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Softball Drops Game Two to No. 4 Cowgirls, 10-4

by Ryan Ladika

Stillwater, Okla. – A pair of two-run blasts by Stormy Kotzelnick and Jasmine Williams injected new life into a UCF offense in search of a lift, but the two Knights’ late offensive efforts were not quite enough in the UCF softball team’s 10-4 loss to No. 4 Oklahoma State at Cowgirl Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The two home runs by Kotzelnick and Williams both came in the top of the fifth inning, erasing a 4-0 Cowgirls’ (23-3, 4-1 Big 12) lead and giving the Black and Gold their third multi-home run game of the season and their second with at least two home runs in a single inning.

UCF’s (14-10, 2-3 Big 12) four-run fifth frame also snapped a streak of 18 consecutive scoreless offensive innings, dating back to the squad’s 1-0 loss to the Kansas Jayhawks March 10.

Second baseman Aubrey Evans led off the frame with a six-pitch walk to set the table for Kotzelnick, who promptly deposited a 1-1 offering from Oklahoma State starter Kyra Aycock over the left-center field fence, halving the Cowgirls’ four-run lead.

Later in the frame, center fielder Johneisha Rowe drew a key two-out walk on four pitches and Williams clubbed her first home run of the spring while behind in the count 1-2, tying the game at four.

The two-run shot off Williams’ bat represented just the latest timely long ball against a top five nationally ranked foe for the Knights shortstop, as Williams also hit a game-tying solo shot in the top of the sixth inning against the then-No. 2 UCLA Bruins during the Judi Garman Classic March 3, 2023.

Kotzelnick, meanwhile, slugged her second home run in a Knights uniform, and her first since swatting a solo shot in UCF’s 3-2 loss to the UConn Huskies Feb. 10. The designated player has now hit safely in four of her last six games, producing a .375/.412/.625 line (6-for-16) with one home run, one double, three runs scored, six RBI and 10 total bases.

The Cowgirls struck for six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, though, to reclaim a lead they would not relinquish to claim the series win over the Knights.

UCF’s pitching staff, having enjoyed a strong beginning to the spring 2024 campaign with a 2.64 ERA that ranked 66th in the nation entering Saturday’s action, yielded a season-high 10 runs, and allowed at least nine scores in a game for just the second time this season.


UCF will look to salvage the series finale against the fourth-ranked Cowgirls at 1 p.m. ET. Sunday afternoon before returning home for a three-game set against the No. 3 Texas Longhorns. The game will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.


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