Softball Sweeps FAU, Moves to 17-3

ORLANDO – The UCF Softball team rode two great starting pitching performances to two wins on Sunday as the Knights took down FAU 5-0 and 4-0 Sunday afternoon in Boca Raton, Fla.
"That's the first series we've played solid all the way through from game one to game three since beating New Mexico State," said head coach Cindy Ball-Malone. "I loved our approach, hitting performances and the dominant pitching in the circle. All around, it was solid ball."
Both games were highlighted by outstanding UCF pitching performances. Alea White got the call in game one and Gianna Mancha started game two. The pair combined for 18 strikeouts and no runs allowed to lead the Knights to victory.
"They certainly took pressure off the defense with the amount of strikeouts they had today," said Ball-Malone. "We haven't given up an earned run all week, so it just allows us to play very comfortably and confidently."


Alea White was a true ace in game one, tossing a complete game shutout to lead UCF to the 5-0 victory.
White carried a no-hitter one out into the sixth inning before an Owls' single to right field broke it up. She allowed just two hits total to FAU, allowing no earned runs while striking out a season-high nine batters to move to 9-0 on the season.
The Knights' offense was a consistent thorn in the side of the Owls the entire game. All but one UCF starter recorded a base knock and, in total, the Knights combined for five runs on 13 hits.
Three of the Knights' five runs came on clutch base hits with two outs. Georgia Blair also hit her eighth home run of the season in the seventh inning to put UCF up 5-0, moving her to ninth all-time with 14 career home runs at UCF. She has played just 46 games in the black and gold.
Key Moments

  • With two outs in the third, Jada Cody singled and reached second on an error. She was driven by Jazmine Esparza, who ripped a double to right-center field to put UCF up 1-0.
  • Two batters later, Denali Schappacher singled to drive in another Knights runner, extending their lead to 2-0.
  • With two away in the fourth, Kennedy Searcy singled to right to drive in Katie Burge, who reached on a walk earlier in the inning.
  • Alea White was carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning but an Owls single with one away broke up the no-hit bid. White escaped the inning with no damage done to keep it a 3-0 UCF lead.
  • Georgia Blair hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to give the Knights some insurance runs, extending their lead to 5-0.


Much like game one, the Knights were led by a dominant performance in the circle as Gianna Mancha got the call and threw six shutout innings, striking out nine to guide the Knights to the 4-0 win.
Mancha allowed just three hits in the contest. The win moves her to 7-1 on the year. She has not allowed a run in her last 26 innings pitched and her season ERA is now down to 0.85.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Knights got on the board in the third inning and held onto the one run lead until Shannon Doherty hit a three-run blast to put the Knights up 4-0 in the fifth inning.
In total, UCF finished game two with four runs on 10 hits. The win moved the Knights to 17-3 on the year.
Key Moments

  • With runners on second and third in the top of the second, Karissa Ornleas hit a sacrifice-fly to drive in a run and put the Knights up 1-0.
  • The first two Knights to come to the plate in the fifth inning reached base and were driven in on a Shannon Doherty home run, moving the Knights' lead to 4-0.


  • The Knights posted 13 hits in game one
  • With the win in game one, Alea White moved to 9-0 on the year
  • White carried a no hitter one out into the sixth inning before an Owls's single to right broke it up
  • Georgia Blair's home run in the seventh inning of game one was No. 8 for her on the year.
  • Blair's home run moved her to ninth all-time with 14 career home runs at UCF. She has played just 46 games in the black and gold.
  • Mancha's win in game two moved her to 6-1 on the season.
  • Mancha has not allowed a run in her last 26 innings pitched, dating back to the first inning of a game against Kennesaw State on March 6.
  • Shannon Doherty's home run in the fifth inning of game two was her third of the season.
  • UCF's 17-3 start to the season ties the 2002 and 2020 teams as the best 20-game start to the season in program history.
  • With seven innings pitched, Alea White moved to first place all-time at UCF in career innings pitched, passing Mackenzie Audas (2012-15).

The Knights will head to Jacksonville, Fla. on Wednesday, March 17 for a midweek doubleheader against UNF at 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
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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