Split Decision

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - UCF softball had a rough start to the weekend, falling to Northern Iowa, 11-0, but they rebounded in the final game of night, defeating LIU Brooklyn 13-7. The split decision moves the Knights to 4-3 on the season.

From the start, it was a struggle for the Knights as the Panthers came out firing on all cylinders and jumped on Alea White right away.

UNI plated a pair in the second and third innings before tallying seven in the fifth inning to enforce the mercy rule on UCF.

It looked as if the first game would linger on into the second as the Knights allowed seven runs in the second inning, but UCF's offense woke up and the defense locked it down the remainder of the game.

The Knights responded immediately in the top of the third with five of their own. Cassady Brewer led off the inning with a single up the middle, which was followed by a double from freshman Kaitlyn Jensen. The ensuing players kept the pressure on with Jazmine Esparza and Denali Schappacher knocking in a pair each.

The score remained 7-5 in favor of the Blackbirds until Schappacher drove in her third RBI of the game in the fifth.

UCF eventually took the lead in the sixth on a two-out single by Kyra Klarkowski, which scored both Courtney Rotton and Kendyl Lange. Klarkowski would score on the ensuing at bat with Esparza doubling to right center. Aubrey Johnson capped off the scoring in the sixth with a two-run home run to left field, making it 11-7.

The Knights tallied two more insurance runs in the seventh to earn their fourth victory of the season, 13-7.

UCF has its home opener Saturday afternoon against Texas Tech at 3 p.m. The Knights then take on Florida A&M in the nightcap at 5:30 p.m.