UCF Softball has Chances but Falls 2-1 to Tulsa

March 11, 2012

UCF Athletics Social Media Directory

By Andrew Jennette

Box Score

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - For the third-consecutive game, UCF (16-9) and Tulsa (16-5) showcased strong pitching as both team's starters took turns shutting down the opposing offenses. However, the Knights could not take advantage of their scoring chances in a 2-1 defeat to the Golden Hurricane on Sunday at the UCF Softball Complex.

UCF loaded the bases three times in the contest, and left 11 runners on base. The Knights will look to bounce back quickly thanks to some unusual midweek scheduling, as they will host three different teams on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday, UCF will host Northern Colorado at 7 p.m. and on Wednesday the Knights will play a doubleheader against Northern Illinois and Iona with the first game coming at 4 p.m.

Freshman Mackenzie Audas (Plant City, Fla.) made her second start of the series and once again delivered a strong performance despite picking up the loss.

Audas pitched her 13th-consecutive complete game and struck out nine hitters on the day. The young hurler increased her conference-leading strikeout total to 93 in 94 innings. Audas is also tops in the conference with a .182 opposing batting average.

The Black and Gold got on the board first in the first inning. Senior Natalie Land (Mayo, Fla.) reached on an infield single and freshman Kahley Novak (Clermont, Fla.) walked to put two runners aboard. After junior Marissa Menendez (Tampa, Fla.) reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases, Land scampered home on a passed ball to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.

UCF would maintain a 1-0 lead until the fifth when Tulsa executed a perfect safety squeeze to tie the game. With runners on the corners and one out, cleanup hitter Skylar Swanson surprised the Knights by dropping down a bunt. Audas fielded the play and recorded the putout at first base, but leadoff hitter Caitlin Everett took off for home on the throw and slid in just under the tag from junior catcher Alena Murgatroyd (Lancaster, Calif.).

Tulsa took the lead it would not relinquish in the sixth after a triple from Jessica Stoelke and a RBI infield single by Julie Kernen.

UCF fans can follow all of the action on UCF All-Access with live video and audio. Fans also can follow UCFAthletics.com's Gametracker as well as www.twitter.com/UCF_Softball.