March 8, 2016
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - Senior Samantha McCloskey's walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning gave No. 25 UCF Softball a doubleheader sweep at the UCF Softball Complex on Tuesday evening. UCF defeated Ball State, 5-2, before earning a 1-0 victory over Illinois State.
I felt in the first game that we were really making good adjustments to the pitchers, head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. The (team) did a really good job with Illinois State. I'm very proud of our girls to stick it out and stay focused.
McCloskey drove in three runs as UCF (14-8) topped Ball State 5-2 in the early game. Senior Jamie Ujvari earned her fourth win of the season in the circle, striking out seven Cardinals. UCF scored three runs in the first inning to overtake Ball State, and tacked on two more in the third inning to seal the win.
UCF and Illinois State were locked in a pitcher's duel in the second game of the day. Senior Shelby Turnier tossed all 10 innings, allowing just six hits while striking out nine batters. McCloskey knocked two of UCF's four hits, including the game-winning home run.
• Samantha McCloskey hit her first home run of the season against Ball State, a two-run shot in the bottom of the third that pushed UCF's lead to 5-2.
• McCloskey drove in three runs against the Cardinals. She walked in UCF's first run of the game after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and added the final two runs with her home run.
• The Detroit, Mich., native went 2-for-4 against Illinois State, accounting for half of the Black and Gold hits in the game.
• McCloskey hit her second walk-off home run to give UCF a 1-0 victory. Her last solo walk-off came against Tulsa in the 2015 American Athletic Conference championship game.
McCloskey: I was just trying to relax, honestly. I wasn't thinking about doing too much, and the ball just came off my bat.
10 in 10
• UCF won its 10th consecutive game in the bottom of the 10th inning against Illinois State.
• The 10-inning game marks the longest outing of the season for UCF and the longest game since a 16-inning game at Tulsa in 2015. Shelby Turnier tossed a complete-game win in both outings.
• Tuesday's doubleheader sweep marks the longest stretch of wins for the Knights this season.
The Knights host Ball State for a single game on Wednesday. First pitch is slated for 5:30 p.m.
Story by Megan Herboth; Video by Troy Kless