Feb. 12, 2011
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (UCFAthletics.com) - Despite posting seven hits, which included a 3-for-3 performance from junior Allie Jest (Stone Mountain, Ga.), the UCF softball team dropped to 1-1 on the season with a 5-1 loss to San Diego State (3-0) Saturday afternoon on the second day of the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament at Easton Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.
Jest had a double, walked once, stole two bases and scored the Knights' only run of the contest against the Aztecs. The flawless outing at the plate improved the third baseman's batting average to a team-best .714 (5-for-7) for the tournament, while also improving her on-base percentage to .750.
Fellow junior Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) and senior Tawny Swan (Gilbert, Ariz.) also had productive outings at the plate for the Black and Gold, as they both notched a pair of hits, while sophomore Marissa Menendez (Tampa, Fla.) drove in the team's lone run with a sacrifice fly.
Freshman Haley Douglas (Pleasanton, Calif.) earned her first collegiate start in the circle for the Knights against San Diego State. In 5.2 innings of work, the right-hander allowed five runs on eight hits and struck out two and was tagged with the loss.
Senior Diana Rojas (Miami, Fla.) finished the game on the mound for the squad, shutting down the Aztecs' offense in the final frame and posting one strikeout.
Jest opened the game with a single up the middle and stole second, before Land moved her to third base with a single to right field. After Land stole second base, Abby McClain (Waterloo, Iowa) drew a walk to load the bases for Menendez, who hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to plate the first run of the contest and give the Knights an early lead for the second-straight game.
UCF was able to maintain its advantage through two and a half innings, but San Diego State stole the lead from the Black and Gold after scoring three runs in the bottom of the third on a three-RBI double off the bat of Lorena Klopp.
The Knights had opportunities to score in both the third and fifth innings, putting runners in scoring position with less than two outs in both frames, but stranded a total of four runners on base in the pair of innings.
With two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, the Aztecs extended their lead to four runs, 5-1, and UCF was not able to make up the difference, as it was held scoreless in the final inning.
The Knights return to action in the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament Saturday night with a contest against No. 1 UCLA at 10 p.m. ET. Fans can follow all the action at the event on UCFAthletics.com.
The Black and Gold will play 33 home games at the UCF Softball Complex, with season tickets for the 2011 season costing only $40. Tickets are available for purchase online at UCFAthletics.com and Ticketmaster.com, or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) UCF-1000.
UCF hosts its 2011 home-opener Feb. 16 against North Florida at the UCF Softball Complex. UCF head football coach George O'Leary will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the contest, while the first 100 fans through the gate will receive a signed 2011 UCF softball schedule poster.