April 12, 2011
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Following its Conference USA series win at East Carolina last weekend, the UCF softball team continues its four-game road swing Wednesday when it makes the short trip to Daytona Beach to take on Bethune-Cookman in non-conference action at 4 p.m. at Sunnyland Park.
The Knights enter the mid-week contest with a 15-23 record on the year and a 5-7 C-USA clip after taking two of three games from league-foe East Carolina last weekend in Greenville. With the pair of road wins, UCF has now won three of its last four contests, which includes a thrilling come-from-behind victory vs. Florida State on April 6 at the UCF Softball Complex.
Diana Rojas (Miami, Fla.) has shined in the circle for the Black and Gold in the team's last four outings, as the hurler posted a 2-1 record and a 0.29 ERA in 24.0 innings pitched during the week and held her opponents to a .114 batting average and only one extra-base hit. Rojas also allowed only one earned run on nine hits with 10 strikeouts and only four walks in her trio of outings.
The senior finished the C-USA series at East Carolina with a 0.00 ERA and a .094 opponent batting average. In her two appearances vs. the Pirates, Rojas did not allow an earned run, gave up only five hits, walked four and struck out nine batters.
Offensively, Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) hit .500 (4-for-8) with two runs scored, two sacrifice hits, a stolen base and a walk to lead the Knights at the plate vs. ECU. She also posted a .556 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage, while scoring both the game-tying and game-winning runs for the Black and Gold in its second game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Land is one of three Knights hitting over .300 on the season, as she leads the squad with a .351 batting average, 27 runs scored, 39 hits, five doubles, five triples, .568 slugging percentage, .438 on-base percentage, eight sacrifice hits and 16 stolen bases. Also hitting .300 or better are junior Allie Jest (Stone Mountain, Ga.) with a .320 average and senior Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) with a .318 average.
Land was one of three Knights to post two hits against Bethune-Cookman last season as the Black and Gold defeated the Wildcats, 7-4, at the UCF Softball Complex to improve its record to 15-4 all-time in 19 meetings between the two programs.
When traveling to Daytona Beach, the Knights are 5-2 all-time, which includes two-straight wins at Sunnyland Park in 2008 and 2009.
Bethune-Cookman enters the match-up with an 18-22 record on the season and a perfect 6-0 MEAC record following its three-game league sweep vs. South Carolina State last weekend. In the series, the Wildcats outscored the Bulldogs, 29-2, thanks to Allison Garcia's impressive all-around performance in which she gave up just one earned run in 15 innings on the mound and hit .700 (7-10) at the plate.