May 8, 2014
Final Stats |
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Nate Blythe
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HOUSTON, Texas (UCFKnights.com) - With the wind blowing out to center field, junior third baseman Farrah Sullivan and sophomore outfielder Mariah Garcia each connected on two home runs to lead No. 1 UCF to a 6-0 victory on Thursday against No. 8 UConn in the quarterfinals of the American Softball Championship at Cougar Softball Field.
The Knights totaled five homers in the contest to set a new single-game record. The last time four was achieved came against Mercer on April 17, 2005. The multi-homer games by Garcia and Sullivan were the first time that two players have accomplished the feat in the same game in the program's history that dates back to 2002.
With the offense clicking on all cylinders, junior Mackenzie Audas (18-10) quietly tossed a four-hit shutout with eight strikeouts for the Knights. It was the 19th time this season that the UCF pitching staff kept an opponent off the scoreboard.
UCF (40-15), who registered 40 wins for the fifth time in program history, advances to play at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday against No. 5 Rutgers, who won its quarterfinal contest against No. 4 Houston, 5-1. The last 40-win season for UCF was when the program finished runner-up at the 2008 NCAA Gainesville Regional.
Sophomore first baseman Samantha McCloskey went 3-for-3 with a single and triple and capped the scoring in the sixth with a home run to left.
The big day at the plate for Garcia, a Houston native, came in front of friends and family. The round trippers in the second and fourth innings were the first of the season for the Knights slugger.
Sullivan, The American Player of the Year, struck with a homer to left center that increased the UCF lead to 2-0 during the third inning. She added a second blast following a walk drawn by freshman outfielder Linnea Goodman in the fifth frame.
During the fourth inning, Garcia blasted a home run to the opposite field, clearing the fence in left center. The last multi-homer game for the Knights was recorded by Sullivan at UTEP (4/6/12).
UCF continued pressuring the Huskies with McCloskey singling to center and a hit-and-run base knock by freshman shortstop Brittany Solis. UConn was able to get out of the jam on a line out to short that was assisted by the third baseman.
The loss was credited to Kayla Doty, who tossed three innings and fell to 1-5 on the campaign. Emily O'Donnell notched a pair of hits for UConn.
The Knights contest against the Scarlet Knights can be watched for free on The American Digital Network and listened to with an All-Access subscription. Gametracker is also available, which works on mobile devices.