UCF Softball Set to Battle Drake in Mid-Week Contest

March 16, 2010

UCF vs. Drake Game Notes

Game Day Essentials
UCF vs. Drake
Wednesday, March 17
? 5:30 p.m.
UCF vs. Drake
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Team Records
? UCF: 14-10, 1-1 C-USA
? Drake: 12-6, 0-0 The Valley

Series Record
? Overall Record vs. Drake: 1-0
? in Orlando: 1-0
? in Des Moines: 0-0
? Neutral Sites: 0-0

? Free UCF slap bracelet to first 100 fans

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Following its Conference USA split last weekend, the UCF softball team continues its 17-game homestand Wednesday when it hosts Drake in non-conference action at the UCF Softball Complex. First pitch for the contest is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

The mid-week game against the Bulldogs will serve as 80's Night at the softball complex, with the first 100 fans through the gate receiving a free UCF slap bracelet.

Since beginning its longest home stretch of the season on March 5, the Knights have posted a 7-2 record, which included wins over Memphis and UConn and five-straight wins to earn the UCF Tournament crown. The team's play during the homestand has improved its record to 14-10 overall and 1-1 in league play.

A big reason for UCF's home success has been the play of sophomore Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.). The middle infielder has hit .462 with 12 hits, three doubles, four RBI, seven runs scored, four stolen bases and two sacrifice hits as the team's No. 2 batter in UCF's last nine contests.

Another Knight that has been making a name for herself in recent outings is junior Ashley Schmitt (Tampa, Fla.). One of the newest members to the squad, the pitcher earned both wins for the Black and Gold last week in the circle, which included UCF's victory over Memphis Sunday. On the week, Schmitt allowed only two runs, one of which was earned, on five hits in 15.2 innings pitched. Schmitt recorded a 0.45 ERA in three appearances at the UCF Softball Complex and lowered her season ERA from 35.0 heading into the week to a 2.52 by the week's end. She also held her opponents to a .106 batting average and struck out four.

Her consistency in the circle last week may have earned her the starting nod against Drake Wednesday, with the Bulldogs entering the contest in Orlando having won three of its last four contests at the USF Under Armour Tournament. During the event, Drake earned victories over Boston College, New Mexico State and Long Island to improve its overall record to 12-6.

The Bulldogs have four batters hitting .300 or better on the year heading into the week, with Erin Mollohan and Lindsey Vande Wall pacing the squad with .367 and .366 averages, respectively.

Another of the Knights' pitchers that could get the starting nod against Drake is Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.). The senior has earned a win in six of her last seven appearances and holds a team-best 1.31 ERA. Cole also leads the team in almost every other major pitching category, including wins (9), appearances (14), complete games (11), innings pitched (90.1) and strikeouts (60).

The Black and Gold won the only prior meeting between the two teams on Feb. 24, 2008, defeating the Bulldogs, 2-1, on the final day of the UCF Tournament at the UCF Softball Complex. In that contest, Cole earned the victory after allowing only one run on four hits and striking out four in a complete-game outing.

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.