Evening the Series

TAMPA, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) - The Knights evened the War On I-4 series Saturday night with a 5-1 win over the USF Bulls as UCF put together eight hits and was perfect in the field to collect the win.

Cassady Brewer and Erin Emanuel each registered two hits for UCF, while Brooke Barlow recorded a hit and two RBI in the win.

Cierra Word picked up the win in the circle moving to 4-1 on the season allowing just four hits and no earned runs, while Alea White came in to earn the save.

The Knights got it going in the second inning with Kyra Klarkowski leading off the inning with a walk and advanced to second with a sacrifice bunt from Hayley Bejarano. Emanuel singled up the middle scoring Klarkowski and Megan Greenwell immediately followed with a double to left field to plate Emanuel and go up 2-0 on the Bulls.

UCF added two more runs in the third ignited by a single from Brewer. Aubrey Johnson followed by reaching on a USF miscue and moved Brewer to second. Klarkowski advanced the runners to bring up Brooke Barlow who ripped a shot to right field bringing in Brewer and Johnson to make it a 4-0 ball game.

The Knights picked up another insurance run in the top of the seventh when Denali Schappacher doubled center and scored after Brewer delivered a single up the middle to extend the UCF lead to 5-0.

Drama arouse in the bottom of the seventh when the Bulls loaded the bases with two outs and Lindsey Devitt singled up the middle plating one run for the Bulls. USF sent another runner home, but the arm of Klarkowski delivered a perfect throw at home to get the runner and end the threat and the game.

Behind the plate, Brewer recorded a caught stealing and a pickoff at second base, while the UCF defense turned a double play early in the second inning to garner momentum for the defense.

Offensively, Brewer's on-base streak extends to 18 games as she went 2-for-3 with a walk in the win.

The final meeting in the War On I-4 series is slated for a 2 p.m. first pitch. A live stream and live stats are available via the UCF softball schedule page.

UCF's and USF's fan bases have long engaged in a passionate rivalry between the universities divided by 100 miles and the I-4 corridor between Tampa and Orlando. The Green and Gold and the Black and Gold will now compete for year-long bragging rights in one of the freshest and most energized rivalries in college athletics.

UCF clinched its second straight War On I-4 series this month when the UCF women's golf team finished above USF at the American Athletic Conference Championship. Heading into this weekend, UCF leads USF 44-31 with 9 points up for grabs the rest of the year.

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