UCF Softball Splits Pair of C-USA Contests with Southern Miss

March 17, 2012

UCF Athletics Social Media Directory

By Andrew Jennette

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF freshman Mackenzie Audas pitched her second Conference USA shutout and her teammates scored six runs in the fifth inning to help the Knights split a doubleheader at Southern Miss on Saturday.

The Knights (20-10, 2-2 Conference USA) defeated the Golden Eagles (10-13, 2-2 Conference USA) 6-0 in the opening contest before falling 9-5 in a wild nightcap. UCF will look to win the series Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.

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.

Game 1 - UCF 6, Southern Miss 0 - Box Score

Audas responded to the pressure of her first conference road game with a masterful performance in the opening game. Her dominance of Southern Miss hitters on Saturday followed a shutout of Tulsa last weekend. She allowed only two earned runs in her only other C-USA start, also against Tulsa.

Audas improved her record to 9-5 on the season. She struck out nine and increased her conference-leading strikeout total to 102. Audas lowered her ERA and opponents' batting average to 1.39 and .179 respectively.

UCF scored all six of its runs in the fifth inning. Freshman Madeline Schroeder dropped a perfect squeeze bunt that scored freshman Kahley Novak with the first run. On the same play, the Golden Eagles made a wild throw to first that allowed senior Tawny Swan to score from second and give UCF a 2-0 lead.

Senior Vanessa Perez dropped the second successful squeeze bunt of the inning to score Schroeder and give the Knights a 3-0 lead. Hometown favorite Farrah Sullivan, of Waynesboro, Miss., backed by roughly 25 friends and family members, hit a two-run single to right to make it 5-0. Freshman Hayley Barrow completed the scoring for UCF by hammering a RBI double into the right-center field gap.

Game 2 - Southern Miss 9, UCF 5 - Box Score

Despite jumping out to an early 5-0 lead, UCF's pitching and defense could not hold the lead, as Southern Miss scored nine consecutive runs. Southern Miss scored two runs in the second inning, three runs in the third and four runs in the fourth.

UCF came into the game with the top-ranked defense and pitching in the conference, but an uncharacteristic four Knights' errors led to three unearned runs. UCF also allowed a season-high 12 hits and nine runs.

The Knights scored five runs in the second inning to take an early advantage. Perez hit a two-out, two-run single to center to give UCF a 2-0 lead. Sullivan followed with an RBI single down the third-base line to put the Knights up 3-0. Barrow knocked in two more runs with a single into right field.

Senior Ali Schmidt allowed 10 hits and seven runs in six innings as she recorded every out for the Knights. However, the loss was charged to junior Alex Hartshorn, who relieved Schmidt for two batters in the fourth inning and did not record an out while allowing two runs.

The Knights have 13 home games remaining, including an April 11 contest against in-state rival Florida. Season tickets cost only $25. Tickets are available online at UCFAthletics.com and Ticketmaster.com or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) UCF-1000.