May 18, 2008
Gainesville, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Allison Kime (Brandon, Fla.) put together an amazing all-around performance Sunday afternoon, hitting a walk-off grounder and throwing a five-hit shutout in the circle to stun No. 1 Florida, 1-0, in the NCAA Gainesville Regional final and force a second game to determine the Regional winner.
With the win the Black and Gold improved to 49-19 on the season and broke the Gators' 36-game winning streak and their 41-game winning streak at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium, handing Florida only its third loss of 2008.
The championship contest will begin at 3:30 p.m.
Five different Knights posted a hit in the game, with Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Kime tossed her 14th shutout of the season in the victory and improved her record to 33-11.
Florida threatened to score in the third inning, loading the bases with two outs and its No. 3 hitter Ali Gardiner at the plate. But Kime picked up her first strikeout of the game, catching Gardiner swinging, to end the potential threat.
In the bottom half of the frame, Breanne Javier (Castaic, Calif.) led off the inning with a single up the middle of the infield and moved into scoring position on a putout, but the junior was stranded at the top of the diamond to end the inning.
The Knights worked their way out of another bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning, doubling up Megan Bush on a line drive to third base.
In the bottom of the inning, the Black and Gold placed another runner in scoring position, with Hillary Barrow (Miami, Fla.) reaching on an error by the Gator shortstop and stealing second base on the first pitch to Kime. But, a fly-out to centerfield ended the frame, leaving the game scoreless through six.
UCF kept getting out of jams, living through the third of the game with runners on second and third in the seventh inning. A nice play on a grounder to Lane got Aja Paculba out at first base for out No. 3.
The Knights had the chance to win the game in the bottom of the seventh inning after Cat Snapp (Niceville, Fla.) hit a one-out single and advanced to second with a sacrifice bunt by Lexi Gresham (Fresno, Calif.). But Nelson got Abby McClain (Waterloo, Iowa) to ground out to third base to send the contest into extra innings.
The Cinderella story continued in the bottom of the eighth inning with Lane and Marquita Council (Orlando, Fla.) reaching base on back-to-back singles, before advancing a base on a sacrifice bunt by Javier. With runners on second and third and two outs, Kime hit a grounder up the middle that the second baseman could not handle, scoring Lane and winning the game for the Knights.
The Black and Gold continues its run toward the Women's College World Series Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in the NCAA Gainesville Regional final. The winner of the contest will face the winner of the Fresno Regional in the NCAA Super Regional.
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