It’s throw back Thursday so I decided to post one of my favorite pictures in USF history, the Bulls upsetting Auburn back in 2007. It seems like a million years ago when Matt Grothe found Jessie Hester Jr. in overtime. It was one of the craziest games I’ve ever seen and a great moment in the program’s history.
USF softball lost a really rough game tonight to UF, falling 17 to 1 in just 5 innings. The loss drops USF to 33-14 on the season and this is a game the ladies and Coach Eriksen will just want to forget about.
The Gators scored 2 in the first, 11 in the 2nd, and 4 in the 3rd to run away with it. Erica Nunn worked 1.2 innings, allowing 4 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, and struck out 1. Karla Claudio worked 2.1 innings, allowing 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk and struck out 1. Sam Greiner had a night she’ll need to forget fast, allowing 5 hits, 8 runs, 1 walk and did not record an out.
The one bright spot came from Kourtney Salvarola who led the game with a home run, her 12th of the season and 34th of her career. The 34 home runs now puts her atop the list for most home runs in a USF career, so congratulations to her (hope for a few more!)
The Bulls need to shake this one off fast and get back to the battle in the AAC. The Bulls will face Memphis for a three game series, starting with a double header on Saturday. The first game is set for 1 PM and the second for 3:15. They will then wrap up the series on Sunday starting at 11 AM.
The Bulls lost 5 to 3 to FGCU, dropping their record to just 22-18 on the season. FGCU and USF were tied at 1 to 1 in the top of the 9th inning, but a bad inning from Strittmatter allowed FGCU to take the lead and not give it back after a late rally from the Bulls.
FGCU got on the board in the top of the 5th inning after Colton Bottomley doubled, Nick Rivera would follow him up with his own double to bring him home to make it 1 to 0. USF had a little life in the bottom of the inning after Luke Borders got on base on a fielders choice and Austin Lueck walked, but Zac Gilcrease and Nik Alfonso would fly out to end the inning. The USF had a threat in the bottom of 6th after back-to-back singles from Lawrence Pardo and Daniel Portales, but back-to-back strike outs from Luke Maglich and Levi Borders ended that threat. The offense finally got going for the Bulls in the bottom of the 7th after Austin Lueck doubled, followed by a single from Gilcrease. Alfonso would then put down a safety squeeze bunt, bringing home Lueck. Kyle Teaf and Pardo both struck out to end the inning. It was a tie game until the top of the 9th inning after Jordan Strittmatter had thrown a 1-2-3 8th. Gage Morey started it with a single for FGCU, followed by a single from Alex Diaz, then another right back to Strittmatter from Jake Noll, which brought Morey home. Bottomley then unloaded a 3-run blast to make it 5 to 1. The Bulls did rally in the bottom of the 9th after Austin Lueck singled. Zac Gilcrease would launch a home run to make it 5 to 3. Andreas Leal would then hit a single, but two outs from Kyle Teaf and Lawrence Pardo would end the rally and the game.
Brandon Lawson pitched well, working 5 innings, allowing 5 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, and struck out 4 batters. Cody Hernandez pitched two perfect innings of relief after replacing Lawson. Jordan Strittmatter came in for the 8th after Hernandez. He worked 2 innings, but allowed 4 hits, 4 runs, and struck out 2 batters.
The Bulls are now 22-18 as they face Memphis starting on Friday night for a 3-game set (7 PM on Friday, 6 PM on Saturday, and 1 PM for Sunday). This game hurts, I’ll leave it at that.
News came out today that John Egbunu, an AAC all rookie team performer in his first year at USF, would be transferring out. It marks the 5th player to leave the program since coach Stan Heath was fired just a few months ago. The roster at this stage is very thin and after breaking down the numbers, it isn’t much better. Read the rest of this entry »
Per USF Release and the Tampa Bay Times – Sophomore center (played as freshman), John Egbunu, has been granted his release from the program and will transfer. Egbunu joins Javontae Hawkins, Musa Abdul-Aleem, Zach Leday, and Josh Heath as departing players from the program.
Egbunu, the 6’10″ 245 sophomore, showed a lot of promise in his first year as a Bull. He started 31 out of 32 games at center, averaging 7.4 PPG (238 total) while shooting 58% from the floor. He also averaged 6.2 RPG and led the team with 43 blocks (10 steals as well). Egbunu displayed his athletic ability throughout the season, both on defense and on offense.
The loss of Egbunu, a player that showed a lot of promise, is another blow to first year head coach Orlando Antigua who will now have to work hard to find someone with Egbunu’s size to play in the paint at center. Chris Perry, at 6’8″ 266 lbs., could slide over to center (IMO), but the lack of depth on the front line is now even greater with Egbunu leaving and Zach Leday transferring out (loss Victor Rudd to graduation). It will be really interesting to see with Coach Antigua does now with such a promising young player leaving.
From USF and Joey Knight (Tampa Bay Times) – Indiana announced today (and confirmed by USF) that the Hoosiers are exercising their buyout option on the home-and-home series with USF. Indiana will pay USF $500,000 as part of the buyout. The two sides had agreed to play the 2-game series, the first coming in 2015 with the Hoosiers coming to Tampa and then playing the second game in 2016 with the Bulls traveling to Bloomington. Indiana has scheduled a home-and-home series with FIU instead now.
So what does that mean for USF? For one, it now leaves them with a hole in the schedule for 2015. USF already has games against FAMU (home) and two road games, at Maryland and at FSU, on the schedule. The Bulls will now search for another home game to add to the home schedule. It will be interesting to see what AD Mark Harlan will do to fill the void. Might he use his knowledge of the West coast to find an opponent west of the Mississippi, time will tell.
The 2014 season is 130 days away and while we wait for the team to retake the field at RJS, it is never too early to begin the football talk for the season. In the next couple weeks, I’ll begin breaking down the roster, analyzing each player. I’ll be taking a look at what they did last season and what they could do in the 2014 season (yes, player by player. Even the long snappers). After that, I’ll take a look at each unit, the strengths, weaknesses and how the depth chart could look heading into the season. It will help stir up some conversation and get the football chatter going early before the team begins the fall camp. Go Bulls!