May 12, 2008
Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Still basking in the glory of its Conference USA Softball Championship title it won Saturday, the UCF softball team learned that it will face in-state rival South Florida in the opening round of the Gainesville Regional May 16 at 3:30 p.m. in Gainesville, Fla. at Katie Seashole Pressly Staduim Sunday night during the NCAA Tournament Selection Show.
Also appearing in the Gainesville Regional is host, and No. 1 seed, Florida and Georgia Tech.
The Black and Gold is 1-8 all-time when facing the Bulls, securing its only win in 2006 behind a two-hit, 11-strikeout performance from Allison Kime (Brandon, Fla.). UCF's history with USF in the NCAA Tournament is storied, with the Bulls knocking the Knights out of the Gainesville Regional in 2005 after handing the Black and Gold both of its losses during the event.
The Knights earned C-USA's automatic bid into the post-season tournament after defeating Houston Saturday, 4-2, thanks to a two-run home run in the sixth inning by Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and the stellar pitching of senior ace Kime. The UCF bats combined for 11 hits off Houston starter and C-USA Pitcher of the Year, Angel Shamblin, in the contest, the most hits she has given up all season.
Offensively, the Knights combined for a .342 team batting average over the course of the three-day event, a new league-tournament record.
The Black and Gold enters the Regional tournament with a 46-18 record on the season and need only one more win to match the program record for wins in a season set during the 2005 season, the first and only other year the Knights earned a bid into the NCAA Tournament.
C-USA had three additional teams earn at-large bids into the post-season tournament including Houston, Tulsa and East Carolina. Houston won the league regular-season title and is seeded No. 8 in tournament, hosting the event at Cougar Softball Stadium. Tulsa was third in the league following regular-season play, while the Pirates entered the C-USA Championship as the No. 5 seed.
The Knights embark on their second appearance in the NCAA Tournament following their win over Houston Saturday. 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