Tournament Time

Live Stats Game Notes American Digital Network

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – With its series victory against No. 24 Tulsa to close out the regular season, UCF earned the third seed at The American Championship in Greenville, N.C. Due to the potential of inclement weather throughout the week, the first game for the Knights is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday against host and six-seeded East Carolina.
"We have a lot of confidence heading to the tournament," head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "Being able to take two at Tulsa, knowing that they are the No. 1 team in our conference, is going to give our team a lot of confidence heading to the postseason."
A 5-2 mark has been posted by the Knights over three years at The American Championship, which includes a pair of appearances in the championship game. UCF won the tournament title in 2015 on its home field after capturing its second-straight regular season championship.
The Knights and Pirates met for a three-game set at the end of March at the ECU Softball Complex. The teams split the first two games with ECU posting a 9-0 run-rule win in the opener and UCF bouncing back with a 12-3 five-inning victory to even the series. Freshman Alea White tossed a three-hit shutout in the rubber match that UCF won 3-0 behind a two-RBI single by junior Courtney Rotton.
With the series win at No. 24 Tulsa, UCF continued an impressive streak. The Knights won their 12th-straight road conference series dating back to 2013. A 22-1 series mark has been posted by the Knights since joining The American in 2014 with the lone series defeat coming earlier this year vs. Houston.
With a victory in its quarterfinal matchup, UCF would potentially receive a rematch with second-seeded Houston, which faces UConn on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. The first semifinal is slated for 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
The Knights are led by a quartet of hitters that have posted .300-plus batting averages – seniors Willow Kalinen (.363), Linnea Goodman (.354), sophomore Cassady Brewer (.354) and Rotton (.313). Brewer, the reigning Player of the Week in The American, paces the squad with 34 RBI, five home runs and 24 walks. A team-best 15 doubles have been contributed by Goodman.
UCF was active in the base paths in conference play, going 34-of-37 in stolen base attempts to pace the league. The Knights are ranked 25th nationally in stolen bases per game at 1.78 and are led by senior Megan Greenwell with 29 thefts on the campaign.
In the circle, White, the current Pitcher of the Week in The American, has notched eight of the Knights 11 victories in conference play. The Land O'Lakes, Fla., native also ranks fifth nationally in wins by a freshman with 18. She has tallied 90 strikeouts in 192.2 innings of work and is likely to become the second pitcher in program history behind Mackenzie Audas to toss 200 frames as a rookie.
The Knights have seen balance in their pitching staff over the final two conference series. Freshman Kamryn Toney notched her first league victory at No. 24 Tulsa on Saturday, while senior Manami Calixto tallied a pair of victories against UConn in the final home series of the campaign.
Each semifinal and quarterfinal contest of The American Championship will broadcast on the American Digital Network. The championship game is scheduled to air on ESPN at noon Saturday.
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