Mancha Named NFCA National Pitcher of the Week

ORLANDO – UCF senior Gianna Mancha has been named the Wilson/NFCA National Pitcher of the Week after posting one of the best weeks in program history.

Mancha was called on to start three times over the week, guiding the Knights to three victories after tossing 20 scoreless innings and allowing just seven hits and no runs while striking out 30. On Monday, Mancha was named the American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week for the second week in a row.

On March 8, Mancha got the call to start in the circle against then No. 2 Arizona. She tossed a complete game shutout, allowing just three hits to the typically potent Wildcats lineup and shutting them out for the first time in 646 days (June 1, 2019 vs then No. 5 Alabama in the Women's College World Series). She allowed just five baserunners in seven innings and her nine strikeouts were the most against an Arizona offense that had been averaging nine runs per game this season. Her effort in the circle guided the Knights to the 2-0 win over the Wildcats.

"We are super excited for Gigi and Team XX for last week's success," said head coach Cindy Ball-Malone. "Gianna threw three dominant performances and the team followed her action on the field. I am happy with the progress of the team and our entire pitching staff thus far."

Mancha received the starting nod again on Friday against FAU on the road. She held a no-hitter into the fourth inning and allowed just two hits in the complete game shutout. Mancha finished the night with a career-high 12 strikeouts to lead UCF to the 3-0 win.

Mancha was called on to make her third start of the week Sunday afternoon in the final game of the series with the Owls. She would go on to toss six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out nine to guide the Knights to the 4-0 victory.

After Monday, Mancha is 7-1, owns a team-low 0.85 season ERA and has 63 strikeouts in 49.2 innings pitched. Over her last 26 innings pitched since March 6, Mancha has not allowed an earned run.

The Wilson/NFCA National Pitcher of the Week award marks the fourth in program history as Shelby Turnier won the award three times (Feb. 17, 2015, March 31, 2015 and April 7, 2015). Stephanie Best was also named the NFCA Player of the Week on March 19, 2003.

"Gianna's work ethic, leadership and talent have all come together," said Ball-Malone. "We are all very proud of her, but I know she's got her eyes set on goals beyond this great accomplishment. We're excited to see how she and Alea White will continue to lead Team XX through season."

The No. 20 ranked 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.
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.