May 16, 2008
Gainesville, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - It took a few innings for the UCF softball team to shake its nerves Friday afternoon, but once it did it was unstoppable, downing USF, 3-2, in the opening round of the NCAA Gainesville Regional at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium. Allison Kime's (Brandon, Fla.) two-RBI triple in the sixth inning and her six-strikeout performance on the mound sealed the win for the Black and Gold.
With the victory, the Knights improved their record to 47-18 on the season and move on to play the winner of Florida vs. Georgia Tech in the NCAA Regional semifinal at 1 p.m. UCF's 47 wins in 2008 tie for the program single-season record set by the 2005 squad during its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
Breanne Javier (Castiac, Calif.) led the Knights at the plate, posting two hits, the game-tying run and knocking in the Knights' first run of the game with a RBI single in the fourth inning. With her second single of the game in the sixth inning, Javier tied Stephanie Best's program-record for hits in a season with 83, needing one more hit in the tournament to secure the top spot.
Also coming up big for the Black and Gold in the contest was freshman Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) who registered a hit, a walk and scored a run, while Marquita Council (Orlando, Fla.) also added a hit for the Knights.
The top-five batters in the UCF lineup accounted for all of its offense in the game, scattering five hits, scoring three runs and posting three RBI and a walk.
In the circle, Kime held the Bulls to only two runs on five hits, picking up her 32nd win of the season. The senior hurler needs one more strikeout to reach No. 350 on the season.
Neither team could produce much offence through the first two innings, but the Bulls ended the game's scoreless streak in the bottom of the third after JoJo Medina hit a two-run home run over the left centerfield fence. Kit Dunbar reached base earlier in the inning with a single up the middle, before Aya Nakajima traded places with the right fielder on a fielder's choice to the shortstop, setting up Medina's home run.
A RBI single in the fourth inning by Javier cut USF's lead in half, scoring Lane who reached earlier on a walk issued by USF starter Courtney Mosch. Following Lane's lead-off walk, the freshman stole second base before being moved to third on an infield single by Council. The redshirt junior stole the Knights' second base of the inning prior to Javier's RBI. A fielder's choice off the bat of Hillary Barrow (Miami, Fla.) loaded up the bases, with all base runners advancing safely on the play, but a line-drive shot to the Bulls' shortstop from Kime set up a double play and ended the Knights' scoring threat.
Kime redeemed herself with a two-out triple past the left fielder to give the Knights their first lead of the game. The two-run shot brought both Javier and Barrow around to score, making the score 3-2 following the top-half of the sixth inning. Lane led off the inning again with a single through the right side of the infield and moved to second on a single through the opposite side of the infield by Javier. A fielder's choice pegged Lane out at home, but Kime's knock to left field gave UCF all the runs it needed to take the win from the Bulls.
UCF continues its run toward the Women's College World Series Saturday at 1 p.m. at the NCAA Gainesville Regional.
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