ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Part two of UCFAthletics.com's season preview with head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie of the 2013 UCF softball season focuses on the infielders.
“We have so much depth this year on the infield compared to previous years,” Luers-Gillispie said. “That level of competition really brings out the best in everyone. Farrah (Sullivan) really locked down third base for us with her performance last year and in this year’s camp. Kahley (Novak) might be our most improved player from last year to this now. She’s seasoned now and knows what to expect and will be starting at one of the two middle infield spots. Farrah and Kahley are our co-captains this year as voted by their teammates. I know it’s rare for two sophomores to be in that type of leadership role, but their teammates have total confidence in them.”
“(Kaitlyn) Steckel has played soccer for the last six months and hasn’t seen any groundballs, but she’s picking it back up so fast and has gotten so much better just in the last month,” Luers-Gillispie continued. “Between Danielle, Kirsten and Lindsay all three of them are competing hard and could all play multiple spots this year on the infield. Danielle has the experience from making over 50 starts last year, but Kirsten and Lindsay are hard-working freshman that want to get out there.”
-So. Farrah Sullivan – The Knights top-returning hitter is expected to be a mainstay at third base. She was named to the Conference USA Preseason Team after earning C-USA Second Team honors in 2012.
-So. Kahley Novak – Also named to the C-USA Preseason Team, she is expected to be the team’s leadoff hitter and starter in the middle. She was voted as a co-captain by her teammates for this season.
-Fr. Kaitlyn Steckel – Earned a redshirt playing for the UCF women’s soccer team in 2012 before transitioning to softball full time in 2013. She can play both shortstop and second base.
-Sr. Danielle Brewer – A very versatile defender, she made 34 starts at second base and 20 starts at first base last season. She also worked extensively at third base in fall camp.
-Fr. Kirsten Foster – A true utility player, she worked at all four infield positions as well as both corner outfield spots during fall and into preseason camp.
-Fr. Lindsay Neyland – A lefty slapper with speed, she is the mix for playing time at second and shortstop and could also see time in the corner outfield spots.
-Fr. Samantha Charles – A candidate to start at second base before fall injury wiped out freshman season. Will likely redshirt.