June 1, 2012
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF softball recorded some impressive victories in 2012. Selecting the top five performances from the Knights' 39-win campaign is no easy task as head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie's team had several noteworthy achievements.
The year was filled with accomplishments for the Knights, who capped the season by making the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last five seasons. Let's take a look back at the team's top-five victories of the season.
5. Audas mows down Ohio State in NCAA debut
UCF 2, Ohio State 1
With a pitching staff that had not thrown a single pitch at the Division I level and a strong Big 10 opponent looming, Renee Luers-Gillispie was rightfully anxious about her team’s chances in the season-opening National Training Center tournament. Mackenzie Audas, making her NCAA debut, did not disappoint as she pitched seven innings and allowed just six hits and one run with no walks while striking out nine.
4. Offensive Explosion
UCF 17, UTEP 5
The Knights rolled into El Paso to play the Miners coming off a big weekend sweep of rival East Carolina. However, UCF’s offense had not had a breakout performance to date. After scoring a season-high 10 runs in the opening game against UTEP, the Knights broke out in an even bigger way in game two of the series, scoring a season-best 17 runs. Farrah Sullivan had a huge game, going 3-for-6 with three runs and four RBI. Kahley Novak went 3-for-4 with a run and two RBI. The Knights scored 13 of their 17 runs in the final two innings, turning a narrow one-run lead into a 12 run-blowout.
3. Sending the Seniors Out in Style
UCF 6, Houston 3
Already up two games to none in the final home series of the season, the Knights wanted nothing more than to send their seniors off with a big win on Senior Day. With all six seniors starting, the Knights put together one of their most complete all-around performances of the season, jumping out to a 6-0 lead with clutch offense and strong starting pitching. Ali Schmidt was just one-out away from recording her second shutout of the weekend before Mackenzie Audas came in and finished off the Cougars and picked up the save. Natalie Land, playing in her final home game, went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored for the Knights.
2. Audas Goes No-No
UCF 4, Bethune-Cookman 0
A late addition to the schedule, the Knights traveled to Daytona Beach on short notice to play the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats in the final non-conference game of the season. Natalie Land got things started on the right foot with a leadoff home run. That was all the offense Mackenzie Audas would need as she twirled her first-career no-hitter in the victory. Audas pitched seven innings and only allowed two walks and one hit-by-pitch in a virtuoso performance. The no-no was the first for the program since Allison Kime pulled off the feat in 2008.
1. A Night to Remember
UCF 2, No. 3 Florida 0
The Knights and Gators have developed an intense rivalry over the last several years as the two schools play each other every year in the regular season and have also played six times in the NCAA Tournament in the last eight seasons. This season’s televised contest was no exception. Florida came into the contest with a top-three ranking and one of the nation’s best offenses. Mackenzie Audas delivered her best performance of the season in front of the largest home crowd of the year as she allowed just two hits and no runs to go along with 11 strikeouts. Farrah Sullivan provided the big hit for the Knights as she ripped a two-run double into the left field corner that scored the game’s only runs in the bottom of the first inning. The win helped boost UCF’s RPI and all but assured it would earn an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament.