No. 22 Softball Set for Clash With No. 5 Gators

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#22 UCF vs #5 Florida
Wednesday, March 24 | 6:00 p.m.
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ORLANDO – The No. 22 UCF softball team is set for one of its biggest regular season games of the year as the Knights will welcome No. 5 Florida to the UCF Softball Complex for a 6:00 p.m. battle Wednesday night.
The game will mark the first of two between the Gators and Knights as UCF will head to Gainesville for game two on April 14 at 6:00 p.m. This Wednesday night's game will be live streamed on ESPN+ and live stats will also be available.

Capacity for The UCF Softball Complex this season is roughly twenty-five percent of full capacity.
A very limited number of single-game tickets will be made available 24-48 hours prior to each home game. Single game ticket inventory will come from unclaimed visiting team and player guest ticket allotments and will vary by game.
Fans interested in purchasing tickets are encouraged to check their UCF Account Manager page HERE leading up to each home game for ticket availability.
All tickets will be $10 general admission seats. There will be NO walk-up tickets available day of game as it is online purchase only.
Fans will be required to wear face coverings at all times, except while actively eating or drinking. Other safety measures in place for the 2021 season include:

  • Hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout the concourse
  • Bathrooms and other common touch points will be cleaned and sanitized regularly
  • COVID-19 signage encouraging best practices will be located throughout the facility
  • Certain seating will be blocked off to encourage physical distancing

For the latest information on ticketing for 2021 UCF Softball home events, contact the ticket office at (407) 823-1000, or follow us on social at UCF Softball on Facebook (/UCFSoftball), Twitter (@UCF_Softball) and Instagram (@UCF.Softball).

Florida is off to a roaring 21-2 start to the season with their only two losses coming to then No. 16 Florida State, 7-2 and then No. 9 Kentucky, 4-2. The Gators were off to a 14-game win streak before falling to the Seminoles.

Since their inaugural year in 1997, the Gators have been to 10 Women's College World Series, winning two national titles along the way (2014, 2015).

Florida is led offensively by Hannah Adams and Charla Echols, batting .425 and .418, respectively. The pair combine for nine home runs to this point in the season.

In the circle, Elizabeth Hightower leads the team with 69.1 innings pitched, or nearly 45 percent of her team's innings. She owns a 0.71 ERA and has allowed just a .133 batting average against.

The Knights last beat the Gators on April 4, 2018 at home. Alea White turned in a one-hit, shutout performance and catcher Cassady Brewer led the way offensively for the Knights, going 3-for-3 and driving in the lone run of the game.

The Knights are 4-21 against the Gators all-time, with their last win coming in that 2018 aforementioned season.
The Knights' matchup with No. 5 Florida on Wednesday will mark their sixth against a top-25 opponent in 2021 as UCF has already done battle with then No. 20 Mizzou (L, 6-5), No. 2 Arizona (W, 2-0) and No. 24 South Carolina (L, 9-1, L, 4-2, W, 10-4). UCF's matchup with the Gators will mark just the second time in program history that the two sides have squared off while ranked in the top 25. The first time was on Feb. 25, 2015 when then No. 15 UCF lost to then No.1 Florida, 2-1, in Gainesville.

Following a week that saw the Knights go 2-3, including a win over then No. 24 South Carolina, the Knights holding relatively steady in several national polls. The USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Coaches' Poll was released on Tuesday and the Knights checked in at No. 22. The Knights, who were predicted to finish first in the American Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll in early January, are the sole AAC team to make an appearance in the top 25. The Knights were also ranked No. 17 in the JWOS Top 25 Poll, No. 22 in the D1 Softball poll and No. 24 in the USA Softball/ESPN rankings.

The Knights are leading the American Athletic Conference in stolen bases, and it's not even close. UCF is 42-for-51 (.820) in stolen base attempts, with the second closest AAC team Memphis, at 27-for-31 (.870). While we're at it, UCF also leads The American in batting average (.351) and runs scored (162) just to name a few.

UCF senior Gianna Mancha was named the Wilson/NFCA National Pitcher of the Week on March 16 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, including over then No. 2 Arizona. Mancha tossed 20 scoreless innings and allowed just seven hits and no runs while striking out 30. On March 15, Mancha was named the American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week for the second week in a row. Heading into Wednesday's game against No. 5 Florida, Mancha is 8-3, owns a team-low 1.66 season ERA and has 76 strikeouts in 63.1 innings pitched. The Wilson/NFCA National Pitcher of the Week award marked 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.

UCF Softball has a new all-time wins leader in Alea White. White secured career win No. 81 in the series finale over New Mexico State, passing Shelby Turnier as the winningest pitcher in program history. On the mound, White was lights out in her record-setting performance. She was perfect through four and threw a complete game, allowing no earned runs on just four hits while striking out eight. 

Questions about protocols for the 2021 season? Check out the A-Z guide HERE for answers.

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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