May 17, 2008
Gainesville, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) put on a fireworks display in Gainesville, Fla., going 4-for-4 with two triples, a double, two runs scored and a RBI to lead the UCF softball team to a 7-1 win over Georgia Tech Saturday night and its first appearance in a NCAA Regional final. The Knights will face No. 1 Florida for the second time in as many days in the NCAA Gainesville Regional final Sunday at 1 p.m., with the winner heading to the NCAA Super Regional.
With the win, UCF tallied 48 wins on the season, breaking the program-record for wins in a season set by the 2005 squad. As a team, the Knights scattered 12 hits in the contest, the most since posting 12 in a win at Florida International on March 26 and their third-highest mark this season.
"I am very proud of the way the team responded in the second game against Georgia Tech," head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "The game of softball is very simple if you can do the simple things, and we did that tonight, moving runners when we needed to and getting the key hits we needed to score runners."
Hillary Barrow (Miami, Fla.) put together an impressive performance at the plate for the Black and Gold, going 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI, while Lindsay Dean (Jacksonville, Fla.) posted two hits and scored the second run of the game in the third inning.
Allison Kime (Brandon, Fla.) earned the win in the circle for the Black and Gold, improving her record to 33-11 on the season. The fire-baller held the Yellow Jackets scoreless, allowing only two hits and striking out two in 4.0 innings of work. Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.) threw 3.0 innings of relief for UCF, allowing one run on three hits.
The Knights did not wait long to put a run on the board, with Lane leading off the game with a double down the left field line and eventually scoring on a RBI single to left field from Barrow.
The magic in Lane's bat kept on firing in the second frame, as the freshman blasted a triple over the right fielder's head to score Dean from second base to give the Black and Gold a two-run advantage heading into the bottom half of the inning. Dean reached earlier in the inning on a single through the left side of the infield.
Lane continued to light off fireworks for the Knight, leading off the fifth inning with her second triple of the game to right centerfield. A squeeze play perfectly executed by Marquita Council (Orlando, Fla.) allowed Lane to touch home, before Barrow demolished an offering from Georgia Tech starter Whitney Humphreys over the left-field wall to put UCF up by five runs with only one out. A walk to Kime put another base runner on for the Knights and back-to-back singles from Ashley Van Ryn (Atlanta, Ga.) and Dean pegged two additional runs onto the scoreboard.
Though UCF did not score any runs in the top of the sixth inning, it still marked a pair of milestones for both Lane and Breanne Javier (Castaic, Calif.). Lane led off the frame with a single, bringing her hit-total for the game to four, tying the single-game record last achieved by Javier earlier in the season in the 15-inning affair with East Carolina. Javier also surpassed a major milestone in the inning with her single to right field. The shot marked her 84th hit of 2008, breaking the single-season mark set by Stephanie Best in 2005.
The Yellow Jackets scored their only run in the bottom of the seventh on a pair of hit batters and a pair of singles.
The Black and Gold continues its run toward the Women's College World Series Sunday at 1 p.m. in the NCAA Gainesville Regional final. In order for the Knights to move on to the NCAA Super Regional, they must both games Sunday, with Florida needing two losses to be knocked out.
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