UCF Softball Finishes Runner-Up at Gainesville Regional



May 18, 2014

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By Nate Blythe

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Friday, May 16
Game 1 - No. 3 Stetson 6, No. 2 UCF 4 (8 inn.)
Game 2 - No. 1 Florida vs. No. 4 Florida A&M - 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 17
Game 3 - No. 1 Florida 14, No. 3 Stetson
Game 4 - No. 2 UCF 2, No. 4 Florida A&M 1
Game 5 - No. 2 UCF 6, No. 3 Stetson 4

Sunday, May 18
Game 6 - No. 1 Florida 7, No. 2 UCF 0

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The memorable season for the UCF softball team came to an end on Sunday afternoon with a loss to No. 6 Florida, 7-0, in the championship of the Gainesville Regional. The future is bright for the Knights, who won the program's first regular season championship in the inaugural campaign of the American Athletic Conference.

The youngest team in the NCAA Tournament with just four juniors in the upper class gained valuable experience in the loss. Mackenzie Audas, Kahley Novak, Maddy Schroeder and Farrah Sullivan have stepped up as leaders heading into their senior campaign.

In five appearances in the NCAA Regional, all in Gainesville, UCF has now finished runner-up for the second time. The first for the program came exactly six years ago on May 18, 2012.

The 43-18 mark is the third-best record in program history according to win pct. at .704. The Knights also set a program low with just 18 defeats during the campaign.

Florida (48-11) jumped on the Knights early with a two-run homer by pitcher Lauren Haeger and led 3-0 following the top of the first inning.

Back-to-back hits for Novak and freshman Linnea Goodman provided a response, but UCF was unable to generate the next base knock that would have cut into the deficit.

Sullivan, The American Player of the Year, ended the campaign in fine fashion with a base hit down the left field line. Also picking up hits for the Knights were sophomore outfielder Mariah Garcia and Schroeder.

Falling to 19-12 was Audas, who fanned three in five innings of work. Sophomore Jamie Ujvari finished the contest for the designated home team with two frames.

The Gators tacked on single runs in the third and fourth before adding two runs in the sixth inning. Kristi Merritt and Kelsey Steward recorded multi-hit games for Florida. Haeger improved to 10-2 in the circle and record five strikeouts.



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