UCF Softball Tangles with No. 8 Florida Wednesday in Gainesville

April 19, 2011

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By Sarah Tarasewicz

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF (18-24, 8-7 C-USA) softball team kicks off a four-game road swing Wednesday when it travels to Gainesville to tangle with No. 8 Florida (37-7, 13-6 SEC) at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium. The contest between the Knights and the Gators is set to get underway at 6 p.m.

Fans not able to make it to the game can follow all of the action on UCFAthletics.com. Live stats will be available via Gametracker and fans can also listen to the game live via Stretch Internet. For a small fee, fans can also watch a live stream of the game on GatorVision.

UCF is coming off its first Conference USA series sweep of the season after defeating Marshall in three-straight games last weekend to improve its record to 18-24 on the year and 8-7 in league play.

The Knights have now won six of their last eight contests, which includes a pair of wins over league-rival East Carolina and a non-conference victory over in-state rival Florida State.

In those eight contests, junior Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) has paced the squad offensively, posting a .500 batting average with 11 hits, four runs scored, a double, six walks, two sacrifice hits and seven stolen bases. During the span, Land has also registered a .545 slugging percentage and a .607 on-base percentage.

Land now ranks in C-USA's top-10 in 12 different categories. The junior leads the league in triples (5) and assists (89), while ranking second in batting average (.374), on-base percentage (.465) and stolen bases (22).

Sophomore Marissa Menendez (Tampa, Fla.) has also been a prominent factor in UCF's recent success, as she has tallied a team-best five RBI and six walks over the last eight games, which included her UCF single-season record-tying fifth sacrifice fly vs. the Thundering Herd last weekend.

No. 8 Florida hosts the Black and Gold Wednesday with a 37-7 overall record and a 13-6 SEC clip following is league-series sweep at Auburn last weekend. The Gators are riding a seven-game win streak heading into their non-conference showdown with UCF, having outscored their opponents, 63-11, during the stretch.

UF has three players hitting over .400 in its lineup in 2010 and boasts a .348 team batting average with 89 home runs and 370 runs scored. Michelle Moultrie leads the Gators with a .456 batting average, 67 hits and five triples, while Megan Bush paces the squad with 19 home runs, 66 RBI and seven sacrifice flies.

UCF is 2-10 in its all-time series vs. Florida, but has had its greatest success against the Gators on the road. In the programs' 12 meetings, the Black and Gold have picked up both of its wins at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium during the NCAA Regional Tournament.

The Knights' first win against UF came in their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2005, while their second win was during the 2008 NCAA Tournament when the Gators were ranked No. 1 in the nation. That victory snapped Florida's 36-game win streak and its 41-game win streak at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, while it was only the Gators' third loss of the year.

Following its contest at Florida, the Black and Gold will travel to Memphis, Tenn., April 22-23 for a three-game C-USA series vs. the Tigers.