Feb. 6, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF (0-2) softball team opened the 2009 season and the Kajikawa Classic Friday afternoon with a 12-4 loss to Texas Tech in its opening game, before falling to defending national champion No. 2 Arizona State, 10-7, in the nightcap at Farrington Stadium.
Freshman Vanessa Perez (San Diego, Calif.) paced the Knights' offense in the pair of contests, going 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, two runs scored and a sacrifice hit, including going a perfect 2-for-2 with a home run and a sacrifice hit against the Sun Devils.
Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.) took the loss for the Knights on the mound against ASU, giving up seven earned runs on seven hits in three innings of work. Senior Magon Paul (Virginia Beach, Va.) threw three innings of relief in the contest, allowing three runs on five hits, while striking out two.
Arizona State scored early in the contest, posting three runs in the first inning off three walks and two singles. The Knights ate away at the Sun Devils' lead with a run in the top of the second inning. Cole walked to kick-start the inning and pinch runner Tenisha Dixon (New Port Richey, Fla.) advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Perez and scored on a line shot up the middle by Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.).
Four additional runs crossed the plate for the Sun Devils in the third, putting the Knights down 7-1 heading into the fourth.
UCF continued to chip away on the deficit with two more runs in the fourth. Barrow walked to start things off, before advancing on back-to-back singles from Cole and Perez. With bases loaded, Land scored Barrow with a RBI grounder to third and Bullard brought in another run with a single to the shortstop.
Two more runs touched in the fourth and one more in the fifth for the home team, putting the Black and Gold down by seven heading into its final at-bat.
With one out, McClain hit a single through the right side and Javier followed with a single to the same spot, putting runners at first and second for Barrow. The third baseman put the Knights within four runs with a three-run line drive home run over the left centerfield fence. Perez followed with a home run of her own, the first of her career, to left field to cut ASU's lead to three, but the Sun Devils managed to stave off UCF's late rally to secure the victory.
In the opening game against Texas Tech, the Knights got two hits each from McClain, Bullard and Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.), despite faltering in its season-opener, 12-4, at the Tempe Sports Complex Friday afternoon.
McClain and Bullard both posted a double, a single, a RBI and scored a run in the contest versus the Red Raiders, while Lane contributed a pair of singles, a stolen base and a run scored.
Javier had a hit and a sacrifice fly, while Perez added a single, scored a run and posted a RBI.
On the mound, Kristina DeMello (Mead, Wash.) took the loss for the Black and Gold, allowing six earned runs on nine hits, while striking out four batters in 4.1 innings of work. Diana Rojas (Miami, Fla.) also saw time on the mound for UCF in relief, throwing 2.2 innings.
Saturday's slate matches the Knights against Oklahoma State at 3:30 p.m. ET and Western Michigan at 6 p.m. ET, before the Black and Gold's tournament finale will pit the Knights against No. 11 Stanford at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
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.