March 28, 2015
By Megan Herboth
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - Junior Shelby Turnier added back-to-back American Athletic Conference no-hitters to her resume as No. 18 UCF Softball earned a pair of 2-1 wins over UConn on Saturday at the UCF Softball Complex. The Knights used the series win to improve to 32-5 overall, with a 5-0 mark in The American.
"I wasn't really thinking about having a no-hitter," Turnier said. "I just wanted to go out there and pitch the best that I could and help my team win. It just ended up being a no-hitter."
Turnier fanned 12 batters with just one walk in a complete-game effort to open this weekend the same way she closed last weekend's series. The Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., native tossed her second no-hitter of the season and the third of her career.
"UConn came out and they did a great job of holding us down and keeping us off-balance at the plate," UCF head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "I was just proud of the girls for coming out and getting the two wins for us today."
The UCF offense came to life in the second inning after junior Kalyn Cenal was hit by a pitch, putting sophomore pinch runner Andrea Neswiacheny on first base. Sophomore Willow Kalinen was walked, putting runners on first and second for junior Samantha McCloskey. UConn kept runners on both bases as McCloskey reached on a fielder's choice. Sophomore Brittany Solis' RBI single to left field scored Kalinen and gave the Knights a 1-0 lead.
Junior Jessica Ujvari led off with a single to left field in the bottom of the fourth, putting freshman pinch runner Megan Greenwell on first base. Greenwell advanced to second on a ground out and scored as McCloskey doubled to right field. The Knights held a 2-0 lead after four innings of action.
UConn threatened the UCF lead in the top of the seventh, as Emily O'Donnell was hit by a pitch, bringing in pinch runner Alaina Montgomery. Montgomery moved to second on a ground out and a pair of passed balls allowed her to score, cutting the Black and Gold lead to one, 2-1. Senior Maddy Schroeder caught a fly ball in center field to secure Turnier's no-hitter and UCF's win.
UCF 2, UConn 1
UCF had early chances in the second game of the day, as the Knights opened the bottom of the first with a leadoff single from sophomore Linnea Goodman, but were unable to plate a run in the inning. Jessica Ujvari opened the bottom of the second with a double, but the Black and Gold were unable to put a run on the board in the second inning.
The offense began to roll in the bottom of the third. After Brittany Solis opened with a single up the middle, Maddy Schroeder's base hit put runners on first and second for the Knights. Goodman's sacrifice bunt advanced the pair, and senior Kahley Novak walked to load the bases for senior Farrah Sullivan.
With runners on every base, Sullivan worked a full count before drawing the walk to plate the first run of the game. The Knights left the bases loaded, but carried a 1-0 lead to the fourth inning.
UConn opened the fifth inning with a leadoff single from Lexi Gifford. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored the tying run on an RBI single from Emily O'Donnell. Heading to the bottom of the fifth, UCF and UConn were tied at 1-1.
Goodman's leadoff single up the middle put the go-ahead run on first base for the Knights in the bottom of the fifth. She moved to second on Novak's sacrifice bunt. Sullivan sent a ball up the middle, allowing Goodman to score the game-winning run.
Both teams left a runner on base in the sixth inning and the Huskies were retired in order in the top of the seventh, sealing UCF's second American Athletic Conference series win of the season.
Senior Mackenzie Audas earned the win, striking out five batters and allowing four hits in five innings of work. Shelby Turnier earned her second save of the season, allowing just one hit while striking out three in the final two innings.
UCF Softball, which is presented by City Kia of Greater Orlando, is back in action at the UCF Softball Complex on Sunday. First pitch in the final game of the series with UConn is slated for 12 p.m.