UCF Softball Concludes Regular Season Slate at UTEP

May 7, 2010

By Sarah Tarasewicz

EL PASO, Texas (UCFAthletics.com) - Following a convincing 3-0 blanking of Jacksonville Tuesday afternoon, the UCF softball team is set to conclude its regular-season slate at UTEP this weekend in a three-game Conference USA series at Helen of Troy Softball Complex.

The series begins Saturday with a 2 p.m. ET doubleheader, before coming to a close Sunday with a single-game at 2 p.m. ET.

The Knights enter the weekend second in league standings with a 13-7 C-USA record, while also holding a 30-20 overall mark. The Black and Gold trails only East Carolina, who sits atop the standings with a 13-5 league record.

The Miners currently hold an 11-10 C-USA mark, which places them sixth among league leaders, but their overall record nearly mirrors UCF's, as they are 31-20 on the season.

The pair of teams will have met 13 times on the diamond prior to Saturday's doubleheader, with UCF holding a 9-4 advantage in the all-time series, which includes a 3-3 record at Helen of Troy Softball Complex. The nine victories also include an opening round win in its quest to the C-USA Championship title in 2008 at Cougar Softball Stadium in Houston.

In its game against Jacksonville, senior Hillary Barrow (Miami, Fla.) was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate for the Black and Gold with a double, two RBI and a walk. With her pair of RBI in the contest, the senior improved her already team-best RBI total to 30 on the year.

Besides Barrow, UCF is led offensively by both Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) and Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.), who are batting .309 and .306, respectively, this season.

Land was rewarded for her impressive sophomore campaign on and off of the field with a spot on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III Second Team Thursday. The honor was the first for Land, however, it was the second-straight honor for junior Abby McClain (Waterloo, Iowa), who was selected to the first team after earning second-team accolades last season.

Land is batting .339 with 19 hits, nine runs score and five RBI in league play, while Lane is trailing close behind with a .333 average, which includes a team-best 21 hits, six doubles, nine runs scored and five RBI.

In the circle, Ashleigh Cole (Pace, Fla.) continues to be one of the top pitchers in the conference. The senior is currently second in C-USA in ERA (1.37), third in innings pitched (209.2) and wins (19), fourth in games started (30) and tied for fifth in appearances (31), while ranking sixth in opponent batting average (.196) and 10th in strikeouts (141).

UTEP has benefitted from the solid offensive play of both Camilla Carrera and Stacie Townsend, who are both batting .362 on the year. Townsend leads the team with 38 runs scored, one triple, 11 home runs and 13 stolen bases.

Townsend has also carried the majority of the load in the circle for the Miners in her final season, holding a 25-14 record, 2.25 ERA and 312 strikeouts in 212.0 innings pitched.

The UCF softball team is set to compete in the Conference USA Championship hosted by Houston on May 13-15. The top eight teams in league standings will participate in the single-elimination tournament, with the winning team earning C-USA's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

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.