TAMPA - The streaking University of South Florida softball team just continues to roll.
The 18th-ranked Bulls (37-5 overall, 10-0 Big East) rode two first-inning runs and got 12 strikeouts from Sara Nevins to top Providence (13-22, 4-5) 5-0 in game one Wednesday at the USF Softball Stadium. It was USF's 17th consecutive win, tying a record first set in 2003 and then tied in 2004.
In a true pitcher's duel, both starters settled in early and traded punches as the teams combined to record just four hits in the game. Nevins cruised early, striking out 10 in her first four innings of work, and completed six innings of work, allowing just two hits for the win. With two outs and a runner on third in the sixth, Nevins pitched out of her only jam with a three-pitch strikeout.
The Friar's Alicia Grosso matched Nevins pitch-for-pitch through five innings, retiring 12 straight Bulls after allowing a leadoff hit to begin the second inning. But in a 2-0 game, the senior right-hander seemed to run out of steam in the sixth, hitting two batters and walking three to help send the Bulls to a three-run, no-hit inning. Kourtney Salvarola and Laura Fountain each provided sacrifice flies, extending the lead to five.
Junior pitcher Lindsey Richardson pitched the seventh, making her first appearance since going March 9 due to shoulder discomfort. Richardson looked sharp, striking out a pair in a scoreless seventh to finish off the Bulls' win.
USF finished the game with two hits, as Kenshyra Jackson doubled in the first and Jessica Mouse legged out an infield single in the second.