Follow @BigEastChamps for more Championship Coverage
TAMPA, Fla. - In the final game of quarterfinal action at the BIG EAST Softball Championship Thursday, the No. 2 seed and host-school USF (41-14) defeated No. 7 seed Providence (23-28-1) 3-0 to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2009. BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year, junior Sara Nevins, threw six scoreless innings and struck out nine at the USF Softball Stadium. The Bulls' top-ranked pitching staff in the league is set to face the top-ranked offensive team, No. 3 seed Louisville, tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The Bulls make their fourth appearance at the BIG EAST Championship semifinals and first since the 2009 season. They are 1-2 in those games and 1-2 all-time against Louisville in the tournament. USF won the last semifinal meeting against the Cards 2-1.
Game 4 remained scoreless until a three-run outing in the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Bulls the lead and the win. Sophomore centerfielder D'Anna Devine hit a one-out double to put the winning run in scoring position followed by a single to right field from junior first baseman Stephanie Medina. With a fielder's choice on the next at-bat, the bases were loaded for catcher Lee Ann Spivey. The freshman provided a clutch single to right field, driving in two runs, and a fielder's choice bunt by junior second baseman Dani Wayt drove in the third run of the inning.
USF and Providence recorded four hits each in another pitching duel Thursday. The quarterfinal round at the BIG EAST Softball Championship featured three shutouts.