April 14, 2012
By Andrew Jennette
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior Natalie Land set the single-season stolen bases record Saturday afternoon, but the UCF softball team fell twice at UAB in a Conference USA doubleheader at Cougar Softball Stadium. The Knights lost both games 2-0.
With the pair of losses, the Black and Gold fell to 30-12 on the year with a 9-5 league mark. The Blazers (27-14, 11-3) moved into a tie with Tulsa for the conference lead.
UCF will close out its series against the Blazers Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
Game One - UAB 2, UCF 0 - Box Score
Errors and mistakes on the bases cost the Knights valuable chances in game one.
Senior Ali Schmidt was tagged with the loss in the circle, and she fell to 9-3 on the season. Schmidt allowed only two runs, one earned, on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
A dropped foul ball in the bottom of the second directly led to an unearned run as the Blazers hit a solo home run on next pitch to claim a 1-0 lead.
The Knights had a chance in the top of the third with runners on first and second with one out. However, Lauren Aldridge was thrown out at third to end the inning on an attempt to tag up from second on a fly out to left field.
UCF threatened again in the top of the fourth with runners at second and third with one out. Hayley Barrow hit a ground ball to third, and Vanessa Perez broke too soon for home. She was tagged out after getting caught in a rundown.
UAB added an insurance run in the sixth after a pair of errors by the Knights.
Game Two - UAB 2, UCF 0 - Box Score
Land led off the game with a walk and then broke the UCF single-season stolen bases record by swiping second. Land, already the Knights' career leader in steals, stole her 29th base of the year, passing Tiffany Lane, who held the previous mark with 28 in 2008.
Freshman Mackenzie Audas took just her second conference loss in the circle after allowing two runs on four hits and two walks in 6 innings of work. The Knights' young ace picked up 11 strikeouts to increase her conference-leading total to 192. The loss dropped the Audas' record to 16-6 on the year.
Audas gave up the game's first run in the first inning after she uncorked two wild pitches. UAB added a second run in the bottom of the third with a solo home run. UCF loaded the bases in the fourth and had runners on first and second in the fifth, but the Knights were unable to come away with any runs.