Eleven Hits Guide UCF Softball to Win Over Tennessee State


Feb. 27, 2009

Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF (12-8) softball team posted 11 hits, which included two apiece from Vanessa Perez (San Diego, Calif.), Tenisha Dixon (New Port Richey, Fla.) and Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.), to take a win from Tennessee State, 9-7, Friday night at the UCF Softball Complex. With the win, the Knights split the opening day of the UCF Invitational after dropping a contest earlier in the day to Syracuse, 3-2.

Lane paced the Black and Gold at the plate in the contest, going 2-for-2 with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored, while Dixon also had a triple and two runs scored for the home team.

Abby McClain (Waterloo, Iowa) continued to be consistent for UCF offensively, posting a triple and two RBI in the win.

The victory in the circle went to Kristina DeMello (Mead, Wash.), who threw 5.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.) earned the save, her first of the season, getting the final out of the game on the only batter she faced.

The Knights scored first in the opening frame. With two outs, Breanne Javier (Castaic, Calif.) reached on a single up the middle and eventually scored on a fielding error by TSU's shortstop.

Lane extended UCF's lead in the second inning, belting a two RBI double to dead-centerfield to score Magon Paul (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Dixon. Paul reached earlier in the frame on a fielder's choice and Dixon got on with a single through the right side. UCF continued to roll in the inning, plating two more after McClain was issued a free base-on-balls and later scored on a RBI single by Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.). With runners on second and third, Javier hit a sacrifice fly to left field, putting the Knights ahead by five.

Dixon hit her first career triple in the third frame to put the Black and Gold ahead by six, scoring Mary Helen Tyler (Marianna, Fla.) who reached on a fielder's choice. Lane was issued a walk, before McClain hit a booming triple off the right-centerfield fence to give the Knights an eight-run advantage.

The Tigers chipped away at UCF's lead in the fourth after three runs touched home in the inning.

Tyler got one of the runs back in the bottom of the frame, hitting a double to left field to plate Perez from first base.

But, Tennessee State kept fighting, scoring three runs in the top of the fifth off a pair of home runs to cut the Knights' lead to two, but Cole came in and finished off the Tigers to pick up her first save of the season.

The Knights fell down by one run early in the contest against Syracuse, when the Orange's Stephanie Watts led off the game with a home run to left centerfield. Another home run by the Orange put the Knights down by two through 1.5 innings, before a run in the top of the fifth tagged the home team with a three-run deficit.

Paul broke up Gardner's no-hitter in the in the fifth inning, before McClain cut Syracuse's lead to two with a home run in the bottom of the sixth.

Javier tacked another run on the board when she scored on McClain's RBI single in the seventh, but it was not enough to get the win.

McClain led all hitters at the plate with two hits, including a home run, two RBI and a run scored. Javier, Paul and Lindsay Dean (Jacksonville, Fla.) accounted for the Knights three additional hits.

Paul was tagged with the loss in the circle for UCF, allowing two runs on four hits in 2.0 innings of work. Cole would come in to finish the game, scattering four hits and allowing only one run in 5.0 innings pitched.

UCF concludes its part of the tournament with a pair of contest against both Florida A&M and Maine at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively, on Saturday.

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.