UCF Softball Travels North for Three-Game C-USA Series at Marshall

April 9, 2010

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (UCFAthletics.com) - In only its second league road trip of the season, the UCF softball team is set to play a three-game Conference USA series at Marshall this weekend. The action begins Saturday with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Dot Hicks Field, before concluding Sunday with a single contest a 12 p.m.

The Knights enter the weekend with a 22-17 overall record, while ranking fifth in C-USA standings with a 7-4 league clip. Meanwhile, the Thundering Herd entertains the Black and Gold with an 18-19 record on the year and a 3-9 conference mark, placing them eighth in the C-USA standings.

In the all-time series between the two squads, UCF holds a 10-7 advantage over host Marshall. The Knights are 3-3 against the Herd when playing in Huntington, 6-2 when in Orlando and 2-1 at a neutral site.

The teams last met in the opening round of the C-USA Championship last season, with Marshall upending the Black and Gold in a hard-fought, 2-1, battle at Helen of Troy Field in El Paso, Texas, to end UCF's seaon. Senior Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.) was tagged with the loss in that contest, despite allowing only two runs on four hits in six innings of work.

Cole, who has put together an impressive seniors season thus far, looks to avenge that loss this weekend in Huntington. The senior enters the series as one of the league's best in the circle this season, as she ranks second in innings pitched (161.2), third in both ERA (1.60) and wins (14) and sixth in strikeouts (113).

With the aid of its senior leader, the Knights' pitching staff also ranks 26th nationally with a 1.85 team ERA.

On the offensive front, UCF is led by sophomore Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) and junior Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.), who carry .292 and .284 batting averages, respectively, into the weekend series.

Land paces the squad in batting average, hits (31), sacrifice bunts (10) and stolen bases (14), while Lane pushed herself into the team-lead in doubles (7), triples (6) and slugging percentage, and second in batting average and total bases (46) in recent weeks.

The shortstop is riding a seven-game hitting streak following UCF's mid-week contest against No. 16 Florida State Wednesday, batting .400 (10-for-25) with six doubles, three RBI, two runs scored, three stolen bases, a .640 slugging percentage and .423 on base percentage during the stretch.

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.