March 1, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) – It was a tale of two games for the UCF softball team as they played their quickest as well as their longest contests of the season back-to-back on Friday at the UCF Softball Complex. The Knights (12-7) cruised past Villanova, 3-0, in game one before edging Ole Miss, 4-3, in 10 innings in the night cap.
Game One: UCF 3, Villanova 0 - Box Score
Freshman Shelby Turnier was locked on cruise control as she spun a two-hit shutout in a game that lasted just an hour and 20 minutes. It took the Palm Beach Gardens native just 75 pitches to work her way through the Wildcats' lineup three times. Turnier faced just three batters over the minimum as she walked one and struck out four.
The Knights got the board in the bottom of the third after a two-out error by Villanova extended the frame. Freshman Mariah Garcia stepped in and smacked an RBI double to the deepest part of the park in straightaway center to plate an unearned run. In the fifth inning, freshman Kaitlyn Steckel knocked in the second unearned run for the Knights on a sacrifice fly to left. Turnier helped her cause by scoring both of the Knights' first two runs.
UCF capped its scoring when freshman Kalyn Cenal came up with a big two-out RBI single to score fellow freshman Jasmine Acevedo from second in the sixth. Acevedo and Cenal have entrenched themselves into the Knights’ lineup as they are hitting .333 and .308 respectively.
Game Two: UCF 4, Ole Miss 3 (10 Innings) - Box Score
After playing under an hour and a half in game one, the Knights went deep into extra innings in game two that took over three hours to complete. Sophomore Farrah Sullivan had a walk-off fielder’s choice in the bottom of the 10th as her groundball to short scored sophomore Kahley Novak from third. Novak used her speed to beat the throw at the plate by a step and sent the Knights’ bench into jubilation.
UCF led most of the contest as it took an early 1-0 lead on a massive solo home run by Garcia in the second inning. It was the first-career long ball for the Houston native, who had three hits in the two games and has shown signs of breaking out of an early-season slump. Ole Miss, however, showed great heart as it battled back to tie the game by clawing across runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
With international rules taking effect in the eighth, it was the Black and Gold’s defense that carried them through. With a runner on third and just one out in the top of the eighth, the Rebels lifted a fly ball into left. Acevedo settled under it and threw a perfect strike to sophomore Hayley Barrow behind the plate to nail the potential go-ahead run. However, the Knights were unable to win the game in the bottom half of the frame and Ole Miss took the lead in the top of the ninth on an RBI single.
Ole Miss junior Shelby Jo Fenter went the distance, throwing a season-high 190 pitches, but was unable to keep the Knights at bay in the ninth or tenth. With freshman pinch runner Kirsten Foster placed on second to open the ninth, Garcia sacrificed her to third for the first out. Senior Danielle Brewer was tabbed to pinch hit and she executed a picture-perfect suicide squeeze play that scored Foster and tied the game. The flip to the plate beat Foster; however the Clermont native slid in just under the tag in a true bang-bang play.
Turnier earned her second victory of the day as she pitched 3.1 innings of one-hit relief. Turnier allowed an unearned run in the top of the ninth, but got the win when her teammates tied it and later won it in the 10th. Sophomore Mackenzie Audas made the start and was strong in stretches, but inconsistent in others. Audas struck out six in 6.2 innings, but issued a career-high six walks and also hit two batters. However, the two pitchers have still formed a strong one-two punch as they each hold ERA’s lower than 2.40.
The Knights return to action Saturday as the UCF Spring Fling continues on its second day with UCF taking on Connecticut at 4 and Penn at 6:30 p.m. Fans who purchase a ticket to the men’s basketball game at 1 p.m. in the UCF Arena will be granted free admission into both the UCF softball and baseball games going on that night.