Freshmen Stepping Up

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - UCF freshman Alea White fanned a career-high seven batters Sunday afternoon and did not give up an earned run until extra innings. Pittsburgh broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the eighth inning to hand the Knights a 6-3 defeat at the UCF Softball Complex.

"Alea did a fantastic job for us on the mound and held them down in every inning," head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie. "She has enough good pitches that she is able to look different each time through the lineup."

Freshman third baseman Tamesha Glover came through with a clutch two-out, two-run single in the third inning that tied the contest, 2-2. The Knights had a number of chances to win the contest in regulation, but stranded 10 runners on the base paths, which included runners on the corners in the bottom of the seventh inning.

A three-hit contest was tallied by senior left fielder Linnea Goodman, while redshirt freshman catcher Autumn Gillespie added two hits. Freshman right fielder Kyra Klarkowski notched her first collegiate base hit, a double.

Both Panthers (5-0) runs that were scored in regulation came following a pair of miscues in the first inning by the Knights.

All Out for Alea

  • After the first inning, White settled in and notched a strikeout to strand two Panthers in scoring position in the second frame.
  • The Knights only allowed one base runner over the final five innings of regulation.
  • White only surrendered five hits during the contest and notched seven strikeouts.

"Knowing that I can throw my pitches in any count and any situation is important. It is also great knowing that my defense is going to back me up. It really gives me a lot of confidence out there to know that they have my back."
-Freshman pitcher Alea White

Two-Run Third Inning

  • After stranding base runners in the first two innings, the Knights took advantage of a pair of walks to tie the game.
  • Senior shortstop Brittany Solis and junior designated player Courtney Rotton drew free passes and moved into scoring position on a ground out.
  • With two outs, Glover came through with a clutch two-run single that dropped in front of the left fielder to knot the score, 2-2.

"We have to have clutch hits. Tamesha [Glover] was the one that came up and had the one and only clutch hit today. We have young players, so they are learning what it feels like to have confidence in that situation."
-Head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie

Everything Extras

  • With a runner placed on second, Pitt beat out a bunt single to put two aboard with no outs.
  • White notched her seventh strikeout to put one away and following a hit batter, Gillespie tagged out a runner at the plate.
  • A close 3-2 pitch favored the Panthers and forced in a run, then Olivia Gray cleared the bases with a double to right, 6-3.
  • The Knights were only able to push one run across in the bottom-half on a groundout by Gillespie.

"We were in every game this weekend and had opportunities with runners in scoring position. We are putting ourselves in these situations, but we need to come up with those clutch hits and that'll come. That's all part of the maturity process [for our young team]."
-Head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie

Next Up
The Knights are set to play their next nine games on the road, starting with a cross-country trip to the Mary Nutter Classic. UCF will take on Cal Poly and UCLA on Friday at 6 p.m. ET in Palm Springs, Calif.

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