Land Honored With Steals Record, Has Sights Set Higher

March 30, 2012

UCF Athletics Social Media Directory

By Andrew Jennette

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - When Natalie Land first arrived on the UCF campus, head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie showed enough confidence in her as a freshman to put her at the top of the Knights' batting order. However, that responsibility came with one rule; Gillispie told her young infielder that she wanted her to always put the pressure on the defense by staying aggressive on the base paths.

In other words, Land was given the green light by her coach to attempt to steal whenever she felt she could make it.

Fast-forward four years and Land has continued to take her coach's words to heart. In the seventh inning on Wednesday night against North Florida, Land took off for second and slid in just under the tag with her typical head-first slide. That stolen base was the 21st of the season and more important, the 80th of her career. With that 80th steal, Land passed Cici Alvarez for first place on the UCF career stolen bases list.

Alvarez, who is in town for UCF softball alumni weekend, was proud that a player of Land's caliber broke her five-year old record. I knew my record would not last forever with the kind of talented players that coach Gillispie brings in to UCF, Alvarez said. What a great accomplishment by a great player. Congratulations to Natalie!

Land's stellar career at UCF has brought her not just the career stolen bases mark, but she ranks in the top 10 in school history in career batting average, hits, runs scored, total bases, triples and defensive chances. With 21 regular season games remaining, the conference tournament and the possibility of postseason play, Land has a chance to move even higher in the UCF record books.

Simply put, Land is one of the best all-around players in the history of UCF softball.

The Natalie Land Profile

80 stolen bases - 1st in school history

93 steal attempts - 2nd in school history

38 sacrifice hits - 2nd in school history

15 hit by pitch - 2nd in school history

9 triples - 4th in school history

107 runs scored - 5th in school history

.305 career batting average - 6th in school history

905 defensive chances - 6th in school history

175 hits - 9th in school history

238 total bases - 9th in school history

56 walks - 9th in school history

.860 stolen base % - 9th in school history

484 putouts - 9th in school history

379 assists - 9th in school history