ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Sophomore third baseman Farrah Sullivan hit a monster walk-off grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the UCF softball team past UTEP, 4-2, and complete the weekend sweep on Pink Day. The Knights (21-21, 4-11 Conference USA) moved into sole possession of seventh in the league standings by defeating the Miners (12-22, 1-10) and can continue to climb with three series remaining.
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the 11th, head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie tabbed freshman Jasmine Acevedo to pinch hit and the decision was rewarded as the Largo native reached on a solid single to left center. After a pair of outs put the Knights down to their last hope, sophomore Maddy Schroeder extended the game with a single to left. With a base open, the Miners took no chances with freshman Mariah Garcia as she walked on four pitches to load the bases and set the stage for Sullivan's heroics.
The Waynesboro native got ahead in the count 3-1 before lifting a high fastball well over the wall in straight away centerfield. Sullivan was mobbed by her teammates as the plate for the second-consecutive game as she also ended Saturday's contest with a walk-off hit. The grand slam gave Sullivan a team-high 19 RBI and helped solidify her reputation as a clutch player.
It was also a record-setting day in the circle for sophomore Mackenzie Audas. The Plant City native went the full 11 innings and recorded a career-high 17 strikeouts. The 17 K's were the most in any C-USA game this season and also tied the all-time record for strikeouts in a conference game. Audas also set a new school record for the most punch outs in a home contest. Overall she allowed just five hits and two runs with two walks in her 149-pitch effort.
The Knights and Miners were deadlocked at zero until the top of the 11th, when UTEP broke through with a pair of runs. After Audas issued a bases-loaded walked for the game's first run, there was some miscommunication between UCF and the home plate umpire which allowed a second run to come across. The Knights believed they had called a timeout after the walk and huddled up at the mound for a conference. The umpire, however, never granted them time and the Miners' runner on third base raced home uncontested for a stolen base to put UTEP up 2-0.
The Knights return to action on Wednesday with a non-conference road contest at FIU. UCF will be taking on the Panthers for the first time since 2010.
The Black and Gold have one home series remaining at the UCF Softball Complex, with single-game tickets for Senior Weekend available for purchase online at UCFAthletics.com and Ticketmaster.com, or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) UCF-1000.