UCF Softball Concludes 17-Game Homestand against No. 22 Ohio State, Cornell

March 23, 2010

Game Day Essentials
UCF vs. No. 22 Ohio State/Cornell
? UCF Softball Complex (600)
Orlando, Fla.

Wednesday, March 24
? 1:30 p.m.
UCF vs. No. 22 Ohio State
Listen Live | | Watch Live

? 4:00 p.m.
UCF vs. Cornell
Listen Live | | Watch Live

Thursday, March 25
? 3:00 p.m.
UCF vs. Cornell
Listen Live | | Watch Live

Team Records
? UCF: 17-11
? Ohio State: 14-9
? Cornell: 10-2

Series Record vs. Ohio State
? Overall: 2-1
? in Orlando: 0-0
? in Columbus: 0-0
? Neutral Sites: 2-1

Series Record vs. Cornell
? Overall: 0-1
? in Orlando: 0-0
? in Ithaca: 0-0
? Neutral Sites: 0-1

? Wednesday - Country Night
Free UCF bandana to first 100 fans

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Following its first Conference USA sweep of Houston last weekend, the UCF softball team returns to non-conference action and concludes its 17-game homestand this week when it welcomes both No. 22 Ohio State and Cornell to the UCF Softball Complex.

The Knights will take on both the Buckeyes and the Big Red Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively, in a doubleheader, before facing off with Cornell again Thursday in a 3 p.m. contest.

Wednesday will be Country Night at the UCF Softball Complex, with the first 100 fans through the gate receiving a free UCF bandana. The first pitch against Ohio State in UCF's opening contest will be thrown out by UCF Vice President Maribeth Ehasz.

Entering the trio of mid-week contests, UCF sits atop the C-USA standings with a 4-1 league record and a 17-11 overall mark, while also riding a three-game winning streak. All three victories came in conference action last weekend against the Cougars. During the C-USA series at home, the Knights' defense held Houston to only two runs on 14 hits, while the pitching staff struck out 15 and walked only three batters.

The 4-1 league mark for UCF marks its best start in C-USA play since joining the league in 2006, while the sweep against Houston was the first in program history.

Senior Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.) posted two wins and a 0.44 ERA in the circle during the series, while also tallying her first complete-game shutout of the season. In 16.0 innings of work, Cole allowed only one run on nine hits, while striking out 11 batters.

Offensively, sophomore Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) hit a team-best .455 with five hits, two RBI and one stolen base. With a hit in all four of UCF's games on the week, Land extended her hitting streak to nine games. The mark is the longest for both the sophomore and for the Black and Gold this season. She now needs a hit in Wednesday's contest against Ohio State to match her career-high of 10-straight games with a hit, while needing a poke in six more contests to match the UCF record of 15-consecutive games with a knock set by Breanne Javier during the Knights' 2008 season.

Land leads UCF with a .315 batting average, 23 hits and seven stolen bases in 2010. Junior Abby McClain (Waterloo, Iowa) is second on the team with a .290 batting average, while Hillary Barrow (Miami, Fla.) is third with a .259 average, but paces the squad with 16 runs scored, five doubles, four home runs, 16 RBI and a .469 slugging percentage.

One of Barrow's team-best four home runs was a ninth-inning, walk-off shot Sunday against Houston over the left field fence. The walk-off homer was the first for Barrow in her career.

The Buckeyes enter Wednesday's contest against the Knights ranked No. 22 in both the USA Today/NFCA and ESPN.com/USA Softball polls with a 14-9 record on the season. Ohio State entered last weekend's USF `The Game' Tournament ranked No. 16, but dropped six spots after posted a 1-3 record during the event. The squad fell to Syracuse (3-11), Long Island (3-4) and North Florida (0-1), before closing out the tournament with a shutout victory against Florida Atlantic (4-0). The squad will face USF Tuesday night at 5 p.m. before making the trip to Orlando Wednesday.

Alicia Herron leads the Buckeyes with a .420 batting average, 29 hits, five doubles and four sacrifice hits, while Sam Marder holds team-bests in runs scored (17), home runs (10), RBI (18), walks (22), slugging percentage (.867) and on-base percentage (.548).

The Knights lead the all-time series with Ohio State, 2-1, with all three of their previous contests having been played at a neutral site. On back-to-back days, UCF took two games from the Buckeyes at the Stetson Invitational in 2006, winning the first game, 2-1, before defeating the squad the following day, 8-6, in the teams' last pair of contents, while Ohio State won the first meeting, 9-6, at the Buzz Classic in 2002.

Cornell entered this week with a 9-1 record on the year, but moved to 10-2 overall after splitting a doubleheader at Bethune-Cookman Monday in Daytona Beach. Previous to Monday's doubleheader, the Big Red swept a two-game tilt from Augustana College Sunday in Kissimmee. Cornell will face off with Stetson Tuesday in a 5 p.m. doubleheader before playing at the UCF Softball Complex Wednesday.

Elizabeth Dalrymple and Ali Tomlinson have seen the most time in the circle for the Big Red this season, with Dalrymple holding a perfect 4-0 record, a 2.24 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 25.0 innings pitched. Tomlinson is 2-1 on the year with a 2.23 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 22.0 innings of work.

UCF and Cornell have only met one time on the diamond previous to Wednesday, with the Big Red posting an 8-1 victory over the Knights at the Rebel Games in 2002.

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.