Feb. 14, 2005
LAS VEGAS, Nev. -
The UCF softball team finished the weekend at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic picking up a 6-5 victory over host UNLV on Sunday night.
Stephanie Best put the Golden Knights on the board in the first inning with a home run down the leftfield line.
The Rebels evened the game in the second inning capitalizing on a couple of UCF errors, and took a 2-1 lead in the third inning on homer by Marissa Nichols.
UCF charged back posting a five spot in the fourth inning. Amber Lamb got the rally started with a double, and moved over to third on a ground out by Crystle Krafft. Jania Shinhoster drew a walk, and stole second.
With runners on second and third, Kacie Feaster reached on an infield single scoring Lamb to even the game at two. Cat Snapp was hit by a pitch, and that loaded the bases for Ashley Baker. The freshman pitcher helped her own cause clearing the bases with a grand slam giving UCF a 6-2 lead.
"I was so proud of our team's character during that inning," head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "There were a couple of calls that didn't go our way, but we fought through it. That was an amazing hit by Ashley in a key situation."
UNLV cut the lead to 6-5 with three runs in the fifth, but Jennifer Tomasetti came in closing the door with authority over the final two-plus innings. Tomasetti gave up only one hit while facing 11 batters, and got the Rebels to go down in order during the seventh.
In the opening game, UCF got off to a fast start against Hawaii as well. Lamb crushed a two-run homer that scored Cici Alvarez giving the Golden Knights a 2-0 advantage after a half-inning of play.
The Rainbow Wahine manufactured a run starting the frame with back-to-back walks. Denise Dahlberg reached on a fielder's choice, and Hawaii had runners on the corners. Tyleen Tausaga grounded out scoring Tracie Uchima.
Hawaii took the lead with five runs on five hits in the fourth inning. Tausaga started the inning with a double, and Noelle Izumi drove in two runs with a triple that capped three consecutive hits for the Rainbow Wahine.
UCF started to rally in the seventh as Feaster hit a triple, and scored on a RBI single by Lindsay Enders. The momentum was stopped on a game-ending double play that gave Hawaii a 6-3 win.
"This was a great weekend for our squad," Luers-Gillispie said. "Going 3-1 in a tournament with competition like this is a strong accomplishment. We showed this weekend that we can play at a high level."
UCF returns to the diamond on Friday afternoon against Longwood and North Dakota State at the UCF Softball Complex. Game times are set for 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and admission is free for all fans.