UCF Softball Clinches Six Seed in C-USA Tournament with Doubleheader Sweep


May 4, 2013

Final Stats

UCF Athletics Social Media Directory

By Andrew Jennette

GREENVILLE, N.C. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF softball team came into the weekend looking to improve its seeding in the upcoming Conference USA tournament. The Knights (28-24, 9-14 C-USA) did just that as they clinched the six seed in the upcoming conference tournament by defeating the Pirates (21-29, 11-11), 3-1, in the opening game before coming up with a 3-0 victory in the second half of the doubleheader.

Game One: UCF 3, East Carolina 1 - Box Score

With the Knights on top 2-0 in the top of the fourth, freshman Kalyn Cenal crushed a solo home run deep over the wall in left field. It was the first home run of the Tampa native's career and set the tone for what was to come later in the day.

Freshman Shelby Turnier made her case to be named C-USA Freshman of the Year as she allowed just six hits and one walk while striking out seven in her complete-game victory. Turnier improved to 14-7 on the year and lowered her ERA to 2.26. The Palm Beach Gardens native leads all conference freshmen in wins, ERA and strikeouts in what has been a strong rookie campaign.

The Knights jumped on the Pirates early as they plated a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Senior Lauren Aldridge drew a walk and stole second to move into scoring position. Sophomore Farrah Sullivan stepped in and smacked a double to deep left to score the first run for the Knights. Freshman Mariah Garcia, hitting cleanup for just the second time this season, came up with an opposite-field RBI double off the wall to score Sullivan and put the Knights up 2-0. That would be all the offense Turnier would need to seal the victory for the Knights.

Game Two: UCF 3, East Carolina 0 - Box Score

It was déjà vu for the Knights in game two as they completed the Saturday sweep with a 3-0 victory. Just like in the opener, Aldridge reached safely in the first inning and moved herself into scoring position on a stolen base. The steal was the Vero Beach native's second of the day and 19th of the season. With Aldridge scoring position, Sullivan stepped in and once against plated the first run of the game for the Knights in the opening frame with an RBI single.

Sophomore Mackenzie Audas overwhelmed ECU hitters all afternoon and was just three outs away from her second no-hitter of the season. The Plant City native lost her third-career bid at perfection by allowing a leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh inning. Audas, however, did twirl her fifth shutout of the season while chipping in 10 strikeouts.

For the second-consecutive game, Cenal stepped up in the top of the fourth and only this time she tattooed a two-run homer to straightaway centerfield to put the Knights up 3-0. Cenal came into the day with just three extra-base hits all season, but blasted a pair of long balls to increase her RBI total to 23 in her rookie season.

Sophomore Kahley Novak extended her season-best hitting streak to eight games with a fourth-inning single. Novak's eight-game run is the longest surge by any Knight this season. The Clermont native has increased her batting average 38 points during that time.

The Black and Gold conclude the regular season tomorrow with the third game against ECU. First pitch is scheduled for noon.