Four Juniors Lead UCF Softball to Regional Final
May 16, 2014
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May 17, 2014

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By Nate Blythe

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Friday, May 16
Game 1 - No. 3 Stetson 6, No. 2 UCF 4 (8 inn.)
Game 2 - No. 1 Florida 8, No. 4 Florida A&M 0 (5 inn.)

Saturday, May 17
Game 3 - No. 1 Florida 14, No. 3 Stetson 0 (6 inn.)
Game 4 - No. 2 UCF 2, No. 4 Florida A&M 1
Game 5 - No. 2 UCF 6, No. 3 Stetson 4

Sunday, May 18
Game 6 - No. 1 Florida vs. No. 2 UCF - 1 p.m.
Game 7 - No. 1 Florida vs. No. 2 UCF - 3:30 p.m.*
* if necessary

GAINESVILLE, Fla. ( - After a tough loss to Stetson on Friday night, juniors second baseman Kahley Novak, third baseman Farrah Sullivan, pitcher Mackenzie Audas and outfielder Maddy Schroeder kept the UCF softball team, the youngest in the NCAA Tournament, together and were a big part of the Knights victories over Florida A&M, 2-1, and Stetson, 6-4, on elimination Saturday at the Gainesville Regional.

UCF (43-17) advances to the program's second regional final and have the tall task of knocking off Florida twice on Sunday with the first pitch set for 1 p.m. at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. Back in 2008, UCF topped Florida, 1-0, on championship Sunday to force the winner-take-all if necessary game before falling in five innings.

Sullivan hit the game-winning, two-run homer against FAMU in the fourth, while Audas earned the complete-game victory to setup the matchup vs. Stetson. The duo helped the Knights to the program's first NCAA Tournament win since 2010. It was also the first victory for the junior class that were freshman during the 2012 Gainesville Regional.

Sophomore outfielder Mariah Garcia, catcher Kalyn Cenal, Schroeder and Sullivan each recorded two hits during the contest.

Notching the victory in the circle was sophomore pitcher Shelby Turnier (20-6) with four strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work. The third save of the season was earned by classmate Jamie Ujvari, who tossed 2.1 innings and struck out three.

The Knights jumped on Stetson (39-14) early as Novak led off with a double through the right side. A bunt single by Goodman and stolen base forced the Hatters to intentionally walk sophomore designated player Jessica Ujvari to lead the bases.

With two outs, Cenal came through with a clutch two-run single down the left field line. It was the fourth run driven in for the Tampa native during the regional.

UCF continued pressuring Stetson in the second with back-to-back singles by freshman shortstop Brittany Solis and Schroeder to start the frame. Sullivan worked a 2-1 count and drove a pitch over the wall in left to provide the Knights with a 5-0 advantage.

The round tripper for the Waynesboro, Miss., native was the second of the day and seventh during the campaign. She becomes the first Knight to hit two homers in the same NCAA Regional.

Following a leadoff triple by Schroeder in the fourth frame, Novak extended the UCF lead to 6-0 on a sac fly to right.

Jessica Griffin put the Hatters on the scoreboard with an opposite field homer to left center, 6-1, during the bottom half.

In the sixth inning, Stetson made its move with two runs on three hits and an error to cut the deficit to 6-3. Jessie Tenbroeck doubled down the left field line, then Meredith Owen singled to short to drive home a run and an errant throw pushed the second run across.

After a walk chased Turnier from the circle, Ja. Ujvari came on in relief to record a strikeout and end the frame.

The transfer from USC Upstate, Ja. Ujvari, sent the Hatters down in order during the sixth to maintain the 6-3 advantage.

UCF loaded the bases in the seventh on a double to right center by Garcia, an error and walk drawn by Solis. Keeping Stetson within striking distance was Sarah Read to notch two-straight outs and keep the deficit at 6-3.

A leadoff walk drawn by Tenbroeck started off the Hatters in the seventh and a fielder's choice where no out was recorded put two runners on with one out. A ground out moved the two runners into scoring position.

Kayla Drury singled to third to cut the UCF lead to 6-4. Tracking down the final out of the game at the warning track in right center was Garcia.

Owen, who received a standing ovation in the fifth inning from the crowd, tossed four innings and fanned five, but ended her stellar career with a 27-9 campaign. Tenbroeck posted a 3-for-3 performance for the Hatters.

Fans can follow the Knights against the Gators with links to free video, audio and live stats on the softball schedule page.

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