McClain, Menendez Lead UCF Softball to Upset of No. 16 Tennessee


Feb. 13, 2010

UCF vs. No. 16 Tennessee
Feb. 13, 2010
Clermont, Fla. (NTC Softball Complex)
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
UCF 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 6 10 2
Tennessee 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 4 1

Game Notes
? WP: UCF - Ashleigh Cole (1-0)
? LP: UT - Cat Hosfield (0-2)

? With the win over Tennessee, the Knights improve to 5-4 all-time in season-opening contests and even the all-time series vs. the Lady Vols to 2-2.
? Besides posting three hits in the contest, junior Abby McClain also threw out two Lady Vol runners on the basepaths.
? Vanessa Perez's triple in the second inning was the first of her career.
? McClain's three-hit performance was the first of 2010 and the 12th of her career.
? The Knights totaled four stolen bases against Tennessee, with Natalie Land swiping two.

Box Score

CLERMONT, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Junior Abby McClain (Waterloo, Iowa) and freshman Marissa Menendez (Tampa, Fla.) combined for five hits, two runs and two RBI to lead the UCF softball team to a 6-3 upset over No. 16 ranked Tennessee Saturday in its opening game of the NTC Elite Invitational and of the 2010 season.

McClain went 3-for-4 from the plate with one run scored, while Menendez posted two hits for the Knights, which included the game-winning two-RBI single to right field in the seventh inning. The rookie also scored a run for the Black and Gold to help them to a 1-0 record.

As a team, UCF had 10 hits and posted a .313 batting average against Tennessee's starter Cat Hosfield, dropping the pitcher and her squad to 0-2 early in the year.

Senior Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.) also had a hand in the upset, throwing one of the best games of her career in the circle for UCF. The hurler finished the contest with eight strikeouts, only one off of her career high, while allowing only three runs on four hits to the Lady Vols in a complete-game outing.

The Knights started the scoring early in the contest after Vanessa Perez (San Diego, Calif.) took advantage of her first at bat of 2010 by blasting a triple over the right fielder's head to lead off the top of the second inning. Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) followed with a perfectly laid bunt to bring her around and put the Black and Gold ahead, 1-0.

Perez finished the game with two hits, a run and a RBI, while Land also added a hit, a run and a RBI for the Knights.

The Lady Vols held the Black and Gold scoreless in the third inning, before scoring three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to put the Knights down by two heading into the fourth.

Each team's defense was on point in the next two innings as the score would remain 3-1 through five. But, UCF tagged another run on the board to pull within one of the Lady Vols in the top of the six. With one out, senior Hillary Barrow (Miami, Fla.) hit a long fly ball that bounced out of the glove of Tennessee's right fielder to put her on second base. A groundout moved her to third and a RBI single by Perez to left centerfield gave the Knights their second run of the game.

UCF saved its best offensive performance for the last inning, however, scoring four runs on five hits in the seventh. Land started the inning off with a hard-hit single to the shortstop, stole second base and moved to third on McClain's third single of the game. A walk allowed to Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) loaded the bases for the Knights, before a two RBI single off the bat of Menendez let the game-winning run touch home. Barrow would tag on two more runs in the next at bat with a two RBI single to dead centerfield to seal the win for the Knights

The Black and Gold play No. 7 Georgia tonight, with the game set to get underway around 9:20 p.m., before concluding the NTC Elite Invitational Sunday with a 2 p.m. contest against Chattanooga. The game was originally scheduled for 1 p.m., but due to rain cancelations on the opening day of the event, the slate was adjusted to accommodate more games.

Season tickets for the 2010 season are only $40 and are on sale now, while single-game tickets are also available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased online at UCFAthletics.com or through the Athletics Ticket Office by calling (407) 823-1000.

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.