Feb. 13, 2011
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (UCFAthletics.com) - Pitchers Lacey Dinney (Binbrook, Ont.) and Haley Douglas (Pleasanton, Calif.) combined for a one-hitter in the circle, but four errors proved costly for the UCF softball team as it dropped its final contest of the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament to North Dakota State, 2-1, Sunday morning at Easton Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.
The Knights concluded the tournament with a 1-3 record, picking up a win vs. Utah State in its opening game, before dropping three-straight to San Diego State, No. 1 UCLA and the Bison (1-4).
Dinney (0-1) was tagged with the loss for the Black and Gold, but allowed only one earned run on one hit, while walking two and striking out three in 5.0 innings of work. Douglas closed out the contest by shutting down NDSU's bats in the final two frames, striking out two and walking two.
At the plate, the Knights lit up NDSU starter Whitney Johnson for eight hits, but for the second-straight contest were not able to capitalize on scoring opportunities. Junior Allie Jest (Stone Mountain, Ga.) extended her hitting streak to four games after posting two hits and once again scoring UCF's lone run of the game. Senior Ashley Schmitt (Tampa, Fla.) also tallied a pair of hits, including the first double of her UCF career, against the Bison to lead the Knights offensively.
Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.), Marissa Menendez (Tampa, Fla.), Vanessa Perez (San Diego, Calif.) and Tawny Swan (Gilbert, Ariz.) each added hits in the effort, with Menendez posting her second double of the season.
For the third time in the team's first four games, the Black and Gold jumped out to an early lead. Jest laced a single to right field to lead off the Knights' half of the first inning, before moving all the way to third on a fielder's choice off the bat of Lane. A wild pitch delivered by NDSU's Johnson allowed Jest to touch home safely and give her squad the early lead.
Errors hampered the Black and Gold in both the fourth and fifth innings, as a combined four miscues allowed the Bison to scored two runs and take the lead from the Knights.
UCF had a prime opportunity to tie the game and possibly get the walk-off victory in the bottom of the seventh inning after Schmitt led off the frame with a double to the right field gap and Jest advanced her to third with an infield single. But, North Dakota State was able to hold the Knights on three-straight outs to hand the Black and Gold its third loss of the year.
UCF is back in action when it hosts its 2011 home-opener Wednesday vs. North Florida at the UCF Softball Complex beginning at 6 p.m. 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.
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.