Dynamic Pitching Duo Leads UCF Softball to Shutout

March 8, 2014

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By Nate Blythe

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF pitchers junior Mackenzie Audas and sophomore Shelby Turnier each notched victories on Saturday in helping the Knights to a pair of shutouts over Colgate, 2-0, and Penn, 3-0 at the UCF Holiday Inn Spring Fling. The Knights improved to 14-7 on the campaign and upped its win streak to five at the UCF Softball Complex.

Audas was magnificent against the Raiders (1-6) with 12 strikeouts in a two-hit complete game. The Plant City native improved to 6-6 in the circle and did not give up a free pass during the performance for the first time this season.

The second game saw Turnier (8-1) send down 11 batters on strikes and yield four hits in six innings against the Quakers (0-3). Sophomore Jamie Ujvari threw the final inning and notched a pair of strikeouts to earn her first save of the season.

Coming up in the clutch at the plate was sophomore outfielder Mariah Garcia, who drove in the eventual game-winning run during the first inning of each game, providing the Knights pitchers with an early lead.

Sophomore catcher Samantha McCloskey totaled three hits during the doubleheader including two vs. Colgate. A base knock in each contest were registered by freshman Linnea Goodman and Garcia.

The Knights wrap up the UCF Holiday Inn Spring Fling on Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. doubleheader vs. Troy and Bowling Green.

Game One: UCF 2, Colgate 0

Audas fanned 12 in a two-hit complete game victory over Colgate. The Knights tallied their runs on RBI doubles by Garcia and Goodman in the first and fifth innings, respectively, as seven player notched base knocks.

After Audas struck out the side, junior outfielder Kahley Novak started off the Knights in the first inning by beating out an infield single to short and quickly stole second before a groundout moved her to third. A double down the left field line by Garcia provided UCF with an early lead for the third-straight game.

The first base runner for the Raiders came on an infield single to second for Colgate's Marisa Dowling in the fourth inning, which broke up the no-hit bid by Audas. The Plant City native retired nine of the first 10 batters via the strikeout.

Sophomore first baseman Kaitlyn Steckel opened the fifth inning with a single on a line shot off the pitcher and moved into scoring position on a sac bunt laid down by junior outfielder Maddy Schroeder. The insurance run that put UCF on top, 2-0, came around to score on a double by Goodman down the left field line.

The Knights pushed a pair of runners into scoring position on a single by McCloskey and double from sophomore pinch hitter Taylor Wagner to left with two outs. UCF was unable to stretch its lead, but Audas tallied her 12th strikeout and collected the victory by retiring the side in the seventh.

The loss for the Raiders was credited to Brigit Ieuter (1-4).

Game Two: UCF 3, Penn 0

The Knights saw Turnier toss a four-hitter and fan 11 opponents through the first six innings of a 3-0 victory over Penn. Ja. Ujvari closed the door in the seventh to earn her third-career save.

Following a leadoff walk drawn by Novak, Garcia put the Knights on top early, 1-0, for the second-straight game with a single to left center. Novak advanced to third with a pair of stolen bases.

The Quakers threaten in the third inning with a pair of base hits, but Turnier was up to the task by notching two strikeouts.

A two-run fourth inning extended the UCF lead to 3-0 and provides some breathing room for Turnier in the circle. The frame started off with a single by McCloskey down the left field line.

Freshman pinch runner Blaire Kelley moved into scoring position by swiping second before a walk was dawn by Sullivan. Both runners took a base on a wild pitch before Turnier registered an RBI groundout and sophomore pinch hitter Jessica Ujvari came through with a run-producing two-out single up the middle.

Penn notched a pair of base hits by Kanani Datan and Leah Allen to put runners on the corners with one out in the sixth. The Knights caught Allen stealing second on a perfect throw by the catcher McCloskey to the shortstop Solis for the second out. Turnier notched her 11th strikeout to end the frame.

Earning the loss was Courtney Cuzick (0-2), who fanned one in four innings and gave up three earned runs.