Feb. 29, 2008
Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Allison Kime (Brandon, Fla.) posted six strikeouts and allowed only one run and three hits, despite the UCF softball team falling to Team USA, 1-0, at the Merrill Park Softball Complex Friday night. The senior hurler and the Knights' defense held the three-time Olympic gold medalists scoreless through five innings of play in the contest.
Kime's six strikeouts were the most of any pitcher Team USA has faced. Arizona's Taryn Mowatt posted five punch outs against the National squad earlier in the season.
"We were extremely honored to have the opportunity to play against the best team in the world," head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "I was really proud of the way the girls played and we know if we keep that level of intensity we will have a great chance of making a run at a regional appearance."
"Allison worked the plate really well to keep Team USA off balance, and the big plays on defense allowed us to be competitive with a tough-hitting squad."
Prior to the matchup with the Knights, Team USA had outscored it opponents 65-0 through its first six games, averaging 10.83 runs per game.
Kime and Cat Snapp (Niceville, Fla.) were the only Knights to reach base in the contest, with Kime receiving a free base from Jennie Finch in the second inning, while Snapp reached on a fielder's choice two batters later.
Team USA threatened to score in the second inning when Andrea Duran reached base after getting hit by a pitch delivered by Kime. Duran attempted to steal second on the next play, but a perfect throw from Lindsay Dean (Jacksonville, Fla.) rung up the third baseman and cleared the bases. The play was a critical one for the Knights as the next batter, Tairia Flowers, roped a double down the left-field line that would have scored Duran head she still been on base.
The UCF defense shined again in the fourth when Crystal Bustos lined a hard shot down the right field line, but a spectacular diving grab by Marquita Council (Orlando, Fla.) kept the bases, and the scoreboard, clear through four innings.
The scoreboard remained unlit though five innings, but Team USA managed to plate a runner in the bottom of the sixth. Jessica Mendoza reached first base on a bunt single and stole second base, before a two-out bloop single to shallow right field from Duran allowed Mendoza to score, making the score 1-0.
Earlier in the day, UCF defeated Florida A&M, 10-6, to move its record to 11-9 on the season and 1-0 in the Altamonte Springs Tournament. Four different Knights recorded two hits in the game, with Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Breanne Javier (Castaic, Calif.) also posting two RBI a piece.
It didn't take long for the Knights to put a run on the board against the Rattlers, plating one in the first inning. Lane crossed the plate following a walk, a stolen base and a RBI double to right centerfield by Javier.
Another run scored for the Black and Gold in the second inning, with Hillary Barrow (Miami, Fla.) roping a double down the left field line, before an Ashley Van Ryn (Atlanta, Ga.) single brought her in to score.
The third inning mirrored the first, with Lane scoring on a Javier double, making the score 3-0 in favor of the Knights.
A four-run third inning for the Rattlers put the Black and Gold down by one, 4-3, going into the top of the fourth inning, but UCF answered back with four runs of its own in the frame. A failed pickoff attempt by the FAMU catcher scored Barrow from third base for the Knights' first run of the inning, before a two-run triple from Lane scored Van Ryn and Council. Javier reached base on an error to score Lane and made the score 7-4 going into the bottom of the inning.
The Knights added three insurance runs in the fifth and secured a 10-6 victory over FAMU.
UCF continues play in the Altamonte Springs Tournament in nearby Altamonte Springs, Fla., Saturday. The Black and Gold will face Villanova at Noon, before playing Vermont at 2 p.m. at the Merrill Park Softball Complex.
Season tickets for the 2008 season are still available and can be purchased by calling 407-UCF-1000. For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pics