Knights Ride Pitching Gems To Two Wins

ORLANDO – The UCF Softball team rode two great starting pitching performances to two wins on Friday as the Knights took down McNeese State 3-0 and 4-1 in a doubleheader at the UCF Softball Complex.
Both games were pitchers' duels. UCF pitchers Alea White and Gianna Mancha both came with their best stuff on the mound as both of them threw complete games and also carried no-hitters into the sixth. The pair combined for 16 strikeouts and just one run allowed across the two games.

GAME ONE – UCF 3 // McNeese State 0The Knights won game one on the back of a great pitching performance from Alea White. White pitched a complete game shutout, striking out six and only giving up two hits.
White (5-0) took a perfect game through four innings and a no-hitter through 5.2 innings. She finished the day with six strikeouts and no runs on just two hits allowed.
The Knights bats were fairly quiet through the first half of the game, with the only run coming in the third when Jazmine Esparza ripped a double to score Georgia Blair. Blair was outstanding at the plate in game one, going 3-for-4 with one run scored. 
UCF would bring in two more insurance runs in the fifth and sixth innings to go up 3-0 and that score would hold as the Knights would win by that score.
Key Moments

  • Jazmine Esparza doubled to center in the third to drive in Georgia Blair and put the Knights up 1-0.
  • Juliana Wilson grounded out for an RBI in the fifth to extend the Knights' lead to 2-0.
  • Jada Cody hit a clutch RBI single to right in the sixth to add an insurance run for UCF and make it a 3-0 ballgame.

GAME TWO – UCF 4 // McNeese State 1Much like game one, pitching ruled the day. UCF plated one run in the first and that would be the last run scored until the sixth inning when McNeese State tied the game at one.
Starting pitcher Gianna Mancha was amazing on the mound, pitching a complete game, giving up one earned on two hits, and striking out 10 Cowgirls. She, like White in the first game, had a no-hitter going through 5.2 innings. Her 10 strikeouts are the second most in Mancha's career. 
UCF's bats came alive in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Knights ripped five hits where they scored three runs to take a 4-1 lead.
That would be all Mancha needed as she came into the seventh and tossed a one-two-three inning to seal the doubleheader sweep for the Knights. 
Key Moments

  • The Knights manufactured a run to get Kennedy Searcy across the plate in the first and take a 1-0 lead.
  • The Cowgirls broke up the no-hitter in the sixth and scored on a RBI single to left to tie the game at one.
  • In the bottom of the sixth, Shannon Doherty singled to right to drive in Jada Cody, who reached on a double, to give the Knights back the one-run lead.
  • Two batters later, Denali Schappacher hit an infield single to bring home another run and extend the UCF lead to 3-1.
  • With two outs in the same inning, Justene Molina ripped a hard line drive to left to bring in yet another UCF insurance run, making it a 4-1 game.


  • Both UCF starting pitchers had no-hitters headed into the sixth innings of their respective games
  • The start in game one marked White's 114th of her career, passing Shelby Turnier for second all-time at UCF. Mackenzie Audas holds the record with 125 career starts in the circle.
  • The shutout marked White's second of the season and 20th of her career which is now tied for fourth all-time with Dottie Cupp.
  • Mancha's 10 strikeouts are the second highest in her UCF career (11 on 2/22/20 vs FIU)
  • With the wins, UCF is now 8-2 on the season
  • UCF's only two losses have come by one run.

The Knights will be back at the UCF Softball Complex on Saturday for another game against McNeese State. First pitch is set for 1:00 pm.
Stay tuned to UCF Softball on Facebook (/UCFSoftball), Twitter (@UCF_Softball) and Instagram (@UCF.Softball) for the latest on the UCF softball team.
Never miss any UCF Knights news from your favorite team by downloading the free UCF Knights app right to your iOS or Android phone! The app provides personalized information for men's and women's teams, scores, schedules, loyalty programs and even breaking news. Download the app here.