May 1, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team will wrap up its regular-season slate this weekend when it hosts Conference USA-foe UTEP at the UCF Softball Complex. The Knights will begin the three-game series with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, before concluding the series with a Senior Day celebration and single game beginning at Noon.
GAME DAY ESSENTIALS
Saturday, May 2
1:00 p.m. - UTEP at UCF
3:00 p.m. - UTEP at UCF
Sunday, May 3 - SENIOR DAY
12:00 p.m. - UTEP at UCF
? The Coaches
UCF: Renee Luers-Gillispie
UTEP: James and Kathleen Rodriguez
UCF: 25-25, 9-11 C-USA
UTEP: 24-26-1, 7-13-1 C-USA
? C-USA Standing
UCF: 6th (9-11)
UTEP: 7th (7-13-1)
UCF leads UTEP, 7-3
? Last Meeting
UCF 3, UTEP 0 (2008)
C-USA Championship Semifinal
? Last C-USA Series
Tulsa 3 at UTEP 0
UCF 2 at Memphis 1
? UCF'S Last Time Out
at Memphis, W, 4-3
? Live Stats
? Live Video
Stretch Internet Radio
? After winning its first Conference USA road-series of the season Sunday at Memphis, the UCF softball team finishes out its regular-season slate this weekend when it welcomes UTEP to the UCF Softball Complex. The series will kick-off Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader, before concluding Sunday at Noon with a single contest.
? This weekend's series is a special one for four members of the softball squad, as it marks Senior Weekend. Lexi Gresham, Magon Paul, Lindsay Dean and Breanne Javier will play their final home game of their careers Sunday and will be honored just prior to game time for their hard-work and dedication to UCF and the softball program.
? UTEP enters Saturday's C-USA series with a 24-26-1 record on the season and a 7-13-1 league mark after falling in three-straight games to Tulsa at home last weekend. Camilla Carrera paces the Miners offensively, batting .411 with 65 hits, including 17 doubles, 12 home runs, 37 RBI and 42 runs scored.
? The Knights hold a, 7-3, advantage over UTEP heading into the final weekend of league play. The Black and Gold took two games from the Miners last season in four meetings, which included a 3-0 victory in the C-USA Championship semifinals. In that game Tiffany Lane went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, while Hillary Barrow added two hits for the Knights.
? If UCF can sweep the series from UTEP this weekend, there is a slight possibility that it could move as high as the fourth spot in league standings. Tulsa will be playing to take first place from East Carolina, while the winner of the Marshall/Houston series will finish ahead of the Black and Gold in third place. So, if UCF can win three at home and Southern Miss loses two games to the Golden Hurricane, the Knights will be the No. 4 seed heading into the C-USA Championship presented by Helen of Troy.
CONTINUING HER REIGN ON TOP
Sophomore Tiffany Lane continues to share the national lead for triples in 2009 heading into the Knights' final C-USA regular-season series this weekend. The speedy shortstop has eight triples on the season, a mark that matches Southern University's Audrey Phillips and Monmouth's Emily deLong for the top spot in the nation. Lane belted her eighth triple of the year, a three-RBI shot, in the C-USA series finale against Marshall at the UCF Softball Complex on April 11. Lane also bested her single-season record from 2008 with the three-bagger, while also taking sole possession of the No. 3 spot on the C-USA all-time register, with the triple marking 15 for her career.
NO. 1 IN THE NATION
Not many people can say that they lead the nation in anything, but every member of the UCF softball team can now say that they do. The Knights turned seven double plays last week over the course of four games to surpass Oklahoma State for the national lead in double-plays turned per game. The Black and Gold carry a 0.62 double-plays-per-game average heading into their final regular-season series this weekend.
THREE WIN WEEK
Ashleigh Cole pitched the Knights to three victories last week, which included two wins to clinch the league series on the road at Memphis. Cole opened the week with a win at Bethune-Cookman, where she fired a two-hit, complete-game shutout with two strikeouts in the circle. The hurler then paced the Black and Gold to its first C-USA road-series win on Saturday, picking up both wins of the doubleheader to improve her record to 16-7 on the season. Cole allowed only two runs on nine hits, while striking out five, in her 15th complete-game outing of the year in the opening contest, before holding Memphis to only one hit in 4.0 innings of relief in game two. Cole tallied a 0.78 ERA on the week, allowing only two earned runs in 18 innings of work, while not walking a single batter.
OUT OF POSITION
Freshman Natalie Land made her eighth start at shortstop for UCF on Sunday in Memphis, in place of an injured Tiffany Lane. When Land has received the starting nod at shortstop in 2009, the Black and Gold are a remarkable 7-1.
ON DECK FOR THE KNIGHTS
The Knights will look to defend their 2008 Conference USA Championship title beginning Thursday, when they travel to El Paso, Texas, for the 2009 Conference USA Championship presented by Helen of Troy. With all nine league teams making the trip to Helen of Troy Softball Complex, UCF must once again be perfect to take home the trophy. The Championship game, which will be held on Saturday, will be aired live on CBS College Sports Network at 2:30 p.m. ET.
BARROW BLASTS DOUBLES
Junior Hillary Barrow posted a team-high .417 (5-for-12) batting average last week, which included three doubles in the league series at Memphis. During the three-game series, Barrow went 4-for-9 with three doubles a run and a RBI, while posting a .778 slugging percentage and .500 on-base percentage. With her trio of doubles over the weekend, Barrow has now hit 14 on the season and moved into the seventh spot on UCF's career-record chart with 29 all-time.
IN THE NO. 9 SPOT
When batting in the ninth spot in the Knights' batting order this season, freshman Natalie Land leads the team with a .378 batting average. In 17 games started in the final spot in the order, Land has also tallied 17 hits, nine runs, three doubles and a home run. UCF is also 10-7 when Land bats ninth.
In the final game of the Knights' series at Memphis, sophomore Tiffany Lane got a different view of the field. UCF's usual starting shortstop, Lane started the contest as the left fielder. Having missed two games earlier in the week because of an injury, Lane started the second game as the DP, before roaming the outfield for the first time in her collegiate career in the nightcap.
UNTOUCHABLE AFTER SIX
If the Black and Gold has a lead heading into the seventh inning of a contest, its opponent is more than likely out of luck in coming back to win the contest. The Knights are 21-0 this season when leading its opponent after six innings. UCF's defense has allowed only 12 runs to its opponents in the seventh inning this season, while scoring 33 runs of its own in the sixth frame, its most for any inning.
The UCF softball team looks to defend its Conference USA Championship title beginning May 7 when they travel to El Paso, Texas for the 2009 C-USA Championship presented by Helen of Troy. 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.