Feb. 12, 2005
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -
Saturday was a historic day for the UCF softball team. The Golden Knights upset No. 11/8 Washington, 1-0 in the opening game of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic.
The Huskies are the highest ranked opponent that UCF has beaten in its four-year history.
"This is the type of game our girls dream about," head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "We know we can play at this level, and we proved it this afternoon against a strong Pac-10 program."
Lindsay Enders kept the Huskies in-check pitching a complete game two-hitter. Enders struck out six batters, and at one-point retired 12 of 13 hitters.
"All of my pitchers were working this afternoon," Enders said. "My defense did a fantastic job behind me, and that makes me a better pitcher."
Stephanie Best broke the scoreless tie in the sixth inning ripping a majestic blast to straight away centerfield that cleared two sets of fences.
"I was happy to step up for the team when we needed a run," Best said. "This was a game we wanted because Washington is an elite program. They make the NCAA's all the time, and this proves that we can play with anyone as long as we stay confident."
Enders sat down the final six hitters, and closed out the game punching out the final batter.
"Enders and Best came up huge for us in so many ways," Luers-Gillispie said. "They made plays when we needed them most. That's what seniors are supposed to do."
In the second game, the Golden Knights came from behind for a 6-5 victory in eight innings over Portland State.
"A win is a win, and the end result is what matters," Luers-Gillispie said. "It may not have been the performance we were looking for after the win over Washington, but I'll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any time."
UCF grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning as designated player Bryttanni Lindheim starting the frame with a single to leftfield. Lindheim moved to second after Best reached an error. The Golden Knights took advantage of another Vikings mistake when second baseman Crystle Krafft got on base allowing both runs to score.
The Golden Knights posted two more runs making it 4-0 in the second inning. Cat Snapp
reached on a fielder's choice, and went to second on an infield single by Cici Alvarez
. Snapp came across on a Portland State error, while Alvarez came into score on a RBI single by Best.
PSU charged back, and took a 5-4 after six innings using two home runs. Kimi Daniel hit a three-run homer in the fifth, while Lauren McCarthy gave the Vikings the lead in the sixth with a two-run shot.
With the Golden Knights down to their final out, Lindheim popped a double into the leftfield gap. Ashley Baker came into pinch-run for Lindheim, and UCF had runners on the corners as Best hustled down the line for an infield hit. Amber Lamb legged out an infield hit, and Baker scored the tying run.
Enders retired the Vikings in order during the seventh to force extra innings.
The international tiebreaker rule put Krafft on second base to start the inning. She got to third on a Kacie Feaster sacrifice bunt, and the Golden Knights had runners on the corners when Jania Shinhoster reached on an infield hit. Enders tried to bunt the run in, but Krafft was tagged out at the plate.
UCF got another clutch two-out hit. This one came off the bat off Snapp, who slapped a double down the leftfield line to score Shinhoster giving the Golden Knights a 6-5 lead.
"Cat showed fantastic plate presence," Luers-Gillispie said. "It was great to see her step up in a pressure situation like that. She was confident at that particular moment because she had been hitting the ball hard during the entire game."
PSU had a chance to win in the bottom of the inning loading the bases, but the UCF defense held getting a grounder to force the tying run out at the plate. Once again, Enders struck out the final batter swinging to end the game.
The Golden Knights take on Hawaii and UNLV tomorrow afternoon in the final day of the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. The schedule change is due to the rain from the opening day of the tournament.