UCF's all-time wins leader has a message for you all pic.twitter.com/HjbfXc4bQO
-- UCF Softball (@UCF_Softball) May 22, 2016
UCF - Florida Regional Final stats
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The UCF softball team fought hard, but fell short in a season-ending loss to No. 1 Florida in Sunday's regional final. The Knights dropped an 8-0 decision in five innings to the Gators at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium.
"It's going to be a tough challenge any time you go into a matchup against Florida," head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "Going against a team that's ranked No. 1 in the country and has won back-to-back World Series Titles, you have be careful in how you handle them. I thought we prepared well and came in with a great deal of confidence. I thought our pitchers did well and we made some plays on defense. Although the score didn't show it, I thought we really battled well today and I'm really proud of this team."
Senior Jessica Ujvari gave the Knights a strong start, as she collected a two-out double in the top of the first, but was unable to come around and score.
The UCF defense retired the Gators in order, but the Black and Gold were unable to carry the momentum into the top of the second. Florida plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 2-0 lead.
The Knights threatened in the top of the third, as junior Linnea Goodman bounced a hit to the left and beat the throw to first with two outs. Freshman Cassady Brewer followed with a walk, but the Gators were able to collect the third out before either runner was able to score.
Florida loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with one out, but junior Willow Kalinen kept the Gators off the board in the inning, making the throw to senior Samantha McCloskey in time to turn the double play and get out of the inning.
The Gators put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fourth, scoring six runs to take an 8-0 lead. The Knights put a runner on in the top of the fifth, as sophomore pinch hitter Megan Greenwell singled to short, but she was left on base as Florida cyollected the final out to clinch the win.
Senior Shelby Turnier closed out her highly-decorated season on Sunday, allowing just three hits in 2.1 innings of work. The Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., native will leave as UCF's all-time wins leader, posting an 80-39 overall record as a Knight.
UCF posted a 38-22 overall record in 2016, which included a 15-game win streak and the largest margin of victory over a top five opponent with an 8-1 upset of then-No. 5 Alabama.