March 3, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team concludes its 12-game homestand Wednesday when it welcome Loyola Chicago to the UCF Softball Complex. The single contest is set to get underway at 3 p.m., following a match-up between the Ramblers and Western Michigan at 1 p.m.
GAME DAY ESSENTIALS
Wednesday, March 4
1:00 p.m. - Loyola Chicago vs. Western Michigan
3:00 p.m. - UCF vs. Loyola Chicago
? The Coaches
UCF: Renee Luers-Gillispie
LUC: Yvette Healy
UCF leads LUC, 1-0
? Last Meeting
UCF 1, LUC 0 (2004)
? UCF's Last Time Out
vs. Maine, W, 5-0
? Live Video
? Live Stats
? The Knights entertain the Ramblers Wednesday with a 14-8 record on the season, after posting a 6-1 record in seven games played last week. The Knights recorded three-straight wins vs. Centenary, Bethune-Cookman and Eastern Michigan, before falling to Syracuse in the opening game of the UCF Invitational. The squad bounced back quickly, winning its next three games against Tennessee State, FAMU and Maine.
? After posting a 3-0 record with one save last week, junior Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.) was named Conference USA's Pitcher of the Week, league officials announced Monday. The junior allowed only five earned runs in 26.1 innings pitched for a 1.33 ERA to help the UCF softball team to a 6-1 record.
? Loyola travels to Orlando with a 3-2 overall record after competing in the Islander Invitational last weekend. The Ramblers opened the event with a 3-0 blanking of Pittsburgh, before dropping two-straight contests against both Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Minnesota. Loyola completed the tournament with two, 8-2, victories over Dayton.
? Wednesday will not be the first time this season that the Knights have matched-up with a team hailing from Chicago. At the UCF Comfort Suites Invitational, the Black and Gold defeated Illinois-Chicago, 9-1, in six innings.
? The last time UCF and Loyola tangled was back in 2004, in only the Knights' second season. The game remained scoreless through six innings, before a Lindsay Enders triple and a RBI single from Crystle Krafft gave the Black and Gold a 1-0 victory at the Rebel Games in Kissimmee, Fla.
C-USA PITCHER OF THE WEEK
After posting a 3-0 record with one save last week, junior Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.) was named Conference USA's Pitcher of the Week, league officials announced Monday. The junior allowed only five earned runs in 26.1 innings pitched for a 1.33 ERA to help the UCF softball team to a 6-1 record. Cole opened the week with a 6-2 win over Centenary, allowing only one earned run on seven hits, while striking out six batters in the complete-game outing. The next day, Cole earned her second victory of the week against Eastern Michigan. The Eagles could only muster three earned runs on seven hits off of Cole. The hurler also allowed only two walks to EMU, while striking out six batters for the second-straight contest. Cole came in relief against Syracuse, giving up only one earned run on four hits with three strikeouts and no walks in five innings of work, before earning her second career save in the win over Tennessee State. In the outing, Cole got the final out of the inning as she just faced one batter. Her third win of the week came in the Knights' UCF Invitational finale against Maine. Cole three-hit the Black Bears, while posting a season-high seven strikeouts to earn her first shutout of the season. The weekly honor is the first for Cole in 2009 and the first of her career.
THE QUEST FOR 300
With 14 wins on the season, the UCF softball team and Renee Luers-Gillispie need only eight 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 292-191-1 all-time record.
For only the third time in program history, the Knights' defense turned three double plays in Saturday night's victory over Maine at the UCF Softball Complex. The last time UCF posted three double plays in a single contest was almost exactly two years prior, when they turned three against Eastern Michigan on March 1, 2007. The first time the feat was accomplished was on May 7, 2004 against USF.
MAKING THE SACRIFICE
Lindsay Dean matched the UCF program single-game record with two sacrifice flies in the blanking of Florida A&M Saturday. There have been only four other times in the last eight years that the feat has been accomplished. The last time a Knight had two sacrifice flies in a game was last season, when Hillary Barrow posted two against Stetson on April 27.
UCF has hit a home run in five of its seven contests last week and now has nine on the season through 21 games. Last week, Lane started off the home-run barrage with a three-run shot on Tuesday against Centenary. McClain followed up with a solo home run against Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday and another solo homer against Syracuse on the opening day of the UCF Invitational. Lane hit her second home run of the week in the blanking of Florida A&M, before Breanne Javier blasted a solo shot against Maine in the week's finale. Lane, McClain and Hillary Barrow lead the squad with two long-bombs apiece on the season, while Breanne Javier's home run in the fifth inning against Maine was her first of 2009 and her first at the UCF Softball Complex.
Kristina DeMello pitched the first shutout of her career in the circle for the Knights in the opening contest Saturday against Florida A&M. The junior picked up her fourth win of the season in the circle for UCF, allowing only five hits while striking out five batters.
Through seven games last week, UCF posted a 6-1 record and has now won 10 of its last 12 contests for a 14-8 record on the season.
TRIPLES FOR TIFFY
Sophomore Tiffany Lane returned to prime form during the UCF Invitational, batting .500 (4-for-8) with a triple, a home run, six runs scored and four RBI. The shortstop posted a remarkable 1.125 slugging percentage during the tournament, while recording a .667 on-base percentage to lead the Knights to three wins. Lane's four triples this season match the second-most for a season on the UCF register, while her 11 career triples rank second on the program's all-time chart. Lane needs only three more three-baggers to set the program record.
UCF HITTER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore Abby McClain helped lead the UCF softball team to a 6-1 record last week after posting a .421 (8-for-19) batting average in six games played. Of her eight hits during the week, McClain belted four for extra bases, which included two home runs, a triple and a double while accounting for 13 of the Knights' runs. The utility player registered a .895 slugging percentage and a .476 on-base percentage, while also adding seven RBI, six runs scored and a stolen base. In Wednesday's, 2-0, win over in-state rival Bethune-Cookman, McClain recorded the game-winning hit and the game-winning RBI in the contest with a home run in the in the third inning, her first of the season, while also scoring the Knights' second run of the game in the fifth. In the second game of the day versus Eastern Michigan, a team that was receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll heading into the week, McClain went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI to lead all hitters in the game. In the opening day of the UCF Invitational, McClain posted three hits, including a home run and a triple, while recording the game-winning RBI in the nightcap vs. Tennessee State. McClain also scored two runs on the final day of the event and a sacrifice hit.
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.