April 13, 2011
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By Sarah Tarasewicz
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Despite turning two double plays defensively, the UCF softball team dropped a non-conference contest to Bethune-Cookman, 5-0, Wednesday at Sunnyland Park. The loss broke the Knights seven-game win streak vs. the Wildcats and was the first loss against the team since March 4, 2006.
The Knights fell to 15-24 on the season in the defeat, while the Wildcats improved their record to 19-22 overall with the victory.
Tawny Swan (Gilbert, Ariz.), Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.), Abby McClain (Waterloo, Iowa), Vanessa Perez (San Diego, Calif.) and Tiffany Lane (Moreno Valley, Calif.) each posted a hit for the Black and Gold in the contest, with Land and Perez also swiping a base apiece.
Diana Rojas (Miami, Fla.) was tagged with the loss in the circle for UCF after allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on three hits with a strikeout in 1.1 innings of work. Haley Douglas (Pleasanton, Calif.) finished out the game, allowing one run on four hits in 4.2 innings pitched.
The Knights had opportunities to score in the second, fifth and sixth inning, but ended up stranding six runners on base during the game.
In the second, McClain singled to centerfield to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a two-out single by Perez. Perez stole second base to put two runners in scoring position, but a groundout to second base ended the inning.
UCF put runners at first and third in the fifth frame thanks to a walk and a single by Lane, but the Wildcats' starter, Allison Garcia, was once again able to get the Knights to groundout to get out of the jam.
The visitor's best chance to score came in the sixth inning, when Swan and Land led off the frame with back-to-back singles to put runners on second and third with nobody out. The Black and Gold was not able to capitalize on the opportunity, however, flying out to shallow centerfield twice and lining out to the shortstop to end the late-game rally.
The Wildcats scored their first run in the bottom of the first inning following a hit-by-pitch, a fielding error and a single to centerfield put the Knights down, 1-0, through one complete inning of play, before tagging three more on the board in the second frame on Ashton Hinds' three-run home run to left centerfield. Another run crossed for the home team in the bottom of the sixth to seal the win.
Despite the loss, UCF still remains ahead of Bethune-Cookman in the all-time series, 15-5, while also holding a 5-3 record at Sunnyland Park.
The Black and Gold returns to action this weekend as it hosts Marshall in a three-game Conference USA series at the UCF Softball Complex. The Knights' doubleheader Saturday is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m., while the series finale is set for Sunday at 11 a.m.