Las Vegas Awaits the UCF Softball Team

Feb. 14, 2007

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ORLANDO - Carrying a 3-2 record over from the FAU Miken Invitational, the UCF softball team travels to Nevada this weekend for the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic. Day one for the Knights should be a grueling test as they face No. 9 UCLA and host UNLV. Live stats for UCF's first two games will be available online at www.UCFAthletics.com.

UCF Softball at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic
UCF vs. No. 9 UCLA - Feb. 16 - 9 p.m. EST
UCF vs. UNLV - Feb. 16 - 11 p.m. EST
UCF vs. Colorado State - Feb. 17 - 6 p.m. EST
UCF vs. Seton Hall - Feb. 17 - 11 p.m. EST
UCF vs. Oklahoma State - Feb. 18 - Noon EST

Previewing UCLA
No. 10 UCLA is 3-3 going into the Lousiville Slugger Desert Classic with wins over Syracuse, Nevada and UC Riverside. The Bruins had an impressive 50-9 record in 2006 and will have their top pitcher, Anjelica Seldon, returning. This will be the first meeting of the two schools.

Previewing UNLV
UNLV started its 2007 season off strong with a 5-0 record before this weekend's Lousiville Slugger Desert Classic with wins over Tulsa, Marshall, Nicholls State and Illinois-Chicago. UCF's first meeting with UNLV was in 2005 and resulted in a 6-5 UCF victory.

Previewing Colorado State
Colorado State will enter the tournament with a 3-3 record with wins over Sam Houston State, North Texas and New Mexico State. The Rams finished their 2006 season with a 26-26 record and for 2007 have their star picher, Jessica Strickland, returning. This will be the first meeting of the two schools.

Previewing Seton Hall
Seton Hall recorded a 29-27 sesaon in 2006. Its top players for 2007 include junior first baseman/outfielder Maggie Simkiss, junior outfielder Jenna Best and senior catcher Danielle Steinseifzer. This will be the first meeting between UCF and Seton Hall.

Previewing Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State went 3-2 to start the 2007 season with wins over Texas-San Antonio and Texas State. The Cowgirls had an overall record of 21-29 in 2006 and have six returning starters on the 2007 squad. This weekend marks the first meeting in the history of both programs.

FAU Tournament Recap
Allison Kime provided UCF the spark it needed in the first game of the season, sending a three-run homer to left center in her first at-bat to help defeat Miami (Ohio), 6-3. She also earned the win in the circle by striking out eight hitters and allowing just one earned run. Although FAU defeated UCF, 10-0, that night, the Black and Gold posted two 2-0 shutouts over North Florida and Pittsburgh the next day. Kime gave up just two hits to the Ospreys, while Ashleigh Cole surrendered three hits. UNF, though, came right back the next day in bracket play to take a 2-1 decision over the Knights.

Impressive First Weekend
Freshman hurler Ashleigh Cole gave up only two earned runs to FAU Feb. 9 in her first collegiate start, but dazzled in her next outing. Facing Pittsburgh Feb. 10, Cole locked up her first UCF shutout by limiting the Panthers to just three hits. She finished with a 1.64 ERA in two starts.

At the plate, Cici Alvarez concluded the FAU Tournament with a .429 average, posting six hits and swiping four bases.

Inching Closer
With four steals on the season, Cici Alvarez keeps moving closer to becoming UCF's career leader. Jania Shinhoster currently holds the record of 74, but Alvarez needs just seven more to claim sole possession of first place.

First Time For Everything
With a three-run home run in the opener vs. Miami (Ohio) Feb. 9, pitcher Allison Kime became the first Golden Knight to ever hit a homer in her first at-bat of a new season. Kime's shot to left center gave UCF a 3-0 lead in the first inning, and helped her post a 6-3 victory in the circle.

A Milestone Awaits
With three victories in Boca Raton to start the year, head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie moved her career NCAA Division I win total to 399. She accummulated 86 wins at Bradley, 119 at Texas Tech and 194 at UCF in 13 seasons in the dugout.