UCF Softball Heads to Easton Bama Bash


GO KNIGHTS
GO KNIGHTS

GO KNIGHTS

Feb. 20, 2014

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By Nate Blythe
UCFKnights.com

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - After suffering its first loss of the season at No. 10 Florida State on Feb. 19, UCF continues a tough stretch in the schedule with two meetings at No. 7/9 Alabama slated at the Easton Bama Bash. The three-day event for the Knights at Rhoads Stadium begins at noon on Friday against McNeese State before going up against the Crimson Tide at 7 p.m.

UCF meets up with Alabama and the Cowboys in a Saturday doubleheader at 5 p.m. The Knights wrap up the weekend with a noon contest against Virginia Tech on Sunday.

Fans can follow the Knights in Tuscaloosa, Ala., with live stats and all-access audio for each game of the tournament. Video is available for the two contests against Alabama.

The Knights, one of the youngest teams in the nation without a senior on its roster, opened the campaign with a school-record 7-0 mark. It surpassed the 2004 squad that won its first five games.

Taking the road for the first time this year, UCF was unable to find success in a 6-1 loss at Florida State. Junior outfielder Kahley Novak registered both hits for the Knights.

In the circle, junior Mackenzie Audas (4-1) and sophomore Shelby Turnier (3-0) have combined to fan 58 opposing hitters in 48.2 innings. UCF also has sophomore Jamie Ujvari, who tossed the final frame against the Seminole, and freshman Lena Springer as options in the circle.

Freshman outfielder Linnea Goodman and Novak are the top hitters for UCF with each posting an avg. above .350.

The Knight have had success against McNeese State and Alabama, topping each in the only previous meeting. UCF tallied a 3-2 triumph over No. 9 Alabama on Feb. 28, 2010 in Columbus, Ga. The Hokies have won both matchup against the Knights, 3-2 and 7-3, in 2007 and 2011, respectively.

McNeese State begins the weekend at 7-5 on the season with notable wins over UAB (5-2), Syracuse (12-3), Texas A&M (4-2) and Oregon St (4-3). Ashley Modzelewski has connected on a team-high three homers and driven in 11 runs. The ace of the pitching staff is Jamie Allred (2-4) with 41 strikeouts in 39.2 innings.

Alabama won its first eight games before falling to No. 24 Arizona twice, 3-0 and 8-0 (5). Hayle McCleney and Danae Hays power the potent Alabama offense each recording a slugging pct. over 1.200. The three-deep pitching staff includes Sydney Littlejohn (3-0), Jaclyn Traina (2-1) and Leslie Jury (3-0).

Virginia Tech has posted a 5-2 mark following a doubleheader sweep of UNCG (12-4 (6), 4-0). The Hokie offense is led by Vanessa Gonzalez and Amanda Ake with eight hits each. Hurlers Maggie Tyler (2-0) and Kelley Heinz (3-2) have shared the work in the circle.

The Knights return to the UCF Softball Complex on Feb. 28 for a doubleheader against SIUE and Princeton at 10 a.m. The Holiday Inn/UCF Tournament continues on Mar. 1 with College of Charleston and SIU facing UCF.

 

 

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