Awesome Aubrey

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF freshman designated player Aubrey Johnson rose to the occasion in the American Athletic Conference opener and went 2-for-2 with three RBI and a sac bunt to lead the Knights over Houston, 5-3, on Friday evening at the UCF Softball Complex.

"We know that Aubrey can hit," head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "To be able to put her back in the lineup today and see her produce was exciting. She deserves it. She is a great kid that works really hard in the cages. She knew coming out today that she wanted to prove herself in a conference game."

The Muskogee, Okla., native came through with the go-ahead single in the first inning and struck again in the third frame with a two-out, two-run single up the middle to put the Knights (16-3, 1-0 The American) on top for good, 5-3.

"I did not know that I was going to be going into the game, so seeing my name on the [lineup card] let me know that I could help out my team more," Johnson said. "A big win and the great atmosphere with the band was definitely a plus."

Houston (14-13, 0-1 The American) threatened in the seventh inning with two runners in scoring position and two outs following a walk and single. Freshman catcher Autumn Gillespie, who caught a Cougar stealing in the fourth frame, ended the contest with a heads up play by picking up the ball in front of the plate on a bunt attempt and firing it to third base where senior Brittany Solis applied the game-ending tag on the runner coming back to the base.

Another complete-game victory was notched by freshman Alea White, who improved to 9-8 on the season. The Land O'Lakes, Fla., native fanned four batters and put up five-consecutive zeroes on the scoreboard to seal the game.

Two-hit games were also notched by senior right fielder Willow Kalinen and freshman designated player Kyra Klarkowski, who entered after freshman third baseman Tamesha Glover was injured on a play in foul territory.

Quick Response

  • After Houston scored twice in the first inning, the Knights responded quickly with three runs of their own on four base knocks.
  • A leadoff walk was drawn by senior left fielder Linnea Goodman before junior second baseman Courtney Rotton connected on a double off the fence in left.
  • Driving in the first run was sophomore first baseman Cassady Brewer with a sac fly to left.
  • Freshman third baseman Tamesha Glover delivered a two-out double down the left field line to knot the contest, 2-2.
  • The Knights took a 3-2 lead when freshman designated player Aubrey Johnson sent a single through the right side.

"It was very impressive to see our offense come back and battle back to tie it up in that same inning. Both [Cassady] Brewer and Tamesha [Glover] came up with some big hits for us. It was neat to see them answer back. We wanted to see that we could go head-to-head and hit-for-hit with them."
-Head Coach Renee Luers-Gillispie

Next Up
UCF continues its series with Houston on Saturday with the first pitch set for 2 p.m. A 50/50 raffle will be held each inning with Nike gear serving as prizes.

The Knights conclude their 19-game homestand on Wednesday at 5 p.m. vs. North Florida. The contest will serve as the team's Strikeout Cancer day with a number of promotions on tap to bring awareness to cancer research.

Season tickets for the 2017 campaign start at $50 for adults and $25 for youth (ages 2-17). For more information about season and individual game tickets, click here.

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