Husky Heartbreaker

Feb. 21, 2016

Final Stats

No. 15 UCF - No. 11 Washington Stats

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. ( - Three consecutive hits started a seventh-inning rally for No. 15 UCF Softball, but the Knights fell short of completing the comeback against No. 11 Washington. The Huskies held on for a 9-7 win in the final game of the Mary Nutter Classic on Sunday.

We knew that this was going to be a tough weekend, head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. We were facing every team's top pitcher, and our offense was solid for us all weekend. They were able to come up with key hits in every game. Now we just have to go back and work on some defensive schemes. This is the point of the season where you either win or you learn, and we learned a lot this weekend.

Senior Samantha McCloskey and freshman Autumn Gillespie led UCF with three hits each in the game. Junior Linnea Goodman batted in a pair of runs for the Knights. UCF knocked a season-high 13 hits and nine Knights recorded a hit in the game.

A solo home run helped Washington (9-1) take an early 1-0 lead, but the UCF offense went to work in the bottom of the second.

Senior Jessica Ujvari started the spark with a solo home run to make it a tie game. Back-to-back singles from Gillespie and McCloskey put a pair of runners on with one out. Sophomore pinch runner Megan Greenwell scored on a fielder's choice to put the Knights ahead.

McCloskey added to the UCF lead as she slid under the tag at home to make it a 3-1 game in the bottom of the second.

After a scoreless third inning, Washington plated three runs to take a 4-3 lead, and pushed the advantage further with four runs in the top of the sixth.

Trailing 8-3 in the bottom of sixth, an RBI single from Goodman helped the Black and Gold cut into the lead. Junior Willow Kalinen's hit took a hop and allowed freshman pinch runner Tiffany Lower to score. The Knights used five straight hits in the inning to make it an 8-5 game heading to the seventh inning.

Down to their final two outs, Gillespie started the rally with a base hit. McCloskey followed with a hit that dropped in fair territory down the right field line, which brought the tying run to the plate. Freshman Cassady Brewer's hit up the middle allowed Gillespie to score and cut the lead to three.

McCloskey tagged up on a sacrifice fly from redshirt junior Jasmine Acevedo, pulling the Knights within two, 9-7, with two outs in the game, but the Huskies were able to end the rally and hold on for the win.

The Knights return to Orlando for the Citrus Classic next weekend. UCF opens against Notre Dame on Friday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The Black and Gold face Yale, Syracuse and Charlotte on the weekend.

Story by Megan Herboth; Photos by Nicci Hopps