May 5, 2013
By Andrew Jennette
GREENVILLE, N.C. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team came into the 2013 season finale against East Carolina with its seeding in the upcoming Conference USA tournament locked into place. The Knights (29-24, 10-14 C-USA), however, were looking to maintain their momentum and they did just that with a 6-1 victory over the Pirates (21-30, 11-12) on Sunday at ECU Softball Stadium. It was the first road sweep of the year for the Black and Gold.
UCF returns to action Thursday in the opening round of the C-USA tournament. The Knights will take on either Tulsa or UAB in the 3/6 matchup. Game time is to be announced.
With the game tied at one in the top of the seventh, the Black and Gold used aggressive base running to get back on top. Sophomore Kahley Novak extended her team-best hitting streak to nine games with a leadoff single. Freshman Samantha McCloskey stepped in and laid down a beautiful bunt single. Novak, running on the play, went all the way to third on the throw. With runners at the corners, the Knights pulled off a successful double steal to retake the lead. Freshman pinch runner Kirsten Foster took second while Novak scooted home uncontested on the throw.
The Clermont native's two steals gave her 31 thefts on the year which is the second-most in school history for a single season and the most in the conference this season. The Knights as a team set a new program record with 109 stolen bases.
After a pair of singles loaded the bases, sophomore Farrah Sullivan put the Knights up 3-1 with an RBI single up the middle. Sullivan finished the day 2-for-2 with two walks and closed her regular season with a team-best .287 average. Freshman Kalyn Cenal stepped in next and broke the game wide open with a bases-clearing, three-run double into the gap in right centerfield. Cenal finished the weekend with two home runs, a double and six RBI.
The Knights took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third as sophomore Maddy Schroeder raced home from third on a wild pitch. The Jacksonville native hit her first double of the year earlier in the frame and was moved over on a sacrifice bunt by senior Lauren Aldridge. Schroeder finished the game 3-for-4 with a run scored and was the only Knight to play in all 53 regular season contests this season.
Sophomore Mackenzie Audas made her second start of the weekend and was once again strong. The Plant City native allowed just two hits and two walks while recording seven strikeouts in the complete-game victory. The seven Ks gave Audas an even 500 through the first two seasons of her young career.