UCF Softball Heads to North Florida Wednesday



April 1, 2014

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By Nate Blythe

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF softball team travels to North Florida on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. contest at the UNF Softball Complex. The Knights are playing their first game in a week after have their American Athletic Conference series at Temple was cancelled due to persistent rain in Philadelphia, Pa.

Fans that are unable to make the trip to Jacksonville can listen to the contest with an all-access subscription. Every game for UCF can be followed on Gametracker, which can be viewed on mobile devices.

UCF (24-11) dropped its last game to No. 4 Florida, 10-6, on March 26. A sellout crowd of 832, the second largest in program history, watched the contest at the UCF Softball Complex.

A career best four RBI were registered by sophomore outfielder Mariah Garcia with a pair of two-run doubles in the first and sixth frames against the Gators. She was selected to the American Honor Roll for her performance.

Sophomore pitcher Shelby Turnier secured her second American Pitcher of the Week honor on March 24 after aiding her team to a sweep of Memphis. The Palm Beach Gardens native tossed her first-career no-hitter to open league play with a 1-0 shutout vs. the Tigers.

The first American Player of the Week nod for UCF was picked up by junior second baseman Kahley Novak, who has a hit in 13 of the least 14 games including each of the last nine, on March 24. The Clermont native has recorded 21 hits, scored 14 times and stolen 10 bases during the stretch.

Four starters have tallied a .300-or-better average including Novak (.380), sophomore catcher Samantha McCloskey (.318), freshman outfielder Linnea Goodman (.313) and sophomore designated player Jessica Ujvari (.300). Junior third baseman Farrah Sullivan has driven in a team-high 14 runs followed by a trio with 13 in freshman shortstop Brittany Solis, Garcia and Je. Ujvari.

Leading the Knights in the circle is Turnier (14-3) with a 1.18 ERA and 155 strikeouts in 106.2 innings. Junior Mackenzie Audas (9-8) is the second ace on staff, posting a 1.90 ERA with 114 punch outs in 103 frames of work.

UCF has a 7-5 advantage in the all-time series dating back to 2007. The Ospreys have taken three of the last four meetings before the Knights won six of the first eight. UCF is 3-0 in Jacksonville, 3-4 at home and 1-1 at neutral sites.

UNF is 19-17 overall and 4-11 in A-Sun play with wins over Lipscomb (12-4), Kennesaw St. (1-0) and Northern Kentucky (10-2, 11-2). The Ospreys have topped notable opponents in Northwestern St. (2-1, 6-1), Middle Tennessee (2-0), Memphis (2-1), Troy (3-0, 5-2), Southern Illinois (9-4), Florida A&M (8-3) and FIU (2-1).

The team leader in batting avg. (.304), hits (31), homers (5) and RBI (20) is Marissa Thomas. Abby Tewey carries a .289 avg. with 18 runs driven in.

In the circle, Courtney Radke (8-3) has posted a 2.51 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 81 innings. A 7-7 mark and 2.72 ERA has been compiled by Kaylie Wallace.

The Knights return home to the UCF Softball Complex on Saturday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader against Rutgers. The finale of the three-game American Athletic Conference series is set for 11 a.m. on Sunday.



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