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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
USF Bulls

Bulls Beat: P Sara Nevins notches 1,000 strikeouts

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TAMPA – University of South Florida softball LHP Sara Nevins collected the third no-hitter of the season – and seventh of her career – in Saturday’s 4-0 victory against UCF.

It’s not often a no-hitter gets upstaged, but that actually happened. In the fourth inning, Nevins became the 81st NCAA Division I pitcher to achieve 1,000 career strikeouts, along with becoming the first USF player and fifth active pitcher to reach that milestone.

“I don’t really think about it like that, but I guess it’s a good thing to have happen,’’ said Nevins after the game in her typical deadpan style.

Nevins, who had two complete-game performances and 17 strikeouts during the weekend, was named to the American Athletic Conference’s softball weekly honor roll for the seventh time this season.

Nevins is only the third Division I pitcher in state history to reach the 1,000-strikeout club, joining Florida’s Stacey Nelson (1,116 from 2006-09) and Florida State’s Sarah Hamilton (1,005 from 2008-11).

The all-time Division I career record is 2,440 strikeouts by Tennessee’s Monica Abbott (2004-07).

The Bulls (30-13, 4-5 AAC) travel to league-leading Houston (26-12, 11-1) for a Friday double-header and a Saturday single game.

Orekhova’s dream

USF women’s basketball player Inga Orekhova followed Monday night’s WNBA draft on her laptop and phone because she didn’t get ESPNU. All of a sudden, she began receiving a flood of congratulatory texts and tweets.

Orekhova was selected 18th overall by the Atlanta Dream.

“It (Internet information) must have been delayed,’’ said Orekhova, a 6-foot-2 guard who had 1,072 points in her three USF seasons. “I was confused, but then I finally saw my name come up on the screen and it was real.’’

Orekhova is the fourth USF player to wear a WNBA jersey, joining Wanda Guyton (undrafted free agent, 1997), Jessica Dickson (21st overall pick, 2007) and Andrea Smith (35th overall pick, 2013).

Orekhova will play for Dream coach Michael Cooper, the former Los Angeles Lakers guard who recruited her out of high school to USC. Orekhova committed to the Trojans, but her SAT score didn’t meet the school’s admission standards. She went to junior college and eventually landed at USF.

Tourney talk

Orlando’s Amway Center took a leap of faith in attracting the AAC men’s basketball tournament for 2016 and 2017. With few exceptions, conference tournaments are hard-sell events, particularly in Florida, where even the SEC didn’t draw that well during visits to Orlando (1990) or Tampa (2009). For USF, it will be the shortest trip to a men’s conference basketball tournament since the 1981 Sun Belt Conference event was in Jacksonville.

Bulls bits

After Tuesday night’s 10-3 home win against Stetson, USF baseball (21-15, 7-5 AAC) travels to No. 14-ranked Houston (27-9, 4-5) tonight for the opener of a three-game series. Ten of USF’s final 20 games are against teams ranked in a top 25 poll. …Former USF DE Emerson Morris (1999-2002), pastor of Tampa’s Extreme Life Ministries, has written a book – “Daddy’s Milk’’ – that details the importance of a father’s role in a child’s life. Morris holds a book signing on April 25, 7 p.m., at USF’s Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center. To RSVP, contact Morris at DaddysMilkInfo@gmail.com.

jjohnston@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7353

Twitter: @JJohnstonTBO

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