Feb. 17, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team hits the road for a mid-week match-up with Jacksonville Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the JU Softball Complex. The Knights (4-6) hold a 9-1 advantage over the Dolphins (3-8) in the all-time series and have come out on top in the teams' last four meetings.
GAME DAY ESSENTIALS
Wednesday, Feb. 18
5:30 p.m. - at Jacksonville
UCF leads Jacksonville, 9-1
UCF - 4-6
JU - 3-8
UCF - Renee Luers-Gillispie, eighth season
JU - Amanda Lehotak, third season
? Last Meeting
UCF 9, JU 1 (3.19.2008)
? Live Stats
? UCF's Last Time Out
vs. No. 11 Tennessee, L, 0-1 (8)
? UCF enters Wednesday's contest in Jacksonville with a 4-6 record on the season after going 2-2 at the UCF Early Bird Tournament at the UCF Softball Complex last weekend. The Knights defeated both UT-Arlington and George Mason at the event, while falling to Villanova and No. 11 Tennessee in extra innings.
? The Black and Gold are 9-1 in the all-time series with Jacksonville heading into Wednesday's contest, winning the in-state battle last season 9-1 at the UCF Softball Complex. The Knights scored seven runs in the fifth inning to cut the game short due to the eight-run rule.
? Ashleigh Cole has stepped up in a big way for the Knights in the circle in the past six games, posting a 0.57 ERA and a 2-1 record. The junior's only loss came in an extra-inning affair with No. 11 Tennessee on an unearned run.
? The contest in Jacksonville is the last on the road for the Knights in February. Following the contest with the Dolphins, UCF will return to Orlando to host 13-straight games at the UCF Softball Complex. During the stretch, the Black and Gold will host two tournaments, including the UCF Comfort Suites Invitation this weekend and the UCF Invitational on Feb. 27-March 1.
? Heading into the contest with Jacksonville, the Knights have four of their batters hitting .300 or better, led by Morgan Bullard's .600 (3-for-5) average. Freshman Vanessa Perez has the highest average for players that have played all 10 games this season, posting a .333 (9-for-27) average, while Tiffany Lane and Breanne Javier round out the .300 club with .324 and .323 averages, respectively.
UCF PLAYER OF THE WEEK
In six games this week, including an extra-inning thriller versus No. 11 Tennessee, Tiffany Lane posted a .400 (8-for-20) batting average with three triples, five runs scored and a .700 slugging percentage. Lane accounted for six of UCF's 19 total runs scored over the six-game span, while recording a .455 on-base percentage and 14 total bases. The sophomore shortstop hit one triple in three-straight contests, placing her in a tie for third on the UCF single-season register and only three triples away from the program's all-time record.
Junior Hillary Barrow continued to swing a hot bat through six games last week, batting .353 (6-for-17) with four doubles, a home run, two RBI and three runs scored during the span. The junior posted a .765 slugging percentage and a .421 on-base percentage as well. In the Knights' meeting with No. 11 Tennessee, Barrow posted UCF's only hit, a double, in the second inning.
With two RBI on the week, Breanne Javier took sole possession of the third spot on the UCF all-time register with 92 career RBI. The senior posted a team-leading 40 RBI last season to help the Knights claim the 2008 C-USA Championship crown.
STEPPING UP IN A BIG WAY
Two of the Knights' three freshmen on the 2009 roster have been making a big impact for the squad this season, not only on the offensive side of the ball, but defensively as well. Centerfielder Vanessa Perez currently leads the Black and Gold with a .333 batting average and two stolen bases, while also hitting one of UCF's four home runs. Second baseman Natalie Land is tied with Hillary Barrow for the lead in RBIs for the Black and Gold with six, while also making spectacular plays in the field.
IN THE GROOVE
Ashleigh Cole has definitely found her groove in the circle over the past week, dropping her ERA from a 12.25 following the Kajikawa Classic to a 2.02 at the conclusion of the UCF Early Bird Tournament, a difference of 10.23 points. In the past six games, Cole posted a 2-1 record and a 0.57 ERA in four appearances. The hurler also allowed only two earned runs on 15 hits, while posting 17 strikeouts in 24.2 innings of work. Cole held No. 11 Tennessee to only three hits and one unearned run in an extra-inning affair on Saturday afternoon, despite being tagged with her first loss of the week.
HOME SWEET HOME
The Knights' trip to Jacksonville on Wednesday will be their only one away from the friendly confines of the UCF Softball Complex for the rest of the month of February. After the contest with the Dolphins, UCF will play 12-straight games on their home turf, which included a pair of tournaments at the facility, the UCF Comfort Suites Invitational on Feb. 20-22 and the UCF Invitational on Feb. 27-March 1.
THE KEY TO WINNING...SO FAR
Through 10 games this season, the key to UCF's success has been putting a run on the board first. The Knights are 3-1 when scoring first in 2009, while holding a 1-5 record when their opponent touches the plate first.
Fans can catch up with the Knights each week by watching `Extra Innings with Renee Luers-Gillispie' on Knights All-Access, exclusively at UCFAtheltics.com. The skipper reviews the week that was, previews the Knights' upcoming contests and answers fan questions on every episode of the broadcast. Curious Knight enthusiasts can also find out Gillispie's pick for the team's player of the week in each installment.
Season tickets are on sale now for the 2009 softball season, which features 34 home games at the UCF Softball Complex. For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.