Tough Loss

GREENVILLE, N.C. ( - No. 3 UCF tallied a 10-5 advantage in the hit column, but host No. 6 East Carolina posted a 4-2 victory on Wednesday afternoon in the quarterfinals of The American Championship in Greenville, N.C. Senior Willow Kalinen and junior Megan Greenwell paced the Knights with two hits each.

With runners on the corners and two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, a shallow blooper to right was caught by a diving outfielder to preserve the Pirates 2-1 lead. ECU took control of the contest in the top of the sixth frame after Meredith Burroughs and Alex Mycek connected on back-to-back solo homers.

The Knights (29-23) continued to battle, notching a leadoff single in the sixth inning, but were unable to cut into the three-run deficit. Junior Megan Greenwell started the seventh frame with her second hit of the day, a single to left field, and came around to score on a two-out double by sophomore Cassady Brewer before the Pirates (26-29) secured the victory.

After ECU struck for a run in the third inning, the Knights responded in the fourth frame by pushing across one run on three hits. Junior Courtney Rotton sent a double down the left field line to start the rally. After a flyout put two away and moved pinch runner Tiffany Lower to third base, freshman Jazmine Esparza beat out an infield single to put UCF on the board, 1-1.

Freshman Alea White finished the campaign with an 18-15 mark after registering her 29th complete game. She tallied two strikeouts, while scattering five hits and three earned runs.

Senior Sendoff

  • The contest served as the final game for seniors Linnea Goodman, Brittany Solis, Willow Kalinen and Manami Calixto.
  • Goodman and Solis were four-year starters in the outfield and at shortstop, respectively, and helped UCF to three-straight NCAA Regional Finals appearances. Both finished their careers inside the Top 10 in a myriad of categories on the program's charts.
  • Kalinen spent three years at UCF after earning All-MWC First Team accolades as a freshman at New Mexico. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native tallied a team-best .370 average this season and earned American Athletic Conference Second Team honors.
  • After attending Miami-Dade State College, Calixto logged two years in the circle at UCF, picking up 14 victories and two saves.

Looking Back on the Campaign

  • Eight players were tabbed to The American All-Conference Teams, tying a program-record and leading the league.
  • The Knights finished third in the league standings with an 11-7 mark and notched a victory in every series except the conference opener vs. Houston. UCF has a 22-1 record in three-game sets since joining The American.
  • UCF ended the regular season by posting a Top-25 series win against No. 24 Tulsa to extend its streak of capturing conference road series to 12.

Get the App
Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite team by downloading the free UCF Knights app right to your iOS or Android phone! The app provides personalized information for men's and women's teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and even breaking news.