May 21, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A battle of instate schools went the way of the University of South Florida softball team as the Bulls eliminated the Florida Gators 8-1 Thursday night in the 2004 NCAA Division I Softball Tallahassee Regional at the Seminole Softball Complex. The Bulls did most of their damage in the fourth inning with six runs.
The victory keeps USF’s hopes alive of a bid to Oklahoma City, Okla., and the Women’s College World Series as it improves to 59-13 on the year. The Bulls face Cal State Northridge, who eliminated Ohio State earlier, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The Gators concluded their season with a 41-20 mark.
Leigh Ann Ellis went the distance for USF, improving her record to 42-7, while Stacey Stevens took the loss for Florida with her ledger dropping to 14-11. Ellis gave up just one run on six hits with seven strikeouts.
Twice in its first three at-bats, Florida had a runner in scoring position but couldn’t get the run across. After a hit in each of the first two innings, the Bulls came alive for six runs in the fourth with all half dozen runs coming with two outs.
Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for catcher Sarah Watson who promptly cleared them with a double to left center. After a single from Samantha Ray, Kattrina Dowd followed with a base knock to plate another run. With six infielders on the dirt, Shelly Riker delivered a double to left center to score two more runs.
Florida came back with a run in the fifth inning when Mandy Schuerman scored on a wild pitch after leading off the inning with a single. South Florida added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh as Holly Groves hit a two-run home run to left center, scoring Alycia LePage.
Groves collected a game-high three hits while driving in a pair with the home run and crossing the plate twice. Ray also collected two hits. Florida’s Mylin Prieto led the Gators with two hits.