UCF Softball Falls Twice at UCF/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational III

Stats Stats

March 4, 2011

Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score

="" alt="Knight Head" border="0" class="imported"> Read John Denton's Knights Insider | ="" alt="Twitter Logo" border="0" class="imported">Follow us on Twitter | ="" alt="Facebook Logo" border="0" class="imported">Get social with the Knights on Facebook

By Sarah Tarasewicz

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With two hits Friday night, junior Allie Jest (Stone Moutain, Ga.) extended her team-best hitting streak to nine games as the UCF softball team dropped a pair of contests to South Alabama, 7-3, and Virginia Tech, 7-3, on the opening day of the UCF/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational III at the UCF Softball Complex.

The losses dropped the Knights' record to 5-14 on the season, while South Alabama improved to 15-3 and Virginia Tech moved to 13-3 overall.

Game One - UCF 3, South Alabama 7
Sophomore Patrice Fee (Cocoa, Fla.) hit a two-run home run, her second of the year, to lead UCF's offense, but it was not enough as five errors cost the Knights in the opening contest vs. South Alabama.

Jest and fellow junior Vanessa Perez (San Diego, Calif.) accounted for the Black and Gold's additional two hits and each scored a run.

Junior Lacey Dinney (Binbrook, Ont.) was tagged with the loss in the circle against the Jaguars, allowing three earned runs on six hits, while walking four and striking out three. With the loss, Dinney fell to 2-3 on the year. Senior Ashley Schmitt (Tampa, Fla.) would finish out the game without giving up an earned run and allowing only three hits in 2.0 innings of relief.

The Knights gave up a single run in the top of the first inning on a walk, a single and an error, but evened the contest in the home half of the frame on a lead-off single by Jest and a two-out dropped popup in the infield.

The Jaguars then took advantage of two UCF errors in the second inning to take the lead back from the Black and Gold, 3-1, before Fee once again knotted the contest with a two-run home run over the left field wall to make the score 3-3 heading into the third inning.

Both teams were held scoreless through the next two innings, before South Alabama's Katy Neal drove in two runs with a home run to left field in the fifth. The Jaguars posted two more runs in the sixth inning to take a 7-3 lead and seal the victory.

Game Two - UCF 3, Virginia Tech 7
The Knights scattered six hits, which included 2-for-3 performances at the plate by both Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) and Kellie Todd (Ocala, Fla.), against the Hokies in the nightcap, but once again four errors hampered the Black and Gold as only two of Virginia Tech's seven runs were earned.

Land had a triple, scored two runs and stole a base in the contest, while Todd posted a pair of singles and a game-high two RBI. Sophomore Marissa Menendez (Tampa, Fla.) added a double and one run scored for the home team offensively.

Senior Diana Rojas (Miami, Fla.) dropped to 3-5 on the season after earning the loss in the circle in the nightcap. The hurler allowed two earned runs on six hits and walked two batters in four innings of work, before Schmitt would appear in relief for the second-straight contest. Schmitt did not give up an earned run and allowed only one hit and a walk in three innings pitched.

Virginia Tech opened the scoring with a run in the top of the first inning, but the Knights took the lead in the bottom of the second inning after both Land and Menendez touched home safely. Land led off the frame with a triple and scored on a throwing error by the visiting squad on the play, before Menendez kept the momentum going with a double to left centerfield. A wild pitch allowed Menendez to advance to third base and she scored the go-ahead run on a RBI-single by Todd.

Neither team could bring a run across in the third inning, but the Hokies managed to tag three runs on the board in the top of the fourth on four hits, including a home run, and a UCF fielding error.

The Knights cut Virginia Tech's lead to one run in the home half of the frame on singles by Land and Todd, but the visiting squad put the game out of reach for the Black and Gold with three runs in the top of the seventh.

UCF continues play in the UCF/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational III Saturday with contests vs. Monmouth and Florida A&M at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.

The Knights have 21 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.