Seminoles up next for UCF in NCAA Regional

Live Stats Tournament Central Notes

UCF vs Florida State
Saturday, May 22 | 12:00 PM ET
Live Stats | Watch (TBA)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After securing the victory over Auburn to open up play in the NCAA Regional on Friday, the Knights (40-17-1) are set to do battle with host school Florida State (40-10-1) at 12:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 22 at the Seminole Softball Complex in Tallahassee, Florida.

If the Knights beat the Seminoles, they will move on to the regional championship game, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday. If the Knights lose to the Seminoles, they will play the winner of Auburn/Kennesaw State at 5:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. To view the full, 64-team bracket, click here.

All games this weekend will be broadcasted on the ESPN family of networks, although it is to be determined what channel the games on Saturday will air on. For the latest updates, stay tuned to the UCF Softball social media channels.
Friday, May 21
UCF 5, Auburn 4
Florida State 6, Kennesaw State 2
Saturday, May 22
UCF vs. Florida State – 12:00 p.m. ET (Broadcast TBD)
Auburn vs. Kennesaw State – 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

Like UCF, Florida State opened up play in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional with a victory on Friday, taking down No. 4 seed Kennesaw State, 6-2. As the hosts of the regional and the No. 1 seed, the Seminoles have home field advantage. Florida State has posted a 20-3 record at home games this season.

Florida State entered the week ranked No. 9 in the latest USA Softball Top 25 Poll and No. 8 according to the NFCA poll. The Noles have been ranked in 123 consecutive polls by USA Softball. 

The Knights are 5-20 all-time against Florida State. In 2015, the Knights lost twice to the Seminoles in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional. The last time Florida State and UCF met was in 2020 when the Seminoles won 8-3 at the UCF Softball Complex.

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

2021 – Tallahassee, Fla.
05/21 Auburn, W, 5-4
05/22 Florida State, TBD
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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