Season Preview: Juniors

ORLANDO (UCFKnights.com) – The junior class is an important aspect of UCF Softball with eight players highlighting this group of upperclassmen. With five returners and three newcomers, the Knights have added to an already stacked class.

Perhaps the most versatile group among the Knights featuring two pitchers, three infielders, a catcher, an outfielder, and a utility player in Savannah Julylia, the program is in good hands with this experienced troop.

The Juniors:

Alea White
White is back for her third season at UCF after throwing 266.2 of the Knights’ 368.0 innings. Last season White accumulated 175 strikeouts and seven shutouts as the workhorse for the Knights. After her second season, White is third in the single-season program record of appearances (49), innings pitched (266.2), and games started (38), and is sixth in complete games (28). Last year, White earned Second Team All-Conference and was voted to the NFCA All-Region team. Along with fellow junior Kyra Klarkowski, White was elected a captain for the team and will be a perfect mentor for the pitching staff.

Jazmine Esparza
A 2018 regular starter for the Knights, Esparza returns after appearing in 48 games last year. Esparza was primarily at first base but started six games at third and as the designated player. Esparza contributed three home runs, 25 RBI, and five doubles in her sophomore season and .980 field percentage. Esparza is useful wherever she is placed and gives the coaching staff options at third, first, designated hitter, and behind the plate.

Kyra Klarkowski

Klarkowski was elected a captain early on in the fall and brings a great deal of leadership to the squad. Klarkowski appeared in all but three games last season, all in the outfield. Klarkowski tallied 45 total bases over 30 hits, and 20 runs in 2018. In conference play, Klarkowski hit .281 grabbing 14 runs on 16 hits. Klarkowski will lead the young outfield this season who is projected to be among the best group in the conference.

Tamesha Glover
Glover will hold down the hot corner this year for UCF. In 2018, Glover appeared in 42 games after sitting out 2017 with an injury and is ready to get back to business. Glover started primarily as a designated hitter but has been taking reps at third base in the offseason. Glover had a pair of home runs last season including a grand slam against Santa Clara. The Eustis, Fla., native brings plenty of energy on and off the field, playing a vital part in the team’s new culture.

Aubrey Johnson
The team leader in home runs, Johnson is back in the lineup after an impressive offensive 2018 season. Johnson hit seven homers and posted a .294 batting average with a .464 slugging percentage racking up 71 total bases. Johnson also led the team in RBI with 27 and second on the team in runs scored with 28. Johnson brings plenty of leadership and experience to the veteran infield on the defensive side starting all but two games at second base last season.

Savannah Julylia
A junior college transfer from Indian River State College, Julylia posted a .415 average over two seasons collecting 18 doubles and 68 runs. On the bases, the Lake Worth, Fla., native stole 45 bases, including 26 her freshman season. Her .465 on-base percentage her sophomore season led her team to a 19-1 record in the FCSAA and 44-12 over her two years with the Pioneers. Julylia will be utilized in both the infield and outfield this season as a positive addition to the already stacked outfield arsenal.

Alicia Tomberlin
Another junior college transfer, Tomberlin comes back to her hometown after two successful years at Daytona State College. After hitting .324 as a sophomore and a slugging percentage of .500, Tomberlin brings not only her bat with her, but her stellar defense as well. Tomberlin split her time between third and catcher with the Falcons and will work with senior Cassady Brewer behind the dish for UCF.

Kiana East
East joined the Knights in January adding to the pitching staff with Alea White, Breanna Vasquez, and Ashley Stephenson. East spent one season at Seminole State going 17-3 with two saves and 12 complete games. East finished the season with a 1.94 ERA and averaged over three strikeouts per seven innings. East is the third addition this season to the pitching staff and will work well with White and head coach Cindy Ball and assistant coach Kendra Lynch.

Fans can purchase tickets for the 2019 UCF softball season by calling (407) 823-1000 or online here.

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