UCF Softball Opens 2008 Season Friday at the UCF Softball Complex

Feb. 7, 2008

Game Notes - UCF Tournament

Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The 2008 softball season is finally here and the UCF softball team will open the season at the UCF Softball Complex for the first time, hosting the UCF Tournament Feb. 8-10. The Knights test themselves early with a pair of games Friday against Illinois State and NC State. Both teams received votes in the USA Today/NFCA National Preseason Coaches' Poll released in January and made appearances in the NCAA Tournament in 2007.

UCF Tournament - Feb. 8-10
Feb. 8 - 4 p.m. - UCF vs. Illinois State | Watch | Listen
Feb. 8 - 6 p.m. - UCF vs. NC State | Watch | Listen
Feb. 9 - 11:30 a.m. - UCF vs. Kansas | Watch | Listen
Feb. 9 - 6 p.m. - UCF vs. Central Arkansas | Listen
Feb. 10 - TBD - Championship Brackets | Watch | Listen

UCF - 0-0
Illinois State - 0-0, First Meeting vs. UCF
NC State - 0-0, First Meeting vs. UCF
Kansas - 0-0, 1-0 vs. UCF
Central Arkansas - 0-0, First Meeting vs. UCF
UCF Softball Complex (600)
Live Stats

Tournament Opponents
Illinois State
UCF's first opponent of the season, Illinois State, ended its 2007 season with a 44-17-1 record and spent 11 weeks during the season as a nationally-ranked team, ranking as high as No. 17 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top-25 Poll. This season, the Redbirds received 23 votes in the NFCA/USA Today Top-25 preseason poll. Illinois State returns 2007 MVC Player of the Year Kara Nelson for her sophomore season and as well as first team All-MVC selections Amber Smith and Jessie Buker. The Redbirds also welcome 10 newcomers to their 2008 roster.

NC State
UCF's second opponent of the day, NC State, concluded last season with a 42-21 record and ranked as high as No. 23 on the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll. The Wolfpack received 12 votes in the 2008 Top-25 Preseason Poll and were picked to finish second in the ACC behind Virginia Tech. NC State has six returning starters and welcome nine newcomers to the squad, including a trio of pitchers.

After posting its fourth consecutive 30-plus win season in 2007, the University of Kansas softball team returns 13 letterwinners, eight of them starters, to its 2008 squad. Leading the 2008 team are senior Addy Lucero and juniors Elle Pottorf and Stevie Crisosto.

The Kansas lineup returns three of its top four offensive threats from 2007 led by All-Big 12 Second Team selection Crisosto who led the team in six offensive categories last year. A junior shortstop from Palo Cedro, Calif., Crisosto batted a team-best .302 last season with 51 hits, including 11 doubles. A smart and speedy base runner, Crisosto also stole 13 bases in 14 attempts.

Central Arkansas
Natalie Shock, the former and first head coach (1996) of the UCA softball program, will take over head coaching duties on an interim basis for the Bears in 2008. Also new to the Bears' staff this year is assistant coach Jennifer Binnie, who will work with the pitchers and handle recruiting duties.

The Bears return five starters and 11 letterwinners from a 2007 season in which they posted a 16-42 record. Senior Janae Owens led UCA with a .280 average and 30 runs scored a year ago, while Brittany Bearden paced the Bears with 48 hits.

First Time for Everything
Of the Knights' four UCF Tournament opponents they have previously only faced Kansas. Their only meeting was at the 2004 Santa Barbara Tournament in Santa Barbara, Calif. Despite outhitting the Jayhawks, 9-6, and scoring two runs in the seventh inning, the Knights fell, 3-2, in the afternoon contest.

Central Arkansas, Illinois State and NC State will face the Black and Gold for the first time this weekend.

Batting .500 to Open the Season
In the past six seasons, the Knights are 3-3 in season-opening games and hold the same record in home-opening contests. In 2007, UCF opened the season with a 6-3 victory over Miami-Ohio behind a solid complete-game performance from Allison Kime. Kime belted a three-run home run in the first inning and allowed only one earned run while picking up the win in the circle.

Aiming to Please
The Knights' 2008 schedule is bound to make fans stand up and cheer, as the Black and Gold play four teams that rank in the top 25 in the NFCA/USA Today national poll released on Jan. 23, and two of those match-ups will take place at the UCF Softball Complex. UCF welcomes No. 8 Baylor and No. 12 Michigan to Orlando during the season. Five additional opponents on the Knights' 2008 tilt received votes in the preseason poll and will all face the Black and Gold on its home turf. Houston, Illinois State, Florida State, NC State and Florida Atlantic must face the Knights as the visiting team.

The Knights are Finally Home
For the first time since the program's inception in 2002, the Knights will open the 2008 season at home in the UCF Softball Complex. Last season, UCF opened the season at the FAU Tournament, the first full year at the complex.

Revin' in 2007
Allison Kime's 18-strikeout performance at Florida State last season tied UAB's Kayla Harris for the most K's in a game in 2007 by a C-USA pitcher. The feat also ranked atop the UCF all-time record charts for the most strikeouts in a single contest.

Kime is also tied for the fifth spot among C-USA pitchers in career no-hitters with three. The senior tallied two no-hit perfomances in 2006 and added her third with a record-breaking out at Stetson last season. Not only did Kime pitch a no-hit shutout, but she also staked claim on the UCF all-time strikeout record in the same