Feb. 25, 2010
NFCA Leadoff Classic Game Notes
Game Day Essentials
NFCA Leadoff Classic
Friday, Feb. 26
1:30 p.m. - UCF vs. No. 11 Georgia Tech
4:00 p.m. - UCF vs. Arkansas
Saturday, Feb. 27
4:00 p.m. - UCF vs. Maryland
6:30 p.m. - UCF vs. Nebraska
Sunday, Feb. 28
12:30 p.m. - UCF vs. No. 9 Alabama
Georgia Tech: 9-1
vs. Georgia Tech: 2-1
vs. Arkansas: 1-2
vs. Maryland: 0-1
vs. Nebraska: First Meeting
vs. Alabama: First Meeting
- Stretch Radio
- On the Call: Eric Lopez
Live Stats: UCFAthletics.com
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team continues its season-long six-game roadtrip this weekend when it faces some of the nation's best teams at the NFCA Leadoff Classic at the South Commons Stadium and Complex in Columbus, Ga.
The Knights open the event Friday against No. 11 Georgia Tech at 1:30 p.m., before facing Arkansas later that afternoon at 4 p.m. Saturday's action starts with a 4 p.m. contest against Maryland and concludes with a 6:30 p.m. showdown with Nebraska. The final day of the tournament has the Black and Gold taking on No. 9 Alabama at 12:30 p.m.
The Knights enter the NFCA Leadoff Classic with a 5-5 record on the year after posting a, 5-3, 10-inning victory over North Florida Wednesday night and a 3-2 clip while hosting the UCF Invitational last weekend.
Including UCF's road contest at North Florida Wednesday, the Black and Gold is in the midst of a six-game road swing, its longest of the season.
The Knights will face two teams ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll during the NFCA Leadoff Classic, No. 9 Alabama, who made an appearance in the Women's College World Series in 2009, and No. 11 Georgia Tech, who competed in the Super Regionals a season ago.
First year assistant coach Nicole Trimboli will square off with her alma mater, Nebraska, Saturday in UCF's nightcap. The former outfielder played for the Cornhuskers from 2001-04.
A week after participating in the NFCA Leadoff Classic, UCF will return home to host its second tournament of the 2010 season, the UCF Tournament. The event, which runs from March 5-7, pits the Knights against Harvard, College of Charleston, Providence, Boston College and Georgia Southern.
Sophomore Vanessa Perez's first home run of 2010 proved to be a big one, as the two-run shot in the 10th inning of Wednesday's contest vs. the Osprey's counted as the game-winning RBI. The home run was the second of Perez's career and was also the second for the Knights this season.
After belting a RBI double in the contest against UNF Wednesday, senior Hillary Barrow is now only one RBI short of overtaking the No. 6 spot on the UCF career register. Barrow leads the Knights with seven RBI in 2010, which brings her career total to 82.
MAKING THE SACRIFICE
Despite not posting a hit in Wednesday's contest, sophomore Natalie Land played a huge role for the Knights in their win. The shortstop laid down three perfectly executed sacrifice bunts to match the UCF record for sacrifice bunts in a game. Land shares the distinction with fellow teammate Ashleigh Cole and former UCF third baseman Cici Alvarez.
Junior Abby McClain was an offensive powerhouse in Wednesday's game at UNF, as the catcher went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored and two walks, while reaching base every time she stepped to the plate. The three-hit performance was her second of 2010 and 13th of her career, while she hit two doubles in a contest for the fourth time in her career.
Freshman Arielle Palafox made her UCF debut Sunday against Florida A&M, playing one inning on the defensive side of the ball. The rookie made her first collegiate start Wednesday against North Florida and, in her first collegiate at bat, lace a double to the left field wall. Palafox also scored a run, walked and was hit by a pitch in her offensive debut.
Two of UCF's seniors are approaching major milestones in their careers heading into the weekend, with pitcher Ashleigh Cole needing only eight strikeouts to reach No. 300 in her career and Hillary Barrow needing only three starts to reach milestone No. 200. Barrow also reached a milestone Wednesday. With her double against UNF, Barrow has totaled 200 total bases since 2007.
Season tickets for the 2010 season are only $40 and are on sale now, while single-game tickets are also available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased online at UCFAthletics.com or through the Athletics Ticket Office by calling (407) 823-1000.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.