Riding into Sunday’s game with a 2-0 series lead over USF, Wichita State was unable to complete the series sweep in the final regular season game of the year. USF claimed the regular season American Athletic Conference title with a 1-0 win over the Shockers at Wilkins Stadium.
Erin McDonald pitched her 14th complete game of the season and came up with three strikeouts. USF’s Georgina Corrick struck out eight Shockers and only allowed two hits in the shutout.
McDonald retired the first two batters in the top of the first, but a solo home run to left field from Lindsey Devitt allowed USF to take an early one-run lead. The Shockers looked to respond in the next half-inning, with Sydney McKinney and Madison Perrigan drawing walks with one out. USF, however, forced a groundout to third base that resulted in a double play to end the inning.
USF drew a one-out walk in the top of the third, advancing to scoring position off a passed ball. The Bulls hit a fly ball to right field to move the runner 60 feet away from scoring the game’s second run, but McDonald came up with a strikeout to keep it a 1-0 game.
After reaching second base off a Wichita State error, an infield single by USF put runners on the corners with two outs. McDonald once again came in clutch and registered a strikeout to prevent any damage in the top of the fifth inning.
The Bulls once again looked to extend their lead by getting runners on first and second off a throwing error by the Shockers and a single to center field with two outs. Wichita State got out of the top of the sixth, however, thanks to a diving catch from Bailee Nickerson in left field foul territory.
After USF retired eight consecutive Shocker batters, McKinney drew a walk and Perrigan came up with a double to right field to put two runners in scoring position with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. Corrick protected USF’s lead, forcing a pop up to the shortstop to keep the Bulls ahead heading into the final half-inning.
Tayli Filla came up with a leadoff single for USF in the top of the seventh, with AnaMarie Bruni coming up with a one-out double to put two runners in scoring position. Thanks to a tag out at the plate off a throw from McKinney and a fly out to center field, the Shockers kept it at a 1-0 game heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Corrick didn’t allow the Shockers to come back, forcing a pop up to second and two strikeouts to give USF the win that allowed them to claim the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
Wichita State (31-24, 12-9) will be the No. 4 seed in the American Athletic Conference Championship in Houston and will play UCF in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 3 p.m. CST.