USF gets key hits, win in nine innings
Bulls even series with Hofstra, snap Galati's 32-game win streak
TAMPA - Half of the mission is complete for USF. Kenshyra Jackson and Laura Fountain drove in runs in the top of the ninth and Sara Nevins stayed cool with bases loaded in the bottom half of the inning to help the Bulls defeat Hofstra 2-1 Saturday to force Game 3 of the Tampa Super Regional series.
USF's ability to break up a scoreless tie in the ninth paved the way for the program's first super regional victory before a loud crowd of 1,544 fans. Stephanie Medina led off the top half the inning with a single for the Bulls. Janine Richardson's sacrifice moved pinch runner Courtney Goff to second and runners were on first and second after Kourtney Salvarola was hit by a pitch.
Jackson followed gave USF its biggest hit of the series with a single to right-center that scored Goff for the Bulls' first lead of the series. Fountain followed with an RBI sacrifice fly to right and the Bulls were three outs away from a doubleheader.
Hofstra cut its deficit in half with an infield single by Becca Bigler and had the bases loaded with two outs. Sara Nevins locked up the win by getting Olivia Galata to ground out.
Galati pitched all 11 innings of Hofstra's 2-1 win on Friday and went the distance again on Saturday, scattering five hits and striking out seven. Galati's program-record 32-game winning streak was snapped.
USF rotated Lindsey Richardson and Nevins throughout the game and the combination did the trick. Richardson gave up two hits in four shutout innings and Nevins (30-5) gave up the lone run on three hits in five frames.
The winner of Saturday's series finale books a trip to the Women's College World Series, a first for either program.