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Softball splits final Mary Nutter day with win over San Diego, loss to No. 5 Tennessee

by Ryan Ladika
  • Game 1
  • Game 2
Box Score

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – The UCF softball team concluded its west coast swing on a high note, topping the San Diego Torreros by a 4-3 final score after falling in its Saturday opener to the No. 5 Tennessee Lady Vols by a 3-0 decision at the Big League Dreams Complex.

The Knights’ (8-6) narrow defeat to open play Saturday marked their sixth of the season and fourth to a ranked opponent, also representing the first time this spring UCF was held scoreless.

Kaitlyn Felton was tabbed for the start by head coach Cindy Ball-Malone, and the junior right-hander yielded only two runs across 2.1 innings of work with a strikeout before UCF called upon fellow right-hander Sarah Willis in relief.

Felton also induced a highlight-reel catch by first baseman Shannon Doherty that turned into an unassisted double play from the latter that aided the Knights in keeping Tennessee off the scoreboard in the first inning.

Willis entered the game in the third inning, making her seventh appearance of the campaign in the circle. The Ontario California, native, spun 4.2 innings of one-run ball, marking the fifth time this spring she’s thrown at least four frames, striking out six while allowing only one tally on three hits. Against the Lady Vols, Willis recorded at least six punchouts for the fourth time this season.

After being held off the scoreboard against Tennessee, the Knights found their offensive footing against San Diego (2-12) in their California finale. Seven different players earned at least one hit, led by Ashleigh Griffin’s second consecutive two-hit game and her third of the spring.

Griffin, Stormy Kotzelnick and Savannah Adams each recorded RBI in the Knights’ one-run win, including RBI singles by Griffin and Adams. The squad’s offensive exploits were bolstered by a group effort in limiting San Diego to three runs, as the combination of starter Ava Justman, Katelyn Cochran, Grace Jewell and Angelina DeVoe all saw time in the circle.

Jewell earned her first win of the season after throwing 2.2 innings of one-hit ball, and finished tournament play with 5.2 scoreless innings of work after she spun a trio of clean frames in UCF’s 4-3 loss to No. 23 Oregon Thursday evening. DeVoe also came in and recorded the game’s final out, and in doing so collected her first collegiate save.


The Knights return home for the first of 10 consecutive games at the UCF Softball Complex Wednesday, Feb. 28 for a midweek matchup against the North Florida Ospreys. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Orlando, and the game will be streamed on ESPN+.


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