UCF Softball Faces Tough Test at Stetson



April 8, 2014

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By Nate Blythe

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF Softball team travels to DeLand on Wednesday looking to snap Stetson's 13-game winning streak. The in-state rivals are set to play at Patricia Wilson Field at 6 p.m.

Fans can listen to the contest with a subscription to UCF All-Access or follow the action on their mobile devices with Gametracker. Subscription video is also available through Hatter Vision.

UCF (27-12) and Stetson (28-5) have gone up against strong competition throughout the season and rank 42nd and 39th in the RPI, respectively. The teams are slated to meet for a second time on April 22 at 6 p.m. at the UCF Softball Complex.

This will be the 22nd meeting between the former Atlantic Sun foes (2002-05). UCF holds a 15-6 mark all-time, including seven of the past eight matchups.

Pitching is the key for both teams. UCF has a strong one-two punch in junior Mackenzie Audas (11-8) and sophomore Shelby Turnier (15-4), who combine to help post the ninth best team ERA (1.58), while Stetson's Meredith Owen (16-3) ranks third in the country in ERA at 0.72.

The Knights pitching staff ranks second nationally in strikeouts at 336. Turnier ranks 19th in strikeouts at 168, and Audas comes in 49th at 134.

Junior second baseman Kahley Novak, who was named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll on April 7, carries a 13-game hitting streak into the matchup. The Clermont native tied the school-record with four hits in the series opener vs. Rutgers and added a pair of doubles and triples in the three-game set.

An important component of the offense for UCF has been junior third baseman Farrah Sullivan, who has reached base in each of the past 14 games and paces the squad with 19 RBI. The Waynesboro, Miss., native has a .484 avg. during the stretch with 13 RBI and two home runs.

The Hatters are 12-2 in A-Sun play and have posted notable wins over Michigan St. (5-2), UT Martin (2-1), Memphis (8-0, 9-7), USC Upstate (2-1, 8-5), Mercer (6-1) and FGCU (5-4, 4-1, 2-1).

Stetson has a consistent offense that has compiled a .327 team batting avg. Jessie Tenbroeck leads the Hatters with a .400 avg., 44 hits and 37 runs scored. A team-leading 11 doubles, six homers and 34 RBI has been tallied Demi Meza.

Compiling a 0.72 ERA is staff ace Meredith Owen (16-3), who has recorded 106 strikeouts in 107.1 innings of work. Sarah Read is 10-1 overall and has fanned 44 in 77.1 frames.

Due to persistent rain cancelling the Knights series at Temple, head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie has added Bethune-Cookman to the schedule on April 15 at 4 p.m. in Daytona Beach.

A pivotal series in The American at rival South Florida begins with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m.. The finale of the three-game set is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday. It will be the first regular season meeting between the two programs since 2006. The teams have met in the 2008 and 2012 NCAA Gainesville Regionals.



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