TAMPA, Fla. -- The University of Maine softball team opened its 2014 season with an 8-2 loss at South Florida on Sunday evening. Dagmar Ralphs (O'Fallon, Ill.) and EmJ Fogel (Vienna, Va.) each had two hits for the Black Bears while Fogel and Jessica Burk (Warrenton, Va.) drove in Maine's two runs.
Maine kicked off its season on a strong note as it put up a pair of runs in the top of the first at South Florida. Felicia Lennon (Brookfield, Conn.) kicked off the inning by working a walk before advancing on a single to left from Dagmar Ralphs. Burk kept the offense moving as her two-out single to right drove in Lennon. Maine took a two-run lead when Fogel slapped a single up the middle, scoring Ralphs.
South Florida knotted the score in the bottom of the first as Stephanie Medina drove in the Bulls' first run on an RBI single to center before Ashli Goff scored from third when the Fogel threw out a USF runner attempting to steal second.
The Bulls took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the third after Veronica Gajownik drove in a pair with a single to the gap in left center.
South Florida extended its lead to 5-2 after four innings of play on an RBI single by Goff and added another run in the home half of the fifth.
Kourtney Salvarol added to the Bulls' lead with a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth, extending the South Florida lead to 8-2.
Kylie Sparks (Kirkland, Wash.) started in the circle for the Black Bears and took the loss after giving up four runs, two earned, on five hits with three walks and one strikeout. Hannah Hill (Fryeburg, Maine) replaced Sparks in the circle and went three innings while giving up four runs on five hits and three walks.
Maine continues its season tomorrow when it meets Loyola Marymount at 10 AM.