TAMPA - It took an incredible outing from starting pitcher Sara Nevins and a Ashli Goff clutch single in extra innings for the USF Bulls to capture their first ever softball Big East championship 1-0 over Notre Dame.
The conference pitcher of the year from Pinellas Park High School struck out 12 in nine and two-thirds innings of work. Besting the National Player of the Year and counterpart Laura Winter on the mound for top seeded Notre Dame.
"It means a lot considering it's the last of the Big East tournaments that's going to have everyone involved, including Notre Dame," head coach Ken Eriksen said. "It just says that we beat one of the best softball lineups in the Big East's history with Louisville, Notre Dame and DePaul. For us to come out on top in the last one says a
Lindsey Richardson replaced Nevins on the mound in the bottom of the tenth inning to collect the final out. The championship win assures USF a spot in the NCAA tournament.
Nevins had a perfect game going until St. Petersburg Catholic Alumnus Chloe Saganowich broke it up in the bottom of the sixth for the Irish. The junior Bulls' hurler made every start for the USF in the conference tournament.
"I had to make sure I didn't leave anything over the plate and basically not try to blow it past anybody. I had to make sure they hit to my defense to make the outs," the Big East Pitcher of the Year and the tournament's most outstanding player said.
((Article written with the assistance from USF sports information))