April 9, 2014
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Nate Blythe
+ VIDEO: Coach Gillispie, Audas, Sullivan Postgame
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DELAND, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF junior pitcher Mackenzie Audas struck out 11 in a three-hit shutout, 1-0, that snapped Stetson's 13-game winning streak on Wednesday night at Patricia Wilson Field. The difference proved to be a solo home run to center field blasted by junior third baseman Farrah Sullivan to lead off the sixth.
In the bottom-half, Stetson (28-6) moved two runners in scoring position with one out. Audas ended the threat by registering back-to-back strikeouts of Demi Meza and Meredith Owen, the third and fourth hitters in the Hatters lineup.
The Plant City, native improved to 12-8 for UCF (28-12). Audas became stronger as the game progressed, registering five strikeouts over the last seven batters.
The shutout for the Knights pitching staff was the 15th of the season, tied for the second most in the nation with Minnesota. Audas has totaled five complete-game shutouts, while sophomore Shelby Turnier has added nine.
The pitching duel also included Meredith Owen, who fell to 16-4 and fanned five in 5.1 innings, and starter Courtney Brandt from Stetson. Owen entered the game with the third-lowest ERA in the country, which rose to 0.75.
It was a matchup of a pair of top 50 RBI team in UCF (42) and Stetson (39). The Knights left seven runners on base, while the Hatters left five stranded on the base paths.
After sophomore outfielder Mariah Garica singled to center field in the second, Amanda Grimaldo started the Hatters off with a single in the bottom-half. The next batter hit a soft liner up the middle caught by freshman shortstop Brittany Solis, who doubled off Grimaldo at first.
Audas won a long 14-pitch battle with Brittany Hawn for the second out of the third frame and retired leadoff hitter Jessie Tenbroeck swinging to retire the side.
During the fifth inning, sophomore catcher Kalyn Cenal recorded a base knock through the left side. A sacrifice bunt that was dropped by the first baseman enabled for junior outfielder Maddy Schroeder to reach.
The Knights had a pair of runners on with junior second baseman Kahley Novak at the plate with one out. Stetson caught a break as the Clermont native was called out for making contact with a live ball in fair territory. Owen notched one of her five strikeouts to end the frame.
In the bottom-half, the Hatters recorded a leadoff single to right by Kayla Drury, who was out on the play trying to stretch it to a double. The right fielder Schroeder dove and knocked the ball towards the infield, which enabled for sophomore first baseman Samantha McCloskey to throw out the runner that was tagged by the shortstop Solis at second.
Following a walk to start the seventh inning, Audas settled down to strikeout the side and clinch the victory for the Knights.
Novak saw her 13-game hitting streak end, but extended a reached-base streak to 14 by being intentionally walked in the seventh.
UCF resumes play in The American on Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at rival USF. The teams complete the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m.