UCF Softball Welcomes No. 4 Florida Wednesday



March 25, 2014

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By Nate Blythe

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The Knights welcome No. 4 Florida to the UCF Softball Complex on Wednesday at 6 p.m. for a mid-week tilt that concludes a 22-game homestand. Be sure to arrive early as free ChargeOn swords will be given away.

Advance tickets for the contest can be purchased online, but the quantity available is limited with seating capacity set at 600. General admission is $7, while Youth/Faculty/Seniors can purchase tickets for $5. Students are always admitted for free.

The last time that the Gators (34-4) came to Orlando on April 11, 2012 was a magical Knight as then-freshman Mackenzie Audas recorded a two-hit, 11-strikeout shutout of then-No. 3 Florida, 2-0. The difference proved to be a two-run double by classmate Farrah Sullivan in the first inning.

That was the first win for UCF over Florida in the regular season. The Knights topped the Gators in Gainesville during the 2005 and 2008 NCAA Regional by scores of 5-3 and 1-0, respectively.

UCF (24-10) opened American play last weekend with a series sweep of Memphis and already has one top-25 win on its resume, topping No. 22 Notre Dame, 3-0, on March 13.

Junior outfielder Kahley Novak and sophomore pitcher Shelby Turnier swept the AAC Player and Pitcher of the Week awards. Turnier tossed her first-career no-hitter against Memphis with 11 strikeouts and finished with a 3-1 week, while Novak compiled a .600 avg. and stole six bases to extend her league-leading total to 21.

The Knights rank fourth nationally in stolen bases at 2.44 per game and 12th in ERA at 1.47. Turnier comes in eighth in strikeouts with 153 and 14th in wins at 14.

Florida is coming off a series loss to Alabama where it won the middle game, 7-1. The Gators are 5-4 in SEC play and a perfect 25-0 against non-conference foes.

Kelsey Stewart carries a .410 avg. with a team-best 48 hits and 39 runs scored along with 31 RBI. A team-leading 35 RBI and 10 homers have been posted by Lauren Haeger.

In the circle, Hannah Rogers (13-2) has fanned 77 in 89.2 innings of work. An 11-1 mark has been posted by Delanie Gourley, who has recorded 88 strikeouts in 77.2 frames.

UCF continues AAC play on Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Temple. The finale of the series is set for noon on Sunday. All three games the series can be listened to on UCF All-Access.