March 5, 2008
Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - In its last game before its Conference USA opener, the UCF softball team makes the short trip to Gainesville Thursday to take on No. 5 Florida at Katie Seashole Pressly Softball Stadium at 6 p.m. The meeting marks the seventh between the two squads.
Previewing No. 5 Florida
The Gators welcome the Knights to Gainesville with a 24-1 record on the season and a No. 5 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll. Florida has posted wins over teams such as Illinois, North Carolina, Hofstra and Notre Dame, while suffering its only loss to Long Beach State.
The Gators have seven players batting over .300 and have totaled 200 hits on the season, including 22 home runs. Tiffany DeFelice paces Florida with a .412 batting average and .765 slugging percentage, while Mary Ratliff leads her squad with six home runs and 22 RBI. Florida's ace, Stacey Nelson, holds a 14-1 record and a 0.85 ERA. The junior has 141 strikeouts and has allowed only 13 earned runs in 107.2 innings of work.
UCF vs. Florida
The Knights hold a 1-5 record all-time when facing the Gators, last meeting with them on April 19, 2006, a 3-0 loss. The Black and Gold posted its only win against Florida when it really mattered, a 5-3 victory in the 2005 NCAA Regional Tournament. Stephanie Best went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and two runs scored, while posting a 1.750 slugging percentage in the contest for the Knights.
UCF Pitcher of the Week
Allison Kime totaled 27 strikeouts in 19.0 innings pitched last weekend, including a 15-strikeout performance in the Knights' win over Villanova Saturday afternoon. Her total for the game was a career-high for the hurler for seven innings of work. Kime also had the opportunity to start against Team USA in an exhibition game Friday evening, holding the three-time Olympic gold-medalists to only one run on three hits. Kime also tallied 6 strikeouts in the contest, the most of any pitcher to face the National Team this season. In six prior games, Team USA had outscored it opponents 65-0, averaging 10.83 runs per game. Kime held the National Team scoreless through five innings, until a bunt single, a stolen base and a bloop single scored the only run of the game. In Kime's outing against Maryland, she held the Terps scoreless through five innings. She totaled six strikeouts and allowed only one run on four hits.
Catch Me If You Can
The Knights swiped a total of 15 bases during the three-day Altamonte Springs Tournament, which is half of its season total of 30. Freshman Tiffany Lane was a perfect 7-for-7 on stolen base attempts, while senior Ashley Van Ryn swiped four of her eight-total bases on the year. Lane's four stolen bases in the game against Villanova on March 1 broke the UCF single-game record of three, last achieved by Stephanie Best in 2002.
Bombs On the Road
UCF has already totaled eight home runs on the 2008 season, with every round-tripper coming on the road. The Knights' home fans have yet to see a home run from the Black and Gold this season, after seeing only six total home runs at the UCF Softball Complex in 2007. Lindsay Dean paces the UCF home-run hitters with three on the season, while five additional Knights have posted one. Ashleigh Cole smacked her first home run in the win over Vermont on March 1st, while Tiffany Lane registered her first bomb on Valentine's Day, a three-run walk-off shot against Long Beach State.
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