UCF Softball Readies for UCF Comfort Suites Invitational

Feb. 19, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team will return to the UCF Softball Complex this weekend to kick-off its 12-game homestand and to host the UCF Comfort Suites Invitational beginning Friday afternoon. The Knights' will play both Portland State and Illinois-Chicago on Friday at 2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively, before concluding play in the tournament Saturday against Boston College at 2:30 p.m. and Oklahoma State at 6:30 p.m.

? Schedule
Friday, Feb. 20
2:30 p.m. - Portland State
6:30 p.m. - Illinois-Chicago
Saturday, Feb. 21
2:30 p.m. - Boston College
6:30 p.m. - Oklahoma State

? The Coaches
UCF: Renee Luers-Gillispie
PSU: Tobin Echo-Hawk
UIC: Michelle Venturella
BC: Jennifer Finley
OSU: Rich Wieligman

? Series
UCF leads PSU, 1-0
First meeting with UIC
UCF leads BC, 2-0
UCF leads OSU, 2-0

? Last Meeting
UCF 6, PSU 5 (2005)
UCF 4, BC 1 (2006)
UCF 8, OSU 5 (2009)

? UCF's Last Time Out
at Jacksonville, W, 5-3 (8)

? Radio
Stretch Radio

? Live Video
Knights All-Access

? Live Stats

? UCF hosts its second tournament of the 2009 season beginning Friday with a 5-6 record on the season. The Knights have secured wins in three of their last four games, which includes a 5-3 extra-inning victory over in-state rival Jacksonville on the road Wednesday.

? The Black and Gold will be facing Oklahoma State in its UCF Comfort Suites Invitational finale Saturday, but it won't be the first time the two teams have met this season. In their first tournament of the season, the Knights defeated the Cowgirls, 8-5, at the Kajikawa Classic behind an impressive performance on the mound by Magon Paul.

? Ashleigh Cole has stepped up in a big way for the Knights in the circle in the past seven games, posting a 0.50 ERA and a 3-1 record in five appearances. The junior's only loss came in an extra-inning affair with No. 11 Tennessee on an unearned run.

? UCF returns 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.

? In the Knights' last outing, sophomore Abby McClain belted a two-RBI double in the eighth inning to lift UCF to a 5-3 extra-inning victory over Jacksonville Wednesday night at the JU Softball Complex. The centerfielder paced the Knights with three hits, including a double and a triple, two RBI and one run scored.

Against Jacksonville on Wednesday, UCF totaled a season-high 12 hits, including five for extra-bases. Abby McClain led the extra-base attack, posting a triple and a double in the victory, while Breanne Javier, Magon Paul and Hillary Barrow all added a double apiece for the visiting Knights.

Hillary Barrow broke into the UCF all-time top-10 Wednesday night with her double in the fifth inning. The junior is now tied with Bryttani Lindheim and Lindsay Bush for the ninth spot on the register with 21 career doubles. Barrow has posted a two-bagger in four of her last six contests, which includes a two-double outing against North Florida on Feb. 11.

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.

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 1.97 at the conclusion of the Knights' game against Jacksonville Wednesday, a difference of 10.28 points. In the past seven games, Cole posted a 3-1 record and a 0.50 ERA in five appearances. The hurler also allowed only two earned runs on 15 hits, while posting 20 strikeouts in 28.0 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.

UCF will play 12-straight games on their home turf beginning Friday, which includes a pair of tournaments at the UCF Softball Complex, the UCF Comfort Suites Invitational on Feb. 20-22 and the UCF Invitational on Feb. 27-March 1.

Heading into this weekend's tournament, the Knights have five of their batters hitting .300 or better, led by Morgan Bullard's .600 (3-for-5) average. Sophomore Abby McClain has the highest average for players that have played all 11 games this season, posting a .333 average, while Tiffany Lane, Breanne Javier and Vanessa Perez round out the .300 club with .324, .314 and .300 averages, respectively.

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.