UCF Softball Wins Two at Southern Miss

Stats Stats

March 27, 2010

Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team improved its Conference USA-leading record to 6-1 Saturday afternoon after posting a pair of victories over Southern Miss at the USM Softball Complex. The Knights defeated the Golden Eagles, 7-3, in the opening contest, before recording a 3-2 nine-inning win in the nightcap.

Senior Hillary Barrow (Miami, Fla.) led the Black and Gold at the plate in the doubleheader with four hits, two RBI and one run scored, while both Morgan Bullard (Columbia, S.C.) and Vanessa Perez (San Diego, Calif.) each tallied three hits. Bullard also scored two runs and stole a pair of bases, and Perez scored a team-best three runs and registered a RBI.

Sophomores Perez and Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) and freshman Arielle Palafox (Lakewood, Calif.) put together great performances at the plate to pace UCF to a 7-4 victory in the opening game.

Perez posted her third multiple hit game of the season after going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI, Land drove in two runs and Palafox blasted a solo home run in the fourth inning to lead the offensive threat.

Barrow, Bullard and Marissa Menendez (Tampa, Fla.) also tallied hits in the contest, with Barrow posting a RBI, Bullard scoring a pair of runs and Menendez cranking out a double and scoring a run.

Senior Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.) picked up her 13th win of the year in the circle for the Black and Gold after allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on nine hits and striking out six in her 16th complete-game outing of 2010. Cole has now earned the win in her last four appearances on the mound.

After falling down by one run in the first inning, the Knights took the lead in the third inning after plating a pair of runs. Perez started off the frame with a single to right field, before a wild pitch allowed Bullard to reach base and moved Perez to second. Another wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third, before a failed pickoff attempt by the Golden Eagles' catcher allowed Perez to score the tying run. Bullard would touch home to give the Black and Gold a one-run advantage on a deep sacrifice fly off the bat of Land.

The lead would not last long, however, as USM's Jill Mathis took a delivery from Cole over the centerfield fence with one runner on to put the home team ahead for the second time in the game.

But, Palafox knotted the score once again in the top of the fourth with one swing of the bat, annihilating a pitch from Ramos deep over the left field wall to make the score 3-3 through three and one half innings.

Southern Miss managed to put a run across in the bottom of the sixth inning, but in the top of the final frame, the Knights evened the score for the second time in the contest on a leadoff double down the right field line by Menendez, a sacrifice bunt by Cole and a RBI single up the middle by Perez.

The Knights kept the inning rolling, as, with one out in the frame, UCF loaded the bases for Land, who knocked in a run with a fielder's choice to the second baseman. With the bases still juiced, Bullard scored on a wild pitch to put the Black and Gold ahead by two, 6-4, with runners at second and third and only one out.

Barrow gave UCF a three-run lead in the next at bat, blasting a line-drive single to right field to allow McClain to touch home and put the Knights ahead, 7-4, heading into the bottom of the final inning.

Cole and the Black and Gold defense shut the Golden Eagles down in the last half inning to secure the four-run victory.

GAME TWO - UCF 3, USM 2 (9 innings)
The Knights continued to be productive on both sides of the ball in the nightcap, posting 11 hits in the nine-inning outing, led by Barrow's 3-for-5 showing at the plate, which included the game-winning RBI in the ninth frame.

Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Bullard knocked out two hits for the Black and Gold, with four additional Knights also tallying hits.

Senior Kristina DeMello (Mead, Wash.) improved her record to 4-4 on the year, while going all nine innings for the visiting squad. She allowed only two runs, none of which were earned, on seven hits and struck out eight, while walking only two batters. Her nine-innings of work were a career-high for the hurler.

UCF took an early lead in the nightcap after scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first on back-to-back-to-back singles from Land, Barrow and Palafox.

The Knights' lead would last five innings, before the Golden Eagles erased its lead and knotted the contest, 2-2, in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Both teams put runners on in extra innings, but it was UCF that finally took the lead in the top of the ninth on a leadoff single by Perez, a hit by pitch and a RBI single to left field off the bat of Barrow.

The Knights conclude the C-USA series in Hattiesburg, Miss., Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

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.