March 23, 2013
By Andrew Jennette
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team needed a bounce-back performance after being run-ruled in game one of its Conference USA series against Marshall. The Knights (18-17, 1-8 C-USA) played better and held leads in each contest, but did not get the results they were looking for as they dropped game one, 3-1, to the Thundering Herd (18-13, 6-3) before also falling in the second game of the afternoon, 4-3, at the UCF Softball Complex. For the second consecutive day, the action was delayed over an hour by inclement weather.
Sophomore Mackenzie Audas started both games of the doubleheader for the first time in her UCF career and became the first Knight since Lindsay Enders on May 14, 2005 to pitch a pair of complete games on the same day in a doubleheader.
Game One: Marshall 3, UCF 1 - Box Score
The Knights got on the board first in the bottom of the third after a leadoff double by freshman Kalyn Cenal. With Cenal in scoring position, the Tampa native was lifted for freshman pinch runner Kirsten Foster. Foster advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Hayley Barrow and scored after an attempt at third on the play sailed into the Knights' dugout. The error by Marshall allowed Foster to trot home and give the UCF the lead.
The Black and Gold was unable to hold its advantage as Marshall plated one run in the fifth and two more in the sixth to take a 3-1 edge it would not relinquish. The Knights contributed with three errors that allowed two unearned runs to score.
Audas picked up the tough-luck loss, her ninth of the season, in the game as she allowed just five hits and one earned run while striking out 10. The Plant City native reached double digit strikeouts for the third time this season and 13th time in her career.
The Knights brought the tying run to the plate in the sixth and seventh frames, but were unable to complete the comeback.
Game Two: Marshall 5, UCF 4 (Eight Innings) - Box Score
Trailing 3-1 in the fifth inning, Cenal kick started another rally with a leadoff single. After a single by sophomore Maddy Schroeder put two runners on, freshman Samantha McCloskey came up with another clutch hit as she dropped a two-out, two-run single into right field to tie the game. McCloskey leads the team with 18 RBI and is hitting .364 on the season with runners on base.
With the score tied, the Black and Gold took the lead in the bottom of the sixth after a walk by freshman Shelby Turnier and a pair of sacrifice hits by freshman Mariah Garcia and senior Lauren Aldridge put two runners on. With runners at second and third and just one out, Cenal hit a grounder deep into the hole at short and the throw to first was wide causing all runners to be safe and giving the Knights a 4-3 advantage on the RBI. Shortly after the run scored and with UCF still batting, lightning entered the area and delayed the game an hour and 12 minutes.
UCF again got off to a fast start as sophomore Kahley Novak walked, stole second and scored after back-to-back throwing errors by Marshall in the bottom of the first inning. The Knights, however, were again unable to maintain their advantage as Marshall came back with three runs in the fourth inning to take the lead.
Audas went the distance for the second-consecutive game, but was not as sharp in game two as she was in game one. She allowed 12 hits and three earned runs (five total) in eight innings of work to go along with five strikeouts. The long delay clearly had an effect as Audas allowed six of her 12 hits and two runs after retaking the circle in the seventh inning.
The Black and Gold have nine home games remaining at the UCF Softball Complex, with season tickets for the remainder of the 2013 season costing only $30. Single game and season tickets are available for purchase online at UCFAthletics.com and Ticketmaster.com, or by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) UCF-1000.