May 2, 2015
By Megan Herboth
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) -- After rallying back to earn a 2-1 win in Saturday's series opener, No. 15 UCF Softball came up short in the second game, falling 3-2 to South Florida to split the American Athletic Conference doubleheader at the UCF Softball Complex.
UCF (45-7, 15-2 AAC) broke a 1-1 tie in the first game with a solo home run from junior Kalyn Cenal. The game-winning homer was Cenal's 10th of the season, making her the first Knight since 2005 with at least 10 home runs in a season. Former UCF standout Stephanie Best, who was recognized between games for her recent UCF Hall of Fame induction, was one of the last UCF softball players to hit double digit home runs in a season.
"It feels amazing," Cenal said. "I never expected to hit this many home runs in a season. I was just swinging my hardest. It felt even more special since it was the game-winning run."
Sophomore Linnea Goodman opened game one with a single, and moved to second on a base hit from senior Farrah Sullivan. Sophomore Brittany Solis loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch, putting runners all around with just one out. Goodman beat the force out at home to score the first run of the day and UCF led 1-0 after one inning.
The Bulls responded in the top of the second. A one-out double put Monica Santos on second and she came around to score on a single down the left field line. USF evened the score at 1-1 heading to the third.
After a scoreless third inning, USF used a pair of walks and a single to load the bases with one out in the top of the fourth. Sophomore Willow Kalinen caught the fly ball and her throw home was in time to turn the double play, keeping the score knotted at 1-1.
Cenal opened the bottom of the sixth with a solo shot just to the left of the scoreboard, putting the Knights in front for good. The Bulls were retired in order in the top of the seventh, securing UCF's 10th-straight win of the season.
Game Two: USF 3, UCF 2
In game two, USF broke the scoreless game in the top of the third. After an error and a hit batter put runners on for the Bulls, a wild pitch advanced them to second and third base. Juli Weber put South Florida in front early as she stole home to give the Bulls a 1-0 advantage.
The Bulls extended their lead in the top of the fourth, as Mia Fung hit a solo home run to push the USF lead to 2-0.
The Knights began their rally in the bottom of the sixth. Brittany Solis led off with a hard-hit ball to give the Black and Gold a baserunner. Junior Jessica Ujvari sent Solis around the bases with a double to left center, cutting the USF lead in half. Junior Samantha McCloskey's sacrifice fly scored junior pinch runner Kirsten Foster, pulling the Knights even at 2-2 after six innings of action.
A fielding error allowed the Bulls to put the leadoff batter on first in the seventh. After stealing second, D'Anna Devine moved to third on a groundout and put USF back in front on an RBI double from Santos.
Trailing 3-2 with one out in the bottom of the seventh, Linnea Goodman singled up the middle for the Knights. A pop up and a fly out left her on base and ended the Black and Gold's 10-game winning streak.
UCF Softball, which is presented by City Kia of Greater Orlando, hosts USF at noon in Sunday's rubber match. Following the game, the Knights will be presented with the 2015 American Athletic Conference regular season championship trophy and the five seniors will be recognized for their UCF careers.