Feb. 28, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Juniors Kristina DeMello (Mead, Wash.) and Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.) recorded their first shutouts of 2009 in the circle as the UCF (14-8) softball team blanked its competition on its final day of the UCF Invitational Saturday at the UCF Softball Complex. The Knights opened the day with a, 7-0, blanking of Florida A&M, before rolling over Maine, 5-0, in the nightcap.
"Both Kristina and Ashleigh showed great poise and consistency in the circle for us today," head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "It's always great when you have a pair of pitchers that can shutout teams on the mound, combined with the offensive ability to keep putting runs on the board."
Offensively, Mary Helen Tyler (Marianna, Fla.) paced the Black and Gold, going 4-for-5 with a double and two RBI, while Breanne Javier (Castaic, Calif.) posted three hits, including a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.
VS. FLORIDA A&M (4-14)
UCF scored seven runs on eight hits to down Florida A&M in the opening contest where Tyler posted a career-high three hits and added a RBI to lead the Knights at the plate in the contest. Javier added two hits, a run and a RBI, while Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) registered a home run, two RBI and three runs scored.
Two sacrifice flies from Lindsay Dean (Jacksonville, Fla.) accounted for a pair of runs for UCF, tying the program single-game record for sacrifice flies last accomplished by teammate Hillary Barrow (Miami, Fla.) against Stetson last season.
DeMello picked up her fourth win and first shutout of the season in the circle for UCF, allowing only five hits while striking out five batters.
Lane put UCF on the board in the bottom of the third inning with one swing of the bat, belting a two-run home run over the right-field fence, scoring Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) from third base. Land reached earlier in the frame with a double to right centerfield and moved to third on a sacrifice hit by Abby McClain (Waterloo, Iowa).
Another run crossed for the Knights in the fourth on a Dean sacrifice fly to centerfield. The senior plated Vanessa Perez (San Diego, Calif.) with the deep fly ball, who led off the inning with a walk.
The Rattlers loaded the bases with only one out in the top of the fifth inning, but a great play on a pop-up down the left-field line by Lane and a pick-off by McClain from behind the plate worked the Black and Gold out of the jam unscathed.
Barrow posted a RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to put UCF up by four, before a single from Tyler with bases loaded brought in the Knights' second run of the inning. The bases remained juiced for Dean, allowing the senior to put the Black and Gold ahead by six with her second sacrifice fly of the game.
Javier put the finishing touch on the game with a RBI single in the sixth to give the home team a seven-run cushion heading into the final frame. A one-two-three inning by the defense sealed the victory for the home team.
VS. MAINE (5-8)
Cole threw her first shutout of the season against Maine in the nightcap, allowing only three hits and striking out a season-high seven batters. The hurler improved her record to 8-2 on the season with the complete-game shutout.
At the plate, five different players posted one hit for the home team, led by Javier's two-run home run in the fifth inning. Tyler also continued to swing a hot stick, going 1-for-2 with a double and a RBI, while McClain scored two runs for the Knights.
UCF tacked its first run on the board in the second inning on a Tyler RBI double down the left-field line to score Barrow. The Knights went up by three runs in the third when Javier crushed a delivery from Maine's starter over the right-field fence for her first home run of the season. The two-run shot scored McClain, who reached earlier in the frame with a single.
The Knights continued to pull away from the Black Bears, posting two runs in the bottom of the fifth to go up by five. McClain reached second on a fielding error by Maine's third baseman and a single by Lane advanced her to third, before a throwing error by the catcher allowed McClain to score. A sacrifice bunt from Javier moved Lane to third and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Barrow posted the Black and Gold's fifth run.
The Knights are back in action on Wednesday when they host Loyola (Ill.) in a single contest at 3 p.m. at the UCF Softball Complex.
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.
- Mary Helen Tyler's 3-for-3 performance at the plate in the win over FAMU was the first of her career.
- Lindsay Dean matched the program single-game record with two sacrifice flies against the Rattlers, a feat last accomplished by Hillary Barrow at Stetson last season.
- Kristina DeMello pitched the first shutout of her career in the circle for the Knights in the opening contest.
- Ashleigh Cole's shutout against Maine was her first of 2009 and the fifth of here career.
- Breanne Javier's home run in the fifth inning against Maine was her first of 2009 and her first at the UCF Softball Complex.
- With her sacrifice fly in the nightcap, Hillary Barrow now has nine in her career, good for first on the UCF all-time register.
- UCF went 6-1 on the week and has now won 10 of its last 12 contests.
- The Knights and head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie need only eight more wins to reach the program's 300-win mark.