Feb. 25, 2011
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team fell to both UMKC, 12-3, and No. 9 Michigan, 10-1, in six innings on the opening day of the UCF/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational II at the UCF Softball Complex Friday evening.
The pair of losses dropped the Knights' record to 3-9 on the season, while the Kangaroos improved to 8-3 overall and the Wolverines pushed their record to a perfect 12-0.
Game One - UCF 3, UMKC 12 (6 innings)
Senior Abby McClain (Waterloo, Iowa) smacked her second home run of the season and drove in two runs, but it was not enough as the Knights fell to UMKC, 12-3, in six innings in their opening game of the home tournament Friday night.
McClain had one of the Black and Gold's three hits in the contest, with sophomore Patrice Fee (Cocoa, Fla.) adding a triple and a run, and junior Allie Jest (Stone Mountain, Ga.) contributing a hit and a sacrifice fly.
Senior Ashley Schmitt (Tampa, Fla.) earned the loss in the circle for UCF in her first start of the year, giving up five earned runs on nine hits with two walks in 5.0 innings pitched. Freshman Haley Douglas (Pleasanton, Calif.) would also see time on the mound for the home team, giving up six runs on three hits in 1.0 inning of work.
The Knights went up by two runs in the bottom of the first inning when McClain blasted a two-run home run over the left field wall, scoring Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) who reached earlier in the inning on a fielding error. But, UMKC tied the game in the top of the following frame on a two-run home run of its own, making the score 2-2 through one and a half innings.
The Kangaroos would score a single run in the third inning and two more in the fifth to take a three-run lead on the Knights, but in the bottom of the fifth the Black and Gold posted a single run to pull within two runs of the visiting squad. Fee hit a one-out triple to left centerfield to start the inning off, before she came in to score on a sacrifice fly to deep centerfield off the bat of Jest to make the score 5-3 through five innings.
UMKC would post seven runs in the top of the sixth inning, however, and UCF was unable to respond. The Kangaroos would go on to win the game following the bottom of the frame due to the eight-run rule.
Game Two - UCF 1, No. 9 Michigan 10 (6 innings)
Kellie Todd (Ocala, Fla.), Jest and McClain each tallied hits in the nightcap for the Black and Gold vs. No. 9 Michigan, with Jest scoring the team's lone run and sophomore Marissa Menendez (Tampa, Fla.) posting a RBI for the UCF offense.
Diana Rojas (Miami, Fla.) was tagged with the loss on the mound after allowing 10 runs, five of which were earned, on 12 hits with a walk and two strikeouts in a complete-game outing. With the loss, Rojas fell to 2-3 on the year.
Michigan took an early lead on the home team after scoring three runs in the top of the first inning, but UCF cut the advantage to two runs in the bottom half of the frame. Jest led off the inning with an infield single and stole second to move into scoring position. A throw to first base on a strikeout in the dirt allowed Jest to take third base, before the Knights loaded the bases with a walk and a fielder's choice that saw all runners safe of the play. Menendez was then hit by a pitch delivered by Wolverine starter Jordan Taylor to allow Jest to touch home safely for the Knights' lone run.
Through the next five innings, Michigan would score seven unanswered runs and cut the Knights' game short due to the eight-run rule for the second time of the day.
The Black and Gold continues play in the UCF/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational II Saturday with contests against Maine and Villanova at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively.
Fans can follow all of the action at the UCF/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational II by going to the Tournament Central page on UCFAthletics.com. On the site, fans will find the tournament schedule, links to live stats, live audio and live video and boxscores from each contest.
The Knights have 26 home games remaining on their 2011 schedule, with season tickets for the 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.