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Bulls Advance to Semifinals

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Bulls Advance to Semifinals

Courtesy: USF

          Release: 05/08/2008

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of South Florida advanced to the BIG EAST Championship semifinals after defeating Providence, 8-6, on Thursday night at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville, Ky.

“Our team played three different ball games tonight,†head coach Ken Eriksen said. “We took a quick lead, we gave up runs and we came back to prevail. I thought we played them with a very cool demeanor.â€Â

Senior Courtney Mosch led all batters finishing 3-for-4, two doubles, and two RBI.

BIG EAST Rookie of the Year Capri Catalano pitched the complete game to improve to 16-1 for the year.

The Bulls took an early lead in the first when junior Britta Giddens drove a double down the left line to score Kit Dunbar.

Two RBI singles from sophomores Alison Savarese and Cat Olnick put the Bulls up 3-0 in the bottom of the first.

Tara Toscano led off the second with a single, Dunbar followed suit with an infield single. Giddens’ right field single brought Toscano home, Dunbar reached home on a throwing error by the Friars’ right fielder.

Giddens took advantage of a second Providence error to expand the lead to 6-0 in the second inning.

The junior, an All-BIG EAST First Team selection, finished the night 2-for-3, with two runs, two RBI and drew an intentional walk.

The Friars made things interesting when Mary Rose Sheehy cut the Bulls deficit to two with a grand slam to centerfield in the top of the third.

Providence evened up the score in the next frame with a two-RBI double by Jenna Garcia.

The Bulls regained the lead in the fourth when Savarese touched home on Mosch’s first double of the night.

Senior Aya Nakajima gave the Bulls the 8-6 lead in the fifth frame when she touched home.

A relentless USF defense backed Catalano’s nine strikeouts to shut out the Friars through the last three innings.

“We played well and executed well offensively in the first couple of innings,†Eriksen added. “We gave up runs and I think we handled that professionally. Despite the tied ballgame, we did not deviate. Catalano pitched well, she gave up a couple of runs, but like the rest of the team she came back and showed a cool heads and we prevailed at the end.â€Â

The BIG EAST Conference Regular Season Champions, 43-17, advance to the semifinals and will play the winner of the Louisville/Notre Dame game on Friday at 5:00 at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville, Ky.

The game, the second semifinal match of the day, will be televised on CBS College Sports.



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