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USF Bulls

Bulls blown out 11-1 by Gators at regionals

MICHAEL MANGANELLO Tribune correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: May 18, 2013 at 03:54 PM

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GAINESVILLE — In the biggest game of the season to date, the University of South Florida softball team played its worst game of the year.

The Bulls, playing a winner’s bracket game in the Gainesville Regional, ran into a buzzsaw in No. 2 Florida, getting blown out 11-1 in a five-inning run-rule loss.

USF (44-15) led 1-0 early after a wild first inning in which the Bulls scored a run and left the bases loaded without the benefit of a hit.

Once the Gators (54-7) came to bat though, everything changed as Florida’s offense kicked into gear. The Gators scored three runs in the first inning and five in the second to take a commanding 8-1 lead and force USF starter Sara Nevins out of the game after only 1.1 innings.

Florida’s Lauren Haeger tied a school record for RBIs with seven in a 2-for-2 outing, including a three-run homerun.

“There’s a reason they’re No. 2 in the country,” USF coach Ken Eriksen said. “They can be flawless. … Sometimes reminders like this are needed. (We’ve got to) come back tonight, play well tonight and get a ‘W’ and then play a great day tomorrow.”

Now, USF will meet either Georgia Southern or Hampton in an elimination game Saturday evening. The Bulls beat GSU 1-0 in eight innings Friday.

Should the Bulls win the evening game, they’ll need to beat Florida twice Sunday to advance to the Super Regionals.

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