TAMPA, FL -
USF pitching held Rutgers scoreless throughout the duration of the three game set as the Bulls swept the Scarlet Knights to open Big East play. USF (29-5, 3-0) is off to its best start in program history after finishing off Rutgers with a 1-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at the USF Softball Stadium.
After putting up 20 runs through the first two games of the series, USF was kept off the scoreboard until the bottom of the fifth.
Rutgers' starter Alyssa Landrith hit Jessica Mouse and walked D'Anna Devine to open the home half of the fifth. Gina Kafalas grounded out to short, allowing both runners to advance, but Ashli Goff popped out for the second out of the inning.
The Scarlet Knights elected to walk Stephanie Medina to load the bases, the second straight at-bat that Rutgers issued an intentional pass to the Bulls' first baseman. Landrith then hit Kenshyra Jackson with the next pitch to push across Mouse with the lone run of the ballgame.
Sara Nevins started and worked the first 6.2 of shutout softball, before Sam Greiner came on to get the final out for her second save.
In the series, Nevins did not allow a run in 14.2 innings, as Rutgers managed just eight hits against her in the three games. With the victory Sunday, Nevins improved to 16-2 and lowered her Big East-best ERA to 0.55.
USF will play its first road game on Wednesday, as they will travel to Gainesville for a 6 p.m. showdown with the University of Florida. The Gators (29-2) defeated the Bulls 3-2 in eight innings when the two teams squared off in Tampa on February 12.