UCF Drops Two to No. 25 Wichita State

ORLANDO – The No. 23 UCF softball team couldn't put it together Saturday at the UCF Softball Complex, dropping both games of a doubleheader to No. 25 Wichita State to move to 30-12, 9-6 on the season.

The Knights were held scoreless in game one, falling 3-0 before posting just two runs in a 5-2 game two defeat.

"[Wichita State] has some good pitchers, but at the same time, we have faced a lot of good pitchers this year and have hit them, so we are not performing to our potential right now, and that happens. We're at the time of the year where there are defining moments, but we have to control what we can control and do what we do well," said head coach Cindy Ball-Malone.

"We have to remember what we are playing for, and if this is what it takes to get to that, to build and grow and get tougher, then so be it."

The Knights will wrap up the series with No. 25 Wichita State on Sunday with an 11:00 a.m. scheduled game time.

Following a nearly two-hour rain delay, game one kicked off at 3:47 p.m. The late start seemed to affect the UCF bats as Wichita State held the Knights to no runs on just two hits to lose 3-0.
In the circle, Wichita State starting pitcher Caitlin Bingham tossed the complete game shutout to move to 8-1 on the season.

For the Knights, Alea White looked good in the circle, but after allowing a run in the second and a two-run shot in the fifth to fall behind 3-0, she could not get the necessary run support to overcome the Shockers, falling to 15-4 despite striking out seven batters in the complete game effort.

"I want to play [Wichita State] again in May. That would mean we are both in the championship game, and I want to be there," said Ball-Malone. "We just have to learn and adapt, and we're asking some younger players to do that."

"Offensively, this wasn't us, and I want us to get back to what we are tomorrow."

Key Moments

  • With a runner on third and two away in the second, Shockers' eight-hole hitter Kaylee Huecker singled down the left field line to drive in a run and put Wichita State on the board, 1-0.
  •  With one away in the top of the fifth, Wichita State's Addison Barnard hit a two-run shohome run to extend their lead to 3-0.


Once again, the UCF offense was stymied in game two, posting just one hit through the first six innings and scoring just two runs to fall to the Shockers, 5-2.

A day after holding UCF to one hit in a complete game shutout, Wichita State starting pitcher Bailey Lange was masterful once again Saturday night, turning in another complete game effort, allowing just three hits and two earned runs to move to a conference-best 16-2 on the season.

For UCF, Breanna Vasquez got the call to start. Earlier in the week, Vasquez tossed a complete-game shutout against No. 5 Florida, but she couldn't reclaim that spark this time around, lasting just 0.1 innings and allowing four runs (three earned) before being pulled for Grace Jewell.

Jewell was a spark out of the bullpen in relief for the Knights, holding No. 25 Wichita State to just one hit and one run through 5.2 innings. She was relieved by Angelina DeVoe in the ninth, who tossed a shutout inning, allowing one hit.

Despite being down 5-1 in the seventh, UCF would not give up. The Knights loaded the bases and scored a run before the third out was recorded and Wichita State secured the 5-2 win.

"I think our pitchers are throwing well enough to win. Grace and [Angelina] came in and threw some nice scoreless innings for us tonight," said Ball-Malone.

"I just want to come out tomorrow and play the way we play. Win innings, win pitches, and define our win."
After dropping both games on Saturday, UCF moved to 30-12, 9-6 on the season.

Key Moments

  • Back-to-back singles to lead off the game gave Wichita State the 1-0 lead early.
  • A bases-clearing single later in the first inning put the Shockers up 4-0.
  • The Knights battled back with a run in the fourth after loading the bases and scoring a run on an RBI groundout, cutting Wichita State's lead to 4-1.
  • The Shockers got the run back in the sixth courtesy of a sacrifice-fly, making it a 5-1 Wichita State lead.
  • The Knights loaded the bases and scored a run on an RBI groundout in the seventh, making it a 5-2 game.


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