Knights Walk Off South Florida Twice in Doubleheader Sweep

ORLANDO – It was a day packed with walk-off wins on Saturday at the UCF Softball Complex as the Knights did it twice to beat South Florida in both games of a doubleheader and spoil the Bulls' chances of winning a regular season conference title.

South Florida came into the series needing to win three of four games to secure an AAC conference title as conference leaders Wichita State own a 18-5-1 record in league play and are not playing conference games in this final weekend of the regular season.

With the two losses today, the Bulls moved to 16-6 in conference action and Wichita State secured their first AAC conference title in program history.

With the two wins, UCF moves to 36-16-1, 15-7-1 on the season. A win on Sunday secures third place in the conference.

"I think the fans got to a little piece of us today, but I still think we have more to prove. We haven't shown our complete game yet," said head coach Cindy Ball-Malone.

The Knights and Bulls will play the final game of the series Sunday at 12:00 p.m.

GAME ONE – UCF 4 // South Fla. 3

The Knights took game one in true walk-off fashion, coming from behind 3-2 in the seventh inning to score two straight and claim the 4-3 victory.

Facing Georgina Corrick, who was coming off a complete game shutout against the Knights in game one, in the circle, the Black and Gold had their work cut out for them at the plate, but coach Ball-Malone was able to implement some clever "small ball" strategy to manufacture two early runs for the Knights.

Unfortunately, UCF starting pitcher Gianna Mancha would not hold the lead, surrendering a solo home to lead off the fourth and allowing the Bulls to tie it in the fifth. South Florida would take a 3-2 lead later in the fifth inning and the Knights found themselves down a run heading into the seventh.

An Allyse Volpe double to lead off the seventh would provide a spark to the Knights' lineup, and after Volpe came around to score on a wild pitch to tie the game at three, a Jada Cody sacrifice bunt caught the Bulls off guard, driving in a fourth UCF run and securing the 4-3 walk-off victory.

With the win, Mancha moves to 13-5 on the season. She finished the day allowing three earned runs on five hits in the complete game effort.

Key Moments

  • The Knights loaded the bases in the top of the first and Shannon Doherty laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score a run and put UCF up 1-0.
  • Doherty came through with another RBI in the bottom of the third, driving in a run on a sacrifice-fly to extend the Knights' lead to 2-0.
  • The Bulls answered back with a leadoff home run in the top of the fourth to cut their deficit to 2-1.
  • With two away in the fifth, the Bulls rallied with three singles in a row to tie the game at two apiece.
  • A wild pitch later in the inning would allow another South Florida run to cross the plate, giving them the 3-2 lead.
  • The Knights tied it up in the bottom of the seventh after a South Florida wild pitch allowed a run to score.
  • With a runner on third and one away in the bottom of the seventh, Jada Cody squared around to bunt in the winning Knights run and walk it off for the 4-3 UCF win.


GAME TWO – UCF 9 // South Fla. 1

The bats came alive for game two Saturday afternoon as the Knights rallied for nine runs, six of which came in the fifth inning, to secure the 9-1 run rule walk-off over the Bulls.

Alea White was in true ace form in the circle for UCF. In what could end up being her final start ever at the UCF Softball Complex, White left her mark with a one hit, one run complete game to move her to 18-6 on the year.

The deciding blow in the ballgame came in the fifth inning. With the Knights already up 3-1, UCF senior Takiya London stepped up to the plate and crushed a 1-1 pitch to straight away center field for her first long ball of the season and just her third in a Knights' uniform.

The blast put the Knights up 6-1 and three more runs in the fifth inning would seal the deal, giving UCF the walk-off victory by run rule and spoiling South Florida's chances at a regular season conference title.

Key Moments

  • The Bulls struck first in the top of the third as they were trying to advance a runner on a sacrifice bunt, but a UCF error would allow a run to cross the plate, giving South Florida the 1-0 lead.
  • Jazmine Esparza drove in a pair on an RBI single in the third to give UCF the 2-1 lead.
  • Allyse Volpe padded the Knights' lead with an RBI single back up the middle in the fourth, extending UCF's lead to 3-1.
  • With two runners on in the fifth, Takiya London hit a three-run blast to left-center field to extend the Knights' lead to 6-1.
  • Volpe singled again in the fifth to move UCF's lead to 7-1.
  • Juliana Wilson followed with an RBI single to right to give the Knights the 8-1 advantage.
  • Volpe would come around to score on a wild pitch later in the fifth inning to give the Knights the 9-1 walk-off win.



  • The win in game one marked UCF's first over South Florida since April 15, 2018.
  • The Knights' 36 wins are their most in a season since 2016.
  • Denali Schappacher game-winning run in seventh inning of game one was the 100th of her career, making her the ninth UCF Softball player ever to reach 100 runs scored in a career. Schappacher is just two behind Abby McClain with 102 runs.
  • The Knights' win in game two spoiled any potential of a regular season conference title for South Florida. With their two losses today, Wichita State secures the AAC regular season title at 18-5-1 in league play.
  • With her 15th double of the season in game one, Jazmine Esparza is one shy of tying the UCF single-season record for doubles (16).
  • UCF's nine runs scored in game two were the most they have scored since April 23 (10 vs Memphis).

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