UCF Softball Hosts East Carolina for Conference USA Opener

March 7, 2008

Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Following a rain-out for Thursday's game originally scheduled against No. 5 Florida, the UCF softball team opens Conference USA action this weekend, taking on East Carolina (16-5) in a three-game series at the UCF Softball Complex. Saturday's doubleheader begins at 1 p.m., while the single-game Sunday is set to get underway at Noon.

Previewing East Carolina
The Pirates travel to Orlando with a 16-5 over all record on the season, posting wins over teams such as North Carolina, Boston College, Syracuse and Liberty.

Jessica Johnson paces the Pirates' offense with 19 RBI, four home runs and 32 total bases. Charina Sumner leads all starters with a .382 batting average, 26 hits and nine stolen bases. Brooke Swann has done most of the work for East Carolina in the circle, totaling 60 strikeouts in 85.2 innings of work in 2008.

UCF vs. East Carolina
The Knights are 1-7 all-time against the Pirates, having yet to win a game in the teams' regular-season series. UCF's lone win over East Carolina came last season in the Conference USA Championship, a 3-1 victory. The Knights' Lindsay Dean (Jacksonville, Fla.) was a perfect 3-for-3 with a solo home run in the contest, and Allison Kime (Brandon, Fla.) earned the win in the circle, allowing only one earned run on six hits.

UCF's last outing against ECU was a day later in the C-USA Championship semifinal contest. Despite pitching 11 scoreless innings, Kime suffered the loss in the circle, giving up a solo home run in the 12th inning to the Pirates' Jessica Johnson.

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