UCF Softball Sweeps Opening Day of Spring Fling Tournament vs. Penn and Jacksonville

GO KNIGHTS Natalie Land is hitting .600 with six runs scored from the one spot.
Natalie Land is hitting .600 with six runs scored from the one spot.

March 2, 2012

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By Andrew Jennette

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team (11-7) extended its season-best winning streak to six games after taking both games of its doubleheader on Friday vs. Penn and Jacksonville at the UCF & Holiday Inn Select Spring Fling tournament at the UCF Softball Complex. The Knights jumped on Penn early before coasting to an 8-3 victory in the early game before narrowly defeating Jacksonville 2-1 in the night game.

Game 1 - UCF 8, Penn 3 - Box Score Get Acrobat Reader

A four-run second inning powered UCF to an 8-3 victory over the Penn Quakers. For the first time this season, the Knights registered five-consecutive hits as they scored all four runs with two outs in the second inning.

With junior Alena Murgatroyd (Lancaster, Calif.) at first and two outs, senior Lindsey Selmer (Pembroke Pines, Fla.)  singled into right field. Senior Tawny Swan (Gilbert, Ariz.) then knocked in Murgatroyd with a single up the middle to make it 1-0.

Later in the inning, freshman Kahley Novak (Clermont, Fla.) plated UCF's second run with a single through the left side. Novak reached base in her first three plate appearances with a hit and two walks. Junior Danielle Brewer (Apopka, Fla.) then recorded her team-best 11th and 12th RBI with a two-run single through the middle to give the Knights a 4-0 lead.

Novak showed off her speed and intelligence on the base paths in the fourth. After reaching on a walk, Novak caught the defense sleeping and advanced to second on a foul out caught just a foot behind home plate. Junior Marissa Menendez then picked up her team-leading 18th hit, a single up the middle, to score Novak  and give the Knights a 5-1 lead.

The Knights added three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, highlighted by a deep solo home run by senior Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) to left field. Land went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and a stolen base. Land has a team-leading 14 runs scored and nine steals on the year.

Senior Ali Schmidt (Cordova, Md.) bounced back from a rough outing on Tuesday night to pick up her fourth victory of the season. Schmidt pitched seven innings, allowing just six hits and no earned runs. She lowered her team-leading ERA to 1.59 on the season.

Game 2 - UCF 2, Jacksonville 1 - Box Score Get Acrobat Reader

Freshman Mackenzie Audas (Plant City, Fla.) took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before finishing with a one-hit victory as the Knights defeated Jacksonville 2-1 in the second game of their doubleheader on Friday night. The stellar effort was Audas' second one-hitter of the season.

Audas allowed a two-out RBI single by the Dolphins that tied the game at one in the fifth inning. That would be the only blemish on an otherwise spotless performance from the young hurler as she finished the game pitching seven innings while allowing just the one hit with eight strikeouts. Audas improved her ERA to 1.70 for the season with the victory.

The Knights took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Land hustled down the line for an infield single and later scored after back-to-back wild pitches. The senior shortstop has flourished since being moved to the leadoff spot, hitting .600 (6-10) with six runs scored in three games at the top of the Knights' order.

With the game tied at one in the fifth, Swan led off the inning with an opposite-field double down the left field line. Swan was then sacrificed over to third by Land and later scored after an infield single by Novak drew an errant throw by the Dolphins. Audas pitched a perfect sixth and seventh to earn her fourth victory of the season and give the Knights their sixth-consecutive win.

The Knights return to action on Saturday as they continue the UCF Spring Fling Tournament presented by Holiday Inn Select at the UCF Softball Complex. UCF fans can follow all the action on UCF All-Access with live video and the voice of UCF softball, Eric Lopez. Fans can also follow on UCFAthletics.com Gametracker as well as www.twitter.com/UCF_Softball.

The Black and Gold have 22 home games remaining at the UCF Softball Complex, with season tickets for the 2012 season costing only $40. Tickets are available for purchase online at UCFAthletics.com and Ticketmaster.com, or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) UCF-1000.



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