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Softball Earns Historic 21-9 Win Over Wisconsin following 2-1 Loss to UNC

by Ryan Ladika
  • Game 1
  • Game 2
Box Score

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Clearwater Invitational has provided a handful of memorable moments for the UCF softball team throughout its past two seasons of participation, though perhaps none more memorable than Friday’s first day of action.

On the heels of a narrow tournament-opening 2-1 defeat to the North Carolina Tar Heels, the Knights exploded for a 21-9 six-inning rout of the Wisconsin Badgers in the nightcap, a win that harkened back to the program’s initial years of existence.

UCF cranked out 21 runs on 25 hits, marking the third game in program history that saw the Knights eclipse 20 runs, and the first since a two-game set against Morris Brown Feb. 1-2, 2003 when the Black and Gold recorded back-to-back contests with 21 and 24 runs.

UCF’s 25 hits shattered the program’s previous record of 22, in the second game against Morris Brown Feb. 2, and the team’s 21 total RBI fell one shy of tying the program’s record of 22, also set Feb. 2, 2003.

The Knights scored multiple times in all six innings, including two runs in both of the first and second innings, three runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth frames, followed by an emphatic eight-run sixth inning.

Veteran infielders Shannon Doherty and Jada Cody both made home run history during the contest as well, with the former becoming the fourth player in program history to eclipse 30 career home runs, and the latter claiming sole possession of second place on the UCF all-time home runs list with the 34th of her career.

Chloe and Aubrey Evans both got in on the home run act as well, chipping in their second and first long balls of the season, respectively, in the Knights’ first four-home run game since the team clubbed five in an 11-8 loss to Missouri Feb. 15, 2023.

The tandem of Doherty and Cody both recorded four-hit games, joined by center fielder Johneisha Rowe’s 4-for-5 showing, marking a single-game career-high for Rowe. Samantha Rey (3), Chloe Evans (3), Aubrey Evans (2), Savannah Adams (2) and Ashleigh Griffin each notched multi-hit games in the winning effort as well.

For Doherty, her prolific offensive evening represented her second career four-hit game and her first five-RBI contest since she drove in a career-high six against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane April 16, 2023. Chloe Evans also tied her career high with four RBI.

In the circle, right-hander Kaitlyn Felton earned the win in relief with four innings of three-run ball and four strikeouts, marking her third straight winning decision to begin the 2024 campaign.

The offensive explosion occurred just hours after UCF’s offense was held to one tally in the team’s tournament opener against the Tar Heels, a contest that featured a strong start in the circle by right-hander Sarah Willis.

The Ontario, California, native yielded only two runs and struck out five opposing batters in five innings before senior southpaw Angelina DeVoe handled the sixth in relief, and following the Knights’ rout of Wisconsin, Willis boasts a team-best 1.50 ERA in 14 innings, just one out shy of matching Felton for the most on the team through eight games.


The Knights continue play in the Shriners Children’s Clearwater Invitational with a Saturday afternoon clash with the No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be streamed on ESPN+.


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