Feb. 23, 2011
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Despite scoring four unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh innings, four errors in the field proved to be costly for the UCF softball team as it fell to host Florida A&M, 5-4, on the road Wednesday to drop to 3-7 on the season.
Junior Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) led the Knights' offense against the Rattlers (5-5) with two hits and two runs scored, and fellow junior Vanessa Perez (San Diego, Calif.) tallied a hit and two RBI for the Black and Gold.
Freshman Haley Douglas (Pleasanton, Calif.) took the loss in the circle for the visiting Knights to fall to 0-3 on the year. The hurler allowed only two earned runs on four hits in 4.0 innings of work, while walking five and striking out two.
In her first appearance on the mound in 2011, senior Ashley Schmitt (Tampa, Fla.) gave up one run on one hit in 2.0 innings of relief to close out the game.
UCF totaled only two hits through the first five innings, before it started a rally late in the game. The Knights strung together three hits and a hit-by-pitch in the top of the sixth inning to score three runs and cut FAMU's lead to two.
Land started the comeback with a one-out single up the middle of the infield and advanced to second when McClain was hit by a pitch. Menendez brought Land around with a single through the left side, before Kellie Todd (Ocala, Fla.) loaded the bases on a fielder's choice to the third baseman that resulted in all runners being safe. With the bases juiced, Perez hit a two-RBI single down the left-field line to cut the Rattler's lead to only two runs, 5-3.
After holding the home team scoreless in the bottom of the sixth inning, UCF closed the gap to one run after Land hit a two-out single to the shortstop, moved to second on a throwing error and came around to score on a double down the left-field line off the bat of McClain. But, the Rattlers were able to stave off the Knights and close out the contest on a fly ball to left field for the third out.
The Knights return to action Friday when they play host to the UCF/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational II at the UCF Softball Complex. UCF will face UMKC, No. 7/9 Michigan, Maine, Villanova and North Florida during the tournament. Fans can follow all of the action at the UCF/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational II by going to the event's tournament central on UCFAthletics.com.
The Knights have 28 home games remaining on their 2011 schedule, with season tickets for the season costing only $40. If you buy today, you will pay only $1.42 per game for the remainder of the year. Tickets are available for purchase online at UCFAthletics.com and Ticketmaster.com, or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) UCF-1000.