March 9, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team returns home to the friendly confines of the UCF Softball Complex Tuesday when it begins an eight-game homestand against Ball State and Kennesaw State. The non-conference doubleheader is set to get underway at 3 p.m.
GAME DAY ESSENTIALS
Tuesday, March 10
1:00 p.m. - Ball State vs. Kennesaw State
3:00 p.m. - UCF vs. Ball State
5:00 p.m. - UCF vs. Kennesaw State
? The Coaches
UCF: Renee Luers-Gillispie
Ball State: Craig Nicholson
KSU: Scott Whitlock
UCF: 14-12, 0-3 C-USA
Ball State: 4-8, 0-0 MAC
KSU: 9-11, 0-0 A-SUN
UCF leads Ball State, 1-0
First meeting vs. Kennesaw State
? Last Meeting
UCF 4, Ball State 1 (2006)
? UCF's Last Time Out
at Tulsa, L, 2-8
? Live Video
? Live Stats
? UCF welcomes both Ball State and Kennesaw State to the UCF Softball Complex Tuesday with a 14-12 overall record and a 0-3 league clip after falling in three-straight games in its Conference USA series last weekend at Tulsa.
? After hitting the road last weekend for the first time in 12 games, the Knights return to the friendly confines of the UCF Softball Complex Tuesday to open a seven-game home stand. During the stretch, the Black and Gold will face Ball State, Kennesaw State, UAB in its C-USA home-opening series, in-state rival FIU and 2008 NCAA Participant Iowa.
? Ball State enters Tuesday's contest with the Knights with a 4-8 record on the season after posting a 2-3 record at the South Florida Under Armor Invitational in Clearwater last weekend. The Cardinals dropped three-straight against NC State, Hofstra and Illinois Chicago to open the tournament, before winning their last two against Lehigh and Robert Morris.
? Kennesaw State travels to Orlando with a 9-11 record in 2009, after going 3-2 at the Buzz Classic last weekend. The Owls defeated Boston College, Albany and Indiana State during the event and fell to Centenary and Akron.
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 292-195-1 all-time record.
With 14 double plays on the season, the Knights rank tops among their C-USA counterparts by six. The closest league team to the Black and Gold in the category is UTEP, who has turned eight double plays this year. UCF also leads the C-USA in four additional defensive categories, including chances (827), putouts (541), assists (251) and number of runners caught stealing (11).
After posting only 15 home runs in 2008, UCF has already totaled 12 this season, which includes five in the Knights' last three games and eight in their last 11 contests. Six different players have sent at least one ball over the fence in 2009, led by Tiffany Lane's three. Breanne Javier, Abby McClain, Hillary Barrow and Natalie Land all have two homers on the year, while Vanessa Perez recorded one for the Black and Gold.
UCF HITTER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore Tiffany Lane was named the UCF Softball Hitter of the Week after pacing the UCF offense through four games with a .533 (8-for-15) batting average. The shortstop also posted a team-leading .563 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging percentage, hitting two triples and a home run during the stretch. With two triples on the week, Lane now sits in second on the UCF single-season register with six, needing only one to match her record-breaking seven triples from 2008, and matched the all-time record with 13 in her two-year career. Lane began the four-game skid with a 2-for-4 performance and hit her first triple of the week against visiting Loyola Chicago, before opening the Knights' C-USA action with a 4-for-5 outing at Tulsa in the 11-inning first game Saturday. She followed that performance a two-hit, two-run clip, and hit a home run and her second triple of the week in the nightcap vs. the Golden Hurricane.
Hillary Barrow tied Dottie Cupp for the No. 8 spot on UCF's all-time record chart after posting two doubles in the league series at Tulsa this weekend. With 10 doubles on the year, Barrow has 25 in her career as a Knight. The junior needs three more doubles to break into the Knights' single-season top-10, where Jania Shinhoster, Crystle Krafft and Stephanie Best hold down the seventh spot with 13, and seven more to set the new record, held by Rachelle Schmidt.
HOLDING ON AFTER SIX
When the Knights hold the lead heading into the seventh inning this season, they are flawless. The Black and Gold has recorded a perfect 12-0 record when leading after the sixth inning, giving up only nine runs to the competition in the seventh inning, while scoring 20 in the sixth frame.
Despite falling to the Golden Hurricane in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, UCF pounded out 13 hits in the contest, its second-highest total of the season. Seven of the Knights' nine batters had at least one hit in the game. Tiffany Lane led the hitting party with four hits, a RBI, a run scored and a walk, while Breanne Javier posted three hits, a home run, three RBI and two runs scored.
The Knights' 11-inning outing Saturday in their C-USA opener at Tulsa was their longest game of 2009. The contest, which lasted a little over three hours, saw a total of 29 hits in 87 at bats between the two squads, while hurler Ashleigh Cole threw a career-high 10.1 innings. The junior faced 50 batters in the heartbreaking loss, allowing seven earned runs on 16 hits. The extra-inning game was the third for UCF this season, where the squad holds a 1-2 record.
Heading into Tuesday's doubleheader with Ball State and Kennesaw State, both Breanne Javier and Hillary Barrow look to extend their three-game hitting streaks. The duo both posted at least one hit in each of the Knights' three games at Tulsa this weekend. Javier had a season-high and team-high seven-game hitting streak earlier this season from Feb. 24-27, while Barrow's streak is her longest this season.
Following the Knights' first C-USA series of 2009 against the Golden Hurricane last weekend, UCF currently has five batters hitting .300 or better. Breanne Javier leads all batters with at least 50 at-bats with a .392 batting average, while Tiffany Lane and Abby McClain are close behind with .357 and .354 averages, respectively. Mary Helen Tyler rounds out the pack with a .300 clip, and Morgan Bullard sits with a .600 average in two games played.
Fans can catch up with the Knights each week by watching `Extra Innings with Renee Luers-Gillispie' on Knights All-Access, exclusively at UCFAtheltics.com. The skipper reviews the week that was, previews the Knights' upcoming contests and answers fan questions on every episode of the broadcast. Curious Knight enthusiasts can also find out Gillispie's pick for the team's player of the week in each installment.
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.