Rotton's Big Blast

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – After freshman designated player Kyra Klarkowski hit the top of the wall in centerfield to start the seventh inning, junior third baseman Courtney Rotton drilled a 2-1 pitch over the left field fence, lifting the Knights to a 5-3 walk-off victory over FGCU on Saturday evening at the UCF Softball Complex.
"I was looking for something to hit solidly and deep enough in the outfield to where we could score Kyra [Klarkowski]," Rotton said. "She threw the right pitch at the right time. I swung and it went.
"It was awesome to see my teammates [at home plate] have faith in me and believe in me, especially when I was down on myself for not being able to produce earlier in the game,"
Rotton celebrated the first walk-off homer in her softball career when the Clermont, Fla., native was mobbed by her teammates at home plate.
"It was another great team win – that is what we said in the locker room after the game," assistant coach Tiffany Jordan said. "Those bunts and steals earlier in the game set up situations for us to get to the seventh inning and come away with the win."
The walk-off win was the second time in as many days that UCF (9-6) accomplished the feat. Freshman catcher Autumn Gillespie was the hero on Friday against Providence in an 11-10 eight-inning victory.
After FGCU (10-7) struck in the first inning, the Knights knotted the contest in the second frame on a one-out single by freshman second baseman Aubrey Johnson. The opportunity was created following a sacrifice bunt by senior shortstop Brittany Solis after sophomore first baseman Cassady Brewer drew a leadoff walk.
The victory was notched by freshman Alea White (5-4). The Land O'Lakes, Fla., native tossed 2.2 innings of relief and struck out a pair. Freshman Kamryn Toney went the first 4.1 frames and fanned four Eagles.
"It is nice to see our two freshman step up," Jordan said. "Alea [White] came in and shut the door – that was refreshing. We are early in the season and have to figure out how our pitching staff works together. Right now, we have a good combination in [Kamryn Toney] and Alea that we are really excited about."
Double the Trouble

  • The Knights used a pair of doubles to break a 1-1 tie in the fourth frame.
  • Sophomore first baseman Cassady Brewer started the frame by splitting the left center gap for a two-bagger.
  • After sophomore second baseman Aubrey Johnson drove in her second run on a sac fly, junior centerfielder Megan Greenwell beat out a bunt single for the first of her two base knocks.
  • A fine piece of hitting was delivered by freshman catcher Autumn Gillespie with a double to right center that brought in an insurance run, 3-1.

"I have gained a lot of confidence by moving back in the box, so I can see the ball longer and my reaction time is getting a lot better. I think that I am starting to get used to the Division I competition."
-Freshman 2B Aubrey Johnson
"It's awesome to see Aubrey step up, especially since she has struggled at the plate. It is awesome to see her gain her confidence back and be able to be productive. I love watching the younger kids grow and get better at the game."
-Junior 3B Courtney Rotton
Play Gold Defense

  • Senior right fielder Willow Kalinen ran full speed to track down fly ball in right center for the second out in the fourth inning, keeping the Eagles off the base paths.
  • The Knights registered their fifth double play of the campaign on a sharply hit ball to freshman third baseman Tamesha Glover. Freshman second baseman Aubrey Johnson made the turn and threw a dart to first base.

"It's great. It was just a great win. When everybody does their part and we all come together. It is a fun, fun game."
-Freshman 2B Aubrey Johnson
Next Up
The Knights conclude the three-day UCF Invitational at 1:30 p.m. Sunday vs. Providence.

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