ORLANDO, FLA. (UCFAthletics.com) –Junior Danielle Brewer hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh as the UCF softball team defeated Memphis 8-7 in game one of a Conference USA doubleheader.
Game one was delayed twice for more than an hour due to bad weather, and game two was suspended because of heavy rain in the bottom of the third inning with the Knights leading 3-1. With more rain in the forecast for Saturday, game two will resume at 11 a.m. Sunday and game three will be played immediately afterward.
With the win, the Black and Gold improved to 33-12 on the year with an 11-5 league mark. UCF is now just one-half game behind second place in the conference. The Tigers dropped to 18-32 with a 6-13 record in league play.
The Knights blew a four-run lead and then scored three in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn a come-from-behind victory.
With runners at second and third and two outs, Brewer lifted a shot into the left-center field gap that scored pinch-runner Hailey Barraco from third with the game-winning run.
Senior Natalie Land led off the bottom of the seventh with a solo home run to left that cut the Memphis lead to 7-6. Senior Vanessa Perez followed with a walk and freshman Farrah Sullivan reached safely on a fielder’s choice. A sacrifice bunt by junior Alena Murgatroyd moved both runners into scoring position, and freshman Kahley Novak tied the game by beating out an infield single hit deep into the hole at short. That set the stage for Brewer’s heroics.
Land led off the game with a single and came around to score on an RBI double by Perez in the first. Land finished the game 2-for-2 with two walks, two stolen bases and four runs scored.
Mackenzie Audas earned the win to improve her record to 18-6 on the year. Audas was dazzling early as she struck out the side in the first, second and third innings. However, a weather delay stopped action for more than an hour and Audas struggled in the next four innings. She allowed a season-high nine hits, with eight of them coming after the delay, and a season-high seven runs. She struck out 11 Tigers on the day to increase her conference-leading total to 213.
Game Two – UCF 3, Memphis 1 – Will resume in the bottom of the third
With UCF trailing by a run, freshman Hayley Barrow hit the first home run of her career off the foul pole in left in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game. Later in the inning, senior Tawny Swan hit an RBI triple that bounced over the wall and put the Knights up 2-1. Freshman Madeline Schroeder then followed with an RBI groundout that scored Swan.
Ali Schmidt pitched three innings and allowed one run on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts before the game was suspended. She is expected to resume the game on Sunday.