Shutout Sunday

GREENVILLE, N.C. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF captured its first American Athletic Conference series of the season with a 3-0 victory on Sunday at East Carolina. Freshman Alea White notched her first-career shutout, holding the Pirates to three hits at the ECU Softball Stadium.

"I am really excited and proud with how Alea [White] did on the mound today," head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "She came back today and really fought. You could see that she wanted this game and could tell that her and Autumn [Gillespie] were on the same page. They were really focused on what they needed to do to go after these batters."

The Knights (19-16, 3-3 The American) broke a 0-0 deadlock with a pair of runs in the fifth inning at ECU (18-20, 2-4 The American) on a single up the middle by junior second baseman Courtney Rotton.

UCF was led by senior right fielder Willow Kalinen and freshman left fielder Kyra Klarkowski with two hits each. The Knights had a number of opportunities with eight of the nine hitters in the lineup notching a base hit, but 12 runners were left on the base paths.

"With our defense, I have no doubt that I can throw whatever pitch is needed, because I know that they have my back," White said. "Today, they definitely showed that they were there for me."

The 13th double play of the season was turned by the Knights to end the sixth inning. Freshman third baseman Jazmine Esparza fielded a groundball and threw to junior second baseman Courtney Rotton, who turned and fired to sophomore first baseman Cassady Brewer

Blanking the Pirates

  • The first career shutout was tallied by freshman Alea White (12-10).
  • It was the second complete-game shutout of the season for the Knights. The first was by freshman Kamryn Toney vs. Gardner-Webb (2/24/17).
  • The Land O'Lakes Fla., native finished with four strikeouts, while yielding just three hits.
  • The last freshman to toss a shutout in a conference game was Mackenzie Audas at UAB (4/15/12) back when UCF was a member of C-USA.

"Getting my first-career shutout here feels awesome and I would not have been able to do it without Autumn [Gillespie] behind the plate. We are a really good team and a really good battery. We know how to keep the hitters off-balance."
-Freshman P Alea White

Plating a Pair

  • The Knights rallied in the fifth inning to strike first and take a 2-0 lead
  • A walk drawn by freshman catcher Autumn Gillespie started UCF off.
  • After a sac bunt, junior centerfielder Megan Greenwell singled to third base, putting runners at the corners.
  • With two in scoring position and two outs, junior second baseman Courtney Rotton delivered a single up the middle to put the Knights on top 2-0.
  • Back-to-back singles by senior right fielder Willow Kalinen and freshman third baseman Jazmine Esparza loaded the bases, but UCF was unable to further extend its lead.

"We were getting hits and getting runners on. Courtney came up with a big hit for us, being able to get two of those runners in. They were battling, hitting the ball hard. They were fighting for every inning. We were finding ways to get on and move runners. It is all going to come down to them finding that drive and passion to be consistent as the season progresses."
-Head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie

Next Up
The Knights continue their seven-game road trip on Wednesday at Florida Atlantic. The first pitch from Boca Raton, Fla., is set for 6 p.m.

UCF returns home on April 13 for a nationally televised contest against South Florida at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

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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