Softball Set to Take on Auburn in NCAA Regional

Live Stats Tournament Central Watch Notes

UCF vs Auburn
Thursday, May 21 | 2:00 PM ET
Live Stats | Watch (ESPN2)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – UCF Softball is gearing up for its first NCAA regional tournament since 2016 as the Knights (39-17-1) will open play in the NCAA Tournament with a 2:00 p.m. ET game against Auburn (27-22) on Friday, May 21 at the Seminole Softball Complex in Tallahassee, Florida.

The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN2. If the Knights win, they will move on to play the winner of host school Florida State and Kennesaw State. The regional is double elimination. To view the full, 64-team bracket, click here.
Friday, May 21
UCF vs. Auburn – 2 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Florida State vs. Kennesaw State – 4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Saturday, May 22
Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner – 12:00 p.m. ET (Broadcast TBD)
Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser – 2:30 p.m. ET (Broadcast TBD)
Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner – 5:00 p.m. ET (Broadcast TBD)
Sunday, May 23
Game 5 winner vs. Game 3 winner – 2:00 p.m. ET (Broadcast TBD)
*If game 3 winner loses, a rematch game will be played

Auburn finished out the regular season at 27-22 overall and just 7-17 against SEC competition.

The Tigers were selected to their seventh straight and 16th overall NCAA Regional as the two seed in the Tallahassee Regional. This weekend marks Auburn's third postseason appearance in Tallahassee. Auburn is 33-32 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

According to the latest NCAA RPI, the Tigers have faced the eighth toughest schedule in the nation. Most notably, Auburn has taken down then No. 13 Florida State (March 21, 2-1), then No. 18 Mizzou (March 28, 3-0), then No. 12 Kentucky (April 16, 5-3 and April 17, 4-2) and then No. 16 LSU (May 8, 9-5).

The Knights are 0-2 all-time against Auburn after falling, 2-0, in their last matchup in 2016.

2021 will mark UCF's eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament in its 20-year history. The Knights are 11-14 all-time in the tournament, including going an even 2-2 their last time out in 2016 before falling to then No. 1 Florida. UCF is 0-2 against Florida State and has never faced Auburn nor Kennesaw State in the tournament. The Knights' full history in the NCAA Tournament is as follows:

2005 – Gainesville, Fla.
5/20 South Fla., L, 14-3
5/21 Florida, W, 5-3
5/21 South Fla., L, 5-4

2008 – Gainesville, Fla.
5/16 South Fla., W, 3-2
5/17 Florida, L, 3-0
5/17 Georgia Tech, W, 7-1
5/18 Florida, W, 1-0
5/18 Florida, L, 10-0

2010 – Gainesville, Fla.
5/21 FIU, W, 7-1
5/22 No. 4 Florida, L, 6-0
5/22 FIU, L, 7-0

2012 – Gainesville, Fla.
05/18 South Fla., L, 1-0
05/19 Florida, L, 7-1

2014 – Gainesville, Fla.
5/16 Stetson, L, 6-4
5/17 Florida A&M, W, 2-1
5/17 Stetson, W, 6-4
5/18 No. 6 Florida, L, 7-0

2015 – Tallahassee, Fla.
5/15 South Carolina, W, 4-1
5/16 No. 9 Florida State, L, 2-1
5/16 South Carolina, W, 5-2
5/17 No. 9 Florida State, L, 5-0

2016 – Gainesville, Fla.
5/20 Florida Atlantic, W, 1-0
5/21 No. 1 Florida, L, 5-0
5/21 Florida Atlantic, W, 2-1
5/22 No. 1 Florida, L, 8-0
The postseason accolades continue to pour in for the Knights as Alea WhiteJazmine EsparzaGianna Mancha and Jada Cody have each earned Mideast All-Region honors, the National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced on Thursday. The awards honor softball student-athletes from the NFCA's 10 regions with first, second and third-team selections. NFCA member head coaches from each respective region voted on the teams, and all student-athletes now become eligible for the 2021 NFCA Division I All-America squads. The 2021 NFCA Division I All-America teams will be announced on Wednesday, June 2.

The conference announced its softball postseason awards on May 12 and 10 Knights were recognized for their efforts on the diamond in 2021. Jada CodyJazmine Esparza, Denali Schapapcher and Alea White all took home First Team All-Conference honors, while Shannon DohertyKyra KlarkowskiGianna Mancha and Karissa Ornelas were named to the Second Team. Cody, Juliana Wilson and Kennedy Searcy received All-Rookie Team Laurels. UCF led all teams with eight total players chosen (four players on the first time) to the first and second all-conference teams with Wichita State just behind at seven selections and four first-team recipients.

The Black and Gold have three wins over top-five ranked teams in the country to this point in the season, taking down then No. 5 Florida twice (March 24, 8-6 and April 14, 7-0) and No. 2 Arizona (March 8, 2-0). UCF has played 12 games against a top-25 opponent in 2021, posting a 4-7-1 record in those games.

The Knights finished out the regular season in third place among all AAC competition, posting a 16-7-1 record in league play to finish two games back from first place. No. 24 Wichita State (18-5-1) won the conference title for the first time in program history while RV South Florida finished in second place (16-7). UCF made it all the way to the AAC championship game on May 15, beating out ECU and South Florida to get there, before falling to Wichita State, 7-4 in the final game.
Checking in at No. 33 in the latest NCAA RPI release, the Knights currently lead all AAC teams in doubles (71) and shutouts (15). UCF senior Jazmine Esparza leads the league in doubles herself, accounting for 15, which is good for 23rd in the nation and is just one shy of tying the UCF single-season record. While not the league leaders in home runs, the Knights' 57 team home runs are the most in program history, and their .307 team batting average is on pace to be the highest in program history as well.

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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