CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Saint Joseph's softball team put up a pair of strong efforts versus two nationally-recognized teams in Friday's opening day of the USF-Clearwater Parks and Recreation Showcase Tournament. UCF, which received votes in this week's USA Today/NFCA Coaches' Poll, held off the Hawks, 3-0 in the day's first game, while #17 Indiana scored late to top Saint Joseph's, 2-1 in the nightcap.
In game one, the Knights (15-7) opened the scoring in the bottom of the third on a two-run home run by Tamesha Glover off SJU starter Ashley Ventura.
UCF extended its lead to 3-0 in the fifth on a Jazmine Esparza RBI single, and kept the Hawks off the board for the game as SJU senior Amanda Kulp accounted for both of her team's hits.
In the circle, Ventura took the loss despite pitching well and allowing three runs on six hits, while striking out two.
In game two, Indiana (19-2) scored the game's first run in the top of the first as Grayson Radcliffe scored on a wild pitch.
Unfortunately for SJU, the Hoosiers broke the tie in the top of the seventh on a two-out RBI single, then held off the Hawks' rally in the bottom of the inning.
Five different Hawks picked up a hit versus Indiana, with Ventura again earning the loss despite a strong performance as she tossed a complete game, while allowing two runs on eight hits.
The Hawks (6-4) continue play at the USF-Clearwater Parks and Recreation Showcase Tournament with games against Penn State (noon) and Toledo (5:00 p.m.) on Saturday.
Receive all of the latest news and info on SJU softball with Hawk E-News – SIGN UP