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Softball splits Friday action with win over Beavers, loss to No. 8 Tigers

by Ryan Ladika
  • Game 1
  • Game 2
Box Score

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Partaking in the second of three days of competition in the 2024 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at the Big League Dreams Complex, the UCF softball team dropped its third contest to No. 8 Missouri, 5-1, before bouncing back to take the nightcap against the Oregon State Beavers, 7-2.

Right-hander Sarah Willis spun her first complete game of the season in the Knights’ (7-5) 5-1 loss to the Tigers to open play Friday, recording a season-high eight strikeouts in six innings throughout the evening’s action. Her eight punchouts fell one shy of tying her single-game career high of nine she achieved in California last season, during the 2023 Judi Garman Classic in the Knights’ 1-0 win over Fresno State.

Right fielder Chloe Evans provided a spark for the Knights’ offense slugging her third home run of the season and UCF’s first of the tournament in her 2-for-4 display, but the Knights could muster little else against Tigers (13-1) starter Laurin Krings.

Following a lengthy delay that resulted in an approximate 1:45 a.m. ET first pitch against Oregon State (6-7), the Knights found some offensive traction behind RHP/DP Sona Halajian, who did both in UCF’s seventh win of the season.

Halajian, making her second start of the season, collected her first win as a Knight, yielding just two runs in six innings of work with five strikeouts. She also came through at the plate with her second multi-hit game of the season, including her second double and a run scored.

The Knights’ offense as a whole saw a return to form with their sixth game in double figures in the hit column, rattling off 11 hits thanks to two-hit games by Halajian, center fielder Johneisha Rowe, third baseman Sierra Humphreys, and a three-hit evening by Jada Cody in the leadoff spot.

Cody ignited UCF’s offensive exploits with a two-run double in the bottom of the second inning in response to an early run by the Beavers, and Humphreys broke the game open with a bases-clearing, three-run double an inning later that pushed the Knights’ lead to 5-1.

Senior utility player Katie Burge, getting the start at second base, came through with her first triple of the season and the fifth of her career in the bottom of the fourth inning to plate UCF’s seventh score on the heels of a Shannon Doherty run-scoring single in the third.

Southpaw Angelina DeVoe recorded the final three defensive outs for the Knights, recording a strikeout in addition to a pair of outs in the air and on the ground.


The Knights conclude play in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic with a third straight doubleheader Saturday against No. 5 Tennessee and San Diego. First pitch is scheduled for 8 p.m ET and 10:30 p.m. ET respectively, and both games will be streamed on FloSoftball.


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