UCF Softball Set for 2020

ORLANDO – The Knights' 19th season as a program is officially less than a week away and the team has high hopes for what they believe they can accomplish on the diamond.

As the team looks to capture their third American Athletic Conference championship since the league's inception in the 2013-14 season, there's some interesting story lines surrounding this year's squad, including coach Bear entering year two with the program, Alea White looking to cap off a stellar career, the new faces on the crew and more.

It's an exciting time to be a fan of UCF Softball and here's five reasons this season is going to be unique:

Head Coach Cindy "Bear" Ball-Malone is gearing up for year two with The Black and Gold. In June, 2019, Bear was announced as UCF Softball's second head coach in program history. Last season, she led the Knights to a 34-21, 11-10 record for a fourth-place finish in the conference. Coach Bear hit a career milestone in her third game at UCF picking up her 100th win as a head coach with a win over Ohio State.

Coach Bear came from Boise State where she led the squad to two NCAA Tournament appearances. Creating her own staff, Coach Bear introduced Director of Operations Kyle Sheppard and Volunteer Assistant Coach Robert Malone III in 2020 to join her and assistant coaches Tiffany Jordan and Kendra Lynch to complete the staff.

Knights' standout pitcher Alea White returns for her senior season at UCF after tossing 221.1 of the Knights' 380.0 innings last season. In her three seasons in the black and gold, White has already established herself as one of the best in program history.

Last year, White accumulated 174 strikeouts and five shutouts as the undisputed workhorse for the Knights. After her junior season, White owns top-10 program career records in ERA (2.42), strikeouts per seven innings (4.49), wins (66), saves (7) and appearances (125) just to name a few.

Last season, White earned NFCA First Team All-Region honors, was named to The American Athletic Conference All-Conference First Team and earned conference Player of the Week honors on four separate occasions. Along with fellow senior Kyra Klarkowski, White is a captain for the team and will be a perfect mentor for the pitching staff as she looks to finish off her collegiate career with a bang.

Highlighted by 25 home games, five tournaments and matchups with 12 NCAA Tournament teams, the 2020 season schedule is one of the toughest the Knights will ever face. The 53-game lineup will mark the 19th season for UCF softball and the Knights are set to do battle with five of the preseason top-10 ranked teams.

"We are really looking forward to our competitive 2020 schedule," said UCF Softball Head Coach Cindy Ball-Malone. "This schedule was specifically built to help prepare us for postseason play. Our strength of schedule will be a challenge, but it's a challenge that our team and coaches are excited to take on. We also have the added privilege of playing in most of our seniors' hometowns or regions, which will be a nice chance for them to show off in front of families and friends in their final season. Overall, our home game schedule is loaded with reputable opponents and we always love playing in front of our great fan base at the plex."

The Knights have 12 newcomers to the squad this year, including six true freshmen and six transfers. Among the group are four outfielders, four infielders, three pitchers and a catcher. The Black and Gold will have five returning starters from last season, so the newcomers will play a big role in leading this year's team to victory.
Leading into the season, we detailed each class in depth. If you would like to read those articles, you can do so here:

The American Athletic Conference released its Preseason Coaches' Poll earlier in the month, with the Knights receiving 32 total points, including one first place vote, to sit at fourth place overall in the poll. For the second straight year, USF has been selected as the league favorite.

After five years in conference play, UCF has finished third or better in four seasons.

- Adult: $7
- Youth: $5 (ages 2-17)
- Groups (10+): $5 per – call 407-823-1000 to purchase group tickets
- UCF Students: Free with valid I.D.

SEASON TICKETS (Purchase Here):
- $50 Adults
- $25 Youth (ages 2-17)
UCF vs Washington (02/12) and UCF vs Florida (04/01) Pricing:
- Adult: $10
- Youth (ages 2-17) $7
- Groups (10+): $7 per – call 407-823-1000 to purchase group tickets

Stay tuned to UCF Softball on Facebook (/UCFSoftball), Twitter (@UCF_Softball) and Instagram (@UCF.Softball) for the latest on the UCF softball team.

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