April 27, 2014
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Nate Blythe
+ VIDEO: Coach Gillispie, 1B McCloskey, OF Garcia, PH Springer
+ Photo Gallery
+ Box Score |
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF softball team rallied with two runs in the sixth inning to post a 7-5 victory over Houston to notch the series sweep on Sunday and stay two games ahead of USF and Louisville in The American standings. Junior third baseman Farrah Sullivan tallied three hits and drove in a run to pace the Knights.
The teams traded the lead twice and had three ties during the series finale at the UCF Softball Complex. Houston (29-19, 11-7) scored first in the second inning and had a 4-1 lead going to the bottom of the fourth.
UCF (36-15, 12-3) took its first advantage with a four-run fourth inning, 5-4, before the Cougars tied it, 5-5, in the sixth. The Knights responded by loading the bases with two outs and setting the stage for Garcia's game-winning single through the left side. A walk drawn by sophomore catcher Kalyn Cenal added an important insurance run to put the home team up, 7-5.
Junior pitcher Mackenzie Audas (17-10) recorded six strikeouts in the complete-game triumph to notch her second win of the series vs. the Cougars.
The Knights registered 13 hits and totaled 40 base knocks on the weekend with sophomores designated player Jessica Ujvari, first baseman Samantha McCloskey and freshman outfielder Linnea Goodman tallying multi-hit games. McCloskey blasted her fourth homer of the season to knot the contest 1-1 after Houston scored in the top of the second.
The Cougars came right back and plate two runs highlighted by a RBI triple by Tiffini McKnight to retake the lead, 3-1, during the third. Houston then extended the advantage to 4-1 in the next inning on a single by Jaime Edwards up the middle.
In the bottom half, a rally was started against game-one pitcher Diedre Outon, who entered the game for starter Summer Groholski and walked the first batter, Cenal. Connecting on a double to right center was McCloskey that scored sophomore pinch runner Kaitlyn Steckel and knocked D. Outon out of the circle.
The new relief pitcher Julana Schrum, who faced the Knights in game two, was met with a run-scoring double to left center by sophomore pinch runner Lena Springer, 4-3.
There were two outs on the scoreboard when Goodman registered a single up the middle to tie the game, then Sullivan connected on a double to right center to put the Knights in front, 5-4.
Houston loaded the bases with one out in the fifth following three-straight walks, but Audas was able to induce a groundout where junior second baseman Kahley Novak got the force out at home and fly out to center that ended the threat.
In the sixth inning, the Cougars tied the game 5-5 on a Katie St. Pierre single up the middle following a leadoff base knock by Edwards.
Starting a one-out rally in the bottom of the frame was Novak with an infield single before Goodman dropped down a perfect bunt that went for a base hit. A long 12-pitch at bat allowed for Je. Ujvari to draw a walk that loaded the bases.
With two outs, Garcia worked a 2-1 count and went the other way with a single through the left side to put the Knights on top, 6-5. A bases-loaded walk provided the Knights with a two-run cushion.
After Haley Outon reached on a fielding mistake, the game-tying run was at the plate with one away. Audas was up to the task in sending the next two batters down in order to end the frame.
UCF wrapped up its 39-game home schedule that leads the NCAA along with USF and Arizona State. The Knights honored graduate athletic trainer Olivia Jackson, student athletic trainer Coryn Novak and team manager John Jackson prior to the game.
The Knights finish up the regular season with a three-game series at UConn that begins on Saturday at noon. The finale of the set will begin at noon on Sunday.