Feb. 24, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team used a five-run sixth inning and a three-run home run from Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) to down visiting Centenary, 7-3, Tuesday afternoon at the UCF Softball Complex.
The win improves UCF's record to 9-7 on the season and also moves its home record to 7-4 in 2009, with seven-consecutive home contests slated through February and the first week of March. Centenary fell to 9-3 with the loss.
Lane led the Knights at the plate with a home run, three RBI and a run scored, while senior Magon Paul (Virginia Beach, Va.) added two RBI and scored a run. Also getting key hits for the Black and Gold in the contest were Breanne Javier (Castaic, Calif.), Vanessa Perez (San Diego, Calif.) and Lindsay Dean (Jacksonville, Fla.).
Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.) registered the win in the circle for the Knights, improving her record to 6-2 on the season. The hurler allowed only one earned run on seven hits in a complete-game effort, while matching her season-high with six strikeouts.
UCF fell down by two runs early in the contest, but made up the deficit with two runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth inning. Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second with a single up the middle by Javier. A ground out to the right side from Hillary Barrow (Miami, Fla.) advanced both runners into scoring position, before a single to left field off the bat of Perez plated the Knights first run. Back-to-back walks to Mary Helen Tyler (Marianna, Fla.) and Dean allowed the tying run to touch home and evened the game, 2-2.
"The way that Natalie, Vanessa, Bre and Hillary stepped up in the fourth shifted the momentum in our favor heading into the remainder of the game," Gillispie said. "That inning really set the stage for us being able to get a W today."
Another pair of walks and a home run off the bat of Lane led to four runs for UCF in the bottom of the sixth inning. Barrow walked to start the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Perez, before Tyler also reached on a walk. A single by Dean loaded the bases and a single to right field from Paul plated both Barrow and Tyler. With two outs on the board, Lane demolished the delivery from Centenary's pitcher over the centerfield fence to score three runs and put the Knights up by five.
"Lindsay and Magon came up with the key hits that we needed them to in the bottom of the sixth inning," head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "Centenary came out very aggressive at the plate right from the start of the game and kept us on our heels. We were fortunate to be able to step up in the fourth with a pair of runs which got us back into the game and gave us the opportunity to win the game in the sixth inning."
Centenary would plate another run in the top of the seventh, but three strikeouts from Cole in the frame secured the UCF victory.
The Knights host a three-team round robin on Wednesday with Bethune-Cookman and Eastern Michigan. UCF will play the Wildcats at 4 p.m. and the Eagles at 6 p.m.
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.