Knights Take Two, Move to 8-2

Box Score (Villanova) Box Score (Iowa State) Watch: Coach Bear

ORLANDO – The Knights played two games on Saturday at the UCF Softball Complex in Orlando, Fla., winning both to move to 8-2 on the season. With a 7-3 win over Villanova and a 9-1 victory over Iowa State, UCF's start to the 2020 campaign is now tied for the second best in program history (2002 and 2014, Best was 2015 with a 9-1 record).

"I like that we are making mistakes this young in the season and still being able to come out with the win," said UCF Softball Head Coach Cindy-Ball Malone. "We're able to make adjustments from at-bat to at-bat… Iowa State is a good team… so to be able to come out and swing like we did, I am really impressed with the team's performance and approach."


UCF 7 // Villanova 3The Knights wasted no time scoring in the first contest of the day as they posted a five-run bottom of the first to jump out to an early lead.

That would be more than enough for starting pitcher Gianna Mancha, who seamlessly continued her dominance after last night's outing, tossing 6.1 innings, striking out seven and allowing just two earned runs against Villanova to earn the win.

UCF would continue to tack onto their lead, scoring seven total runs in the game while holding the Wildcats to just three to come away with the victory.


  • Jada Cody started off the scoring for the Knights in the first with a double to left-center, driving in Kasey Fava to put UCF up, 1-0.
  • UCF's second run came courtesy of a single by Shannon Doeherty, sending in Cody.
  • Kyra Klarkowkski took advantage of having the bases loaded, singling in another RBI with a base hit to right.
  • A fielder's choice allowed Justene Molina to advance to reach while simultaneously bringing home Denali Schappacher for the fourth Knights run of the game.
  • The fifth and final run of the first inning included a single by Jazmine Esparza, which added another RBI to the board as Klaskowski reached home to conclude the five-score surge.
  • A Georgia Blair solo shot in the fourth extended the UCF lead to 6-0.
  • A solo home run got Villanova on the board to make it a 6-1 game in the top of the fifth.
  • Esparza drove in the seventh Knights' run of the game with an RBI groundout to short, driving in Montana Szara.
  • Villanova cut into the deficit in the sixth with a two-RBI double to make it a 7-3 game, but it would not be enough as UCF would go on to win by that score.


UCF 9 // Iowa State 1The UCF offense stayed hot for game two as they scored in four out of seven innings, posting a crooked number in three of them.

Breanna Vasquez got the start in the circle. The sophomore right hander turned in a solid performance, tossing four innings, striking out four and not allowing a run. She was relieved by Alea White, who threw two innings, allowing no runs and just one base hit.

Juliana Wilson and Georgia Blair both displayed their raw power in the contest as they each hit one out to help the UCF cause.

All-in-all, the Knights scored nine runs on 12 hits and three walks in the victory.

  • Karissa Ornelas hit a sacrifice-fly to right, scoring Shannon Doherty for UCF's first rum in the bottom of the second inning.
  • A perfectly placed bunt-single from Kyra Klarkowski allowed Denali Schappacher to advance for another run, putting the Knights up, 2-0 early.
  • Georgia Blair hit a no-doubt home run, her second home run of the evening, to increase the lead for the Knights to 3-0 in the third inning.
  • Juliana Wilson capped off the third with a double, driving in both Ornelas and Schappacher for two and moving the Knights lead to 5-0.
  • Iowa State's lone run of the ballgame came via a UCF fielding error in the fifth.
  • Ornelas hit her second sac-fly of the night in the fifth, scoring Aubrey Johnson to make it a 6-1 Knights lead.
  • Juliana Wilson hit a two-run bomb to cap off the sixth, putting UCF up, 8-1
  • The Knights walked it off in the seventh as Kaitlyn Jensen scored on a wild pitch to give UCF the 9-1 run rule victory.


  • UCF posted a season-high five runs in the first inning of the Villanova game.
  • Following the win in game two that moved UCF to 8-2 on the season, UCF tied their second best start in program history (2002, 2014, Best was 2015 at 9-1).
  • Alea White picked up her fourth win of the season while Gianna Mancha picked up her second.

The Knights will wrap up the Knights Classic Sunday with a 1:30 pm duel against FAU.

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