TAMPA, Fla. - The BIG EAST Softball Championship game is set as No. 2 seed USF (42-14) defeated No. 3 seed Louisville (46-11) 3-0 Friday at the USF Softball Stadium. The No. 24 Bulls were led by BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year Sara Nevins' complete-game, three-hit shutout against the top-ranked offense in the league. USF is scheduled to face the top-seed Notre Dame tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET in the championship game aired live on ESPN2.
The Bulls return to the BIG EAST title game for the second time in their eighth season as a league member and first time since a 4-1 loss to DePaul in 2008.
Friday's nightcap paired the top-ranked pitching staff in the BIG EAST against the top-ranked offense. Nevins', the team's ace, held No. 12/11 Louisville to just three hits and held the Cards scoreless for only the third time all season. The Cardinals lead the league in almost every offensive category but could not manage a run against the league's most prolific pitcher.
USF scored all three runs in the bottom of the third inning. First Team All-BIG EAST selection Kourtney Salvarola hit a RBI double to right field for the first run of the game. She crossed home plate three batters later when second team all-conference selection Kenshyra Jackson singled up the middle for a two-RBI base hit.
Saturday's championship game marks the first meeting between USF and Notre Dame in the BIG EAST tournament.