UCF Softball Hosts Maine, UConn in Pair of Mid-Week Contests

March 8, 2010

Game Day Essentials
UCF vs. Maine/UConn

Tuesday, March 9
? 3:00 p.m. - UCF vs. Maine
Wednesday, March 10
? 1:00 p.m. - UCF vs. Connecticut

Team Records
? UCF: 12-8
? Maine: 8-13
? UConn: 2-7

Series Record
? vs. Maine: 4-1
? vs. UConn: 2-0

Broadcast Information
? Radio: UCFAthletics.com
- UCF vs. Maine
- UCF vs. UConn
- On the Call: Eric Lopez
? Live Stats: UCFAthletics.com
? Live Video: UCFAthletics.com
- Knights All-Access

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After posting a perfect 5-0 record to claim the UCF Tournament crown last weekend, the UCF (12-8) softball team is set to host Maine (8-13) and Connecticut (2-7) in a pair of mid-week games at the UCF Softball Complex. The Knights start the week off against the Black Bears Tuesday at 3 p.m., before taking on the Huskies Wednesday at 1 p.m.

Since posting a huge comeback win over Nebraska on Feb. 27 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, the Black and Gold has rattled off seven-straight wins, which includes victories over the Huskers, No. 9 Alabama, Harvard, College of Charleston, Providence, Boston College and Georgia Southern.

The seven-game winning stretch is the longest for UCF this season and is also its longest since the 2008 season, when the Knights strung together 13-consecutive victories from March 12-April 2.

The 12-8 start to the 2010 season for the Black and Gold in its first 20 contests has only been bested twice in the program's history, while the mark has been matched only three times. In its inaugural season in 2002, UCF posted a 17-3 record through its first 20 contests, while the squad started the 2004 season with a 13-7 mark.

Also riding an impressive winning streak is senior Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.). The ace of UCF's pitching staff has collected a win in her last six appearances, allowing only seven runs on 21 hits and striking out 23 batters in 35.0 innings of work. During this time, she has also held her opponents to a .176 batting average, posted one shutout and recorded a 1.40 ERA.

Cole would not have been able to earn those wins, however, without the help of the Knights' ever-improving offense. Through its first 13 games, the team was batting .199 with 62 hits in 311 at bats, which included six doubles, six triples and only two home runs. During its last seven contests, the Black and Gold has posted a .239 batting average (39-for-163) with seven doubles, two triples and four home runs, and, in almost half the amount of contests, UCF also match their marks for runs scored and RBI during its last seven games played, totaling 33 runs and 27 RBI.

Of the Knights' seven wins, two have come in extra innings and three have been come-from-behind victories. Two of those comeback wins have come thanks to the clutch hitting of sophomore Vanessa Perez (San Diego, Calif.). The outfielder batted in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday night against Boston College with a walk-off fielder's choice, before posting an eighth-inning walk-off single to win it for the Knights Sunday against Georgia Southern.

Junior Abby McClain (Waterloo, Iowa) has also swung a hot bat for UCF all season long. The catcher paces the team with a .340 batting average, 17 hits, 14 runs scored, four doubles, a .480 slugging percentage, 12 walks, four hit-by-pitch and a .493on base percentage. McClain also leads all Knights with four multiple hits games.

Maine enters Tuesday's contest at the UCF Softball Complex with an 8-13 record after winning the Stetson Invitational last weekend with a 3-2 finish. Through their first 10 contests, the Black Bears carried a 1-9 record, but they have improved steadily as the season has worn on, tallying a 7-4 mark in their last 11 outings. At the Stetson Invitational, Maine defeated Appalachian State, Bethune-Cookman and Stetson to claim the crown. Terren Hall has been the Black Bear's offensive leader in 2010, pacing her squad with 27 hits, 19 runs scored, six doubles and 26 RBI.

Connecticut takes on the hot bats of the Knights Wednesday with a 2-7 record on the season, after partaking in the FAU Tournament last weekend. At the event, the Huskies posted a 1-4 record with their only win coming against Eastern Michigan. UConn has been playing in the state of Florida since Feb. 26 when they opened the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament and will continue to play in the Sunshine State following its match-up with UCF when they take part in the Stetson Tournament March 12-14. Kiki Saveriano leads the Huskies in the circle with a 2-2 record and a 1.27 ERA in a team-leading 27.2 innings pitched.

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.