UCF Softball Hosts Non-Conference Contests Versus FIU, Iowa This Week

March 16, 2009

Game Notes in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team will conclude its seven-game homestand this week when it welcomes both in-state rival FIU and Iowa to the UCF Softball Complex this week. The Knights will take on the Golden Panthers Tuesday at 6 p.m., before challenging the Hawkeyes in a 5 p.m. contest on Thursday.

? Schedule
Tuesday, March 17
6:00 p.m. - UCF vs. FIU

Thursday, March 19
5:00 p.m. - UCF vs. Iowa

? The Coaches
UCF: Renee Luers-Gillispie
FIU: Beth McClendon
IOWA: Gayle Blevins

? Records
UCF: 16-15, 2-4 C-USA
FIU: 15-15, 0-3 Sun Belt
IOWA: 20-5, 0-0 Big Ten

? Series
UCF leads FIU, 2-1
UCF leads Iowa, 1-0

? Last Meeting
UCF 9, FIU 5 (2008)
UCF 4, Iowa 1 (2008)

? UCF's Last Time Out
vs. UAB, W, 6-5

? Radio
Stretch Radio

? Live Video
Knights All-Access

? Live Stats

? The UCF softball team welcomes both in-state rival FIU and Iowa to the UCF Softball Complex this week for a pair of non-conference mid-week contests. The Knights will host the Golden Panthers Tuesday at 6 p.m., before concluding their seven-game homestand Thursday at 5 p.m. against the Hawkeyes.

? FIU makes the trip to Orlando with a 15-15 overall record on the season after going 3-2 at the USF Under Armour Showcase last weekend. The Panthers opened the event Friday with a win over Long Island, before dropping two-straight to Boston and Eastern Tennessee. FIU finshed out the tournament with a pair of victories over George Washington and Indiana.

? The Hawkeyes will battle the Knights with a 20-5 record on the season after going 4-1 in the Hatter Classic last weekend in DeLand. Iowa split a pair of games on Friday, defeating Hartford, before falling to host Stetson, before bouncing back to win three-straight games against both Cornell and Hartford.

? In the last meeting between UCF and FIU, the Knights used a six-run third inning to help defeat the Golden Panthers on the road, 9-5. Tiffany Lane was 3-for-3 at the plate with a RBI and two runs scored, while Miami native, Hillary Barrow posted two hits, three RBI and scored a run for the Black and Gold.

? Last season, Iowa native Abby McClain paced the Knights against the Hawkeyes, going 2-for-3 with the Knights' only RBI in a, 4-1, victory. Ashleigh Cole picked up the win in the circle, allowing only one run on four hits, while striking out six in a complete-game outing.

Sophomore Abby McClain hit .700 (7-for-10) in the C-USA series with UAB last weekend to help UCF to its first league-series win of 2009 and claim UCF softball's Hitter of the Week honors. McClain paced the Knights with seven hits, which included two doubles and a home run, four RBI, five runs scored, 12 total bases, a 1.200 slugging percentage and a .750 on-base percentage. McClain opened the series with a 6-for-7 outing in the doubleheader Saturday, with three runs scored, two doubles, a home run, four RBI and a 1.571 slugging percentage. Her performance on Saturday improved her overall batting average from a .352 heading into the weekend, to a team-leading .389 at the conclusion of the day. In the series finale on Sunday, McClain posted a single in her first at bat and scored two critical runs for the Black and Gold, including the first of the game. The sophomore struck out only once in 16 at-bats on the week, while recording at least one hit in each of the Knights' five contests and scored a run in four of five games.

With 16 wins on the season, the UCF softball team and Renee Luers-Gillispie need only six more wins in 2009 for the duo to reach the 300-win mark at the Division I level. Gillispie and the Knights currently hold a 294-198-1 all-time record.

Tiffany Lane made her mark in the UCF record books Sunday in the C-USA series finale with UAB, when, in the first inning, the sophomore belted her 14th career triple. The RBI-triple gave Lane sole possession of the program's all-time record for triples, surpassing both Stephanie Best and Jania Shinhoster, who held the record together since 2005. The first-inning blast also marked Lane's seventh triple of 2009, matching her record-setting seven triples from last season. Lane now needs one more three-bagger to set UCF's single-season record.

The Knights earned their first C-USA series win last weekend when it took two of three games from the visiting Blazers at the UCF Softball Complex. UCF picked up its first league-victory of the season Saturday in the first game of the doubleheader behind strong outings from both pitcher Ashleigh Cole and catcher Abby McClain. Despite dropping the nightcap on Saturday, the Knights held on for a win in the series finale on Sunday behind a two-out, two-RBI single from Breanne Javier in the bottom of the sixth inning.

In the series win over UAB last weekend, UCF turned up its offensive firepower, cranking out 32 hits and scoring 17 runs in the three-game series. The Knights had 12 hits in its opening win, 11 hits in the nightcap on Saturday and nine hits in its final game of the series on Sunday. On the weekend, the Black and Gold hit .376 as a team and had six different players hit .300 or better.

With six three-hit games already under her belt in her sophomore season, Abby McClain looks to match Stephanie Best for the program's record of seven three-hit games in a season. The last time a Knight had six tri-hit games was at the conclusion of the 2007 season, when both Breanne Javier and Amber Lamb matched the feat. Best had seven three-hit games as a sophomore in 2003 and if McClain can squeeze out two more, she will have surpassed the record number.

UCF ranks in the top-two spots in six different offesive categories compared with their C-USA foes. The Knights ranks tops in hits (234), triples (13), sacrifice bunts (28) and sacrifice flies (8), while ranking second in both doubles (41) and total bases (340).

With her single in the first inning in the win over UAB on Sunday, Abby McClain extended her hitting streak to six games. The sophomore's six-game stint is her longest of 2009 and her longest of her career. As a freshman, McClain held her previous career-high, a five-game hitting streak, from March 29-April 5.

Need an excuse to wear those acid-wash jeans hidden in the back of your closet? Join the UCF softball team for 80s Knight Thursday when they take on Iowa at the UCF Softball Complex. Fans are encouraged to wear their best 80s attire for the chance to win some of your best-remembered movies from your favorite decade.

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.