March 17, 2013
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Andrew Jennette
HOUSTON, Texas. (UCFAthletics.com) – The UCF softball team showed its heart as it attempted to rally for a second come-from-behind victory over Houston in as many days. However, the Knights (16-14, 1-5 Conference USA) came up just short as they were edged, 2-1, by the Cougars (16-8, 5-1) in Sunday’s series finale at Cougar Softball Stadium.
Trailing 2-0, momentum shifted in UCF’s favor in the bottom of the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and All-American Haley Outon at the plate for the Cougars, head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie called sophomore Mackenzie Audas out of the bullpen to get Knights out of a jam. UCF showed great respect to Outon’s power at the plate over the entire series, issuing six intentional walks to the catcher in three games, but had no place to put her in this scenario with the bases loaded. Audas responded to the challenge and blew Outon away on a 3-2 riseball for a strikeout swinging to end the threat. The Plant City native was excellent in relief as she tossed 2.1 innings of perfect softball with three strikeouts.
Still fired up from the previous strikeout, the UCF dugout was as animated and loud as they have been at any point this season in the top of the fifth. Freshman Shelby Turnier led off the frame with a single and was then lifted for freshman pinch runner Taylor Wagner. Wagner scored all the way from first after a RBI double into the gap in left-center by freshman Mariah Garcia. Garcia, a Houston native, was playing in front of approximately 30 family members and had a huge smile on her face as she pulled up at second base while the Knights’ bench erupted.
UCF tried to complete the comeback as it put the leadoff runner on in the sixth and seventh innings, but it was unable to plate a run in either frame. Turnier was tagged with the loss, her fifth of the year, as she allowed three hits and two runs in 3.2 innings of work.
The Knights return to action on Wednesday with a non-conference doubleheader against Monmouth beginning at 4 p.m. It will be Dollar Knight as fans can purchase $1 hot dogs at the concession stands throughout the evening.
The Black and Gold have 12 home games remaining at the UCF Softball Complex, with season tickets for the 2013 season costing only $30. Single game and season tickets are available for purchase online at UCFAthletics.com and Ticketmaster.com, or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) UCF-1000.