Barrow's First-Inning Home Run Lifts UCF Softball Over Southern Miss


May 8, 2008

Box Score

Houston, Texas (www.ucfathletics.com) - Hillary Barrow's (Miami, Fla.) three-run home run in the first inning lifted the No. 2 UCF softball team to a, 3-2, win over No. 7 Southern Miss and into the semi-final round of play at the Conference USA Softball Championship Thursday afternoon at the Cougar Softball Stadium in Houston, Texas.

With the win, the Black and Gold improved to 44-18 on the season, while the Lady Eagles fell to 25-30 on the year and were eliminated from the tournament.

"It was nice to get that first win out of the way and get the nerves out," head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "We had numerous chances to break the game open in the later innings, but left a lot of people on base. We need to improve that aspect of our game and if we do that we should do well the rest of the tournament."

The Knights stranded seven runners on base in the contest, including two in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

Marquita Council (Orlando, Fla.) and Lexi Gresham (Fresno, Calif.) both posted two hits for the Knights in the win, with Council scoring one of the Black and Gold's runs in the first frame.

Allison Kime (Brandon, Fla.) recorded the win in the circle for UCF, allowing two runs on five hits, while striking out eight in seven innings of work. The win is the 29th of the season for the senior and 66th of her career.

Barrow did not waste any time putting UCF on the scoreboard, blasting an opposite-field home run over the right field wall in the first inning, scoring both Council and Breanne Javier (Castaic, Calif.). Council reached earlier in the inning on a single up the middle of the infield, while Javier reached on a walk issued by USM starter, Samantha Davis.

Barrow's home run was her second of the season and third of her career, the blast also marked the fourth time this season that a Knight hit a three-run shot.

Southern Miss cut the UCF lead to two runs in the third inning, with Megan Hill taking Kime's first offering over the left field fence. The Knights' lead dwindled to one toward the end of the frame, with back-to-back singles by Chaney and Pilgrim setting up a stolen base. On the throw to second, Chaney took off for home, sliding in safely.

Neither team could bring a run across through the next four innings, giving the Knights the, 3-2, victory.

UCF will face the winner of No. 3 Tulsa and No. 6 UTEP in the semi-final round of the C-USA Softball Championship Friday at 3 p.m. EST.

The Knights look to clinch a spot in the NCAA Tournament when they compete for the Conference USA Softball Championship title May 8-10 at Houston. For tickets, visit c-usa.org. 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