first_img Comments Published on May 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Nick: [email protected] | @nicktoneytweets Leigh Ross still tries to joke with Hallie Gibbs about the South Florida series from last season. But Gibbs, Ross’ former standout at third base, refuses to laugh about how Syracuse was swept in three games by the Bulls.A season after that sweep, Gibbs won’t even talk about those surprising losses with her former coach, Ross.‘We try to make light of it, but she won’t even speak of what happened last season down there,’ Ross said. ‘We were playing so well, and to go down there and lose three straight made us all angry. But she was by far the angriest.’Gibbs graduated without a single career win against the Bulls in four seasons. And if SU can’t beat South Florida once in three games this weekend, this year’s senior class will graduate angry, too. SU hasn’t beat South Florida since April 23, 2006.This weekend’s regular season finale against the Bulls means a little more to second baseman Stephanie Watts and the rest of the senior class. Watts said none of her senior teammates want to ruin their last home weekend at SU Softball Stadium without extracting some revenge and ending USF’s streak. Syracuse (38-12, 15-4 Big East) will play a doubleheader against the Bulls (44-8, 16-3) at noon on Saturday, and will play the third game on Sunday at 11 a.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIf the Orange takes at least two games, it’ll reach 40 wins for another milestone on an already strong season. Doing that against South Florida, though, would be a diversion from the typical results when these two teams play.‘We haven’t beaten them since I’ve been here,’ Watts said, ‘so even before the season, we had senior weekend circled on the schedule.’While Watts said beating South Florida was ‘the ultimate goal’ for this weekend, catcher Lacey Kohl sees reaching 40 wins as the most significant accomplishment that could come out of this weekend.After SU lost a few games in the non-conference tournaments at the beginning of the year, Kohl called a team meeting to discuss the season. At that meeting, players wrote down the goals they had for the season.Winning 40 games was near the top of that list. Kohl said any 40-win team is virtually guaranteed to earn an automatic NCAA tournament berth. And because SU’s doubleheader against Niagara was cancelled on Tuesday, Kohl and her teammates will need to beat South Florida to reach that goal.‘Winning 40 games is big,’ Kohl said. ‘It’s almost a sure bid for the regional season, but it’s also just a huge accomplishment. Our goal is 40 wins, so it’d be nice to get even closer.’Kohl and her teammates know South Florida has already reached the 40-win mark. The No. 18 team in the country has won 44 games this season and has only eight losses on its record.Pitcher Stacy Kuwik said beating South Florida and earning SU’s 40th win of the season would be great for the team’s momentum heading into the Big East tournament and beyond.‘Coach King said at the beginning of the season that our team is circled on every white board and every schedule,’ said Kuwik. ‘We need good wins to take the postseason by storm.’For most SU players, though, quality wins fall second to the other weekend storylines. Seniors want to beat South Florida before they graduate, and the whole team wants to notch their 40th win.Watts said she knew her goal for this weekend the moment the schedule was released.‘Beating the Bulls,’ Watts said. ‘Everything else takes a backseat.’[email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img