound for both teams who boast some of the top pitching in the country.
The Pride have relied on ace Olivia Galati who had 12 strikeouts in her last outing and has won 31 straight games. She will most likely make an appearance against the Bulls.
Who will be on the mound for USF?
That’s a question Eriksen doesn’t even have an answer for yet.
“Our match ups all year long have been who do we feel is the best pitcher against the team we face and I am not sure at what point that is going to occur,” he said.
Regardless of who is pitching, the coach is confident in his team’s chances.
“It’s nothing we haven’t faced already this year,” Eriksen said.
“If we continue to worry about ourselves, get wrapped up in that USF cacoon and not worry about the names on the other jersey’s, we are going to be OK.”
Click below to hear more of the interview with Coach Eriksen.[audio:1040/Eriksen 052112.mp3|titles=USF Softball 05-21-12 Coach Eriksen ]