After Thursday’s comeback win against Syracuse, the USF softball team was unable to keep the momentum going, falling  4-0 in the semifinals to No. 19 DePaul at the Big East Tournament in Louisville.

DePaul’s Becca Heteniak, who was named the Big East Pitcher of the Year, provided her own run support by hitting a two-run home run off the top of the Louisville scoreboard in left field to give the Blue Demons a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Heteniak then shut down the Bulls’ bats, pitching a complete game while giving up only one hit, providing one walk and  striking out nine.

“I think you have to give Heteniak a lot of credit,” said USF coach Ken Eriksen afterward. “I think we played well today, but we just happened to run into a really good pitcher.”

The Bulls got their best scoring opportunity in the bottom of the fifth. Junior JoJo Medina walked and junior first basemen Ashley Bullion singled to put two runners on base with only one out. However, Heteniak struck out freshman Laura Fountain and got junior third basemen Alison Savarse to fly out to left to end the threat.

The top-seeded Blue Demons (37-11) added two runs in the top of the seventh inning to seal the victory.

USF (34-22) stayed in the game with a solid pitching performance from freshmen Candace Howell. After the home run, she settled down to pitch 5 1/3 innings, giving up only three hits, one walk and six strikeouts.

The Bulls now wait until Sunday night to see if they’ll earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The selection show is at 10 p.m. on ESPNU.

– Will McLaughlin

~~~~ USF’s men’s tennis team, which won the Big East tournament, ended its season today with a 4-0 loss to Auburn in the NCAA tournament in Tallahassee Friday.