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Felton Spins Seven-Inning Gem in Softball's 4-1 Win over Owls

UCF's nightcap against Bethune-Cookman was suspended due to inclement weather and will be resumed at a later date

by Ryan Ladika

ORLANDO – Just seven appearances into her junior season, Kaitlyn Felton is hitting her stride as a mainstay in head coach Cindy Ball-Malone’s starting rotation.

The junior right-hander turned in one of the most effective outings of her two-plus year collegiate career Sunday afternoon, stymieing the visiting Kennesaw State Owls throughout her third career seven-inning complete game to lead the UCF softball team to a 4-1 victory before inclement weather forced a suspension of the squad’s nightcap against Bethune-Cookman.

Felton painted a masterpiece throughout her afternoon start, going the distance for the first time this spring while yielding a season-low two hits.

The junior tossed seven innings for the first time since doing so against the Michigan Wolverines in the 2023 Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, California, and she recorded the second start of her career with at least seven innings pitched and two or fewer hits allowed, joining her first 2023 start against the UMass Minutewomen that featured her career-high 13 strikeouts Feb. 10.

“She did really well,” Ball-Malone said of Felton. “We talked about a couple of the freebies early in the game, and what I’m really excited about Kaitlyn is her ability to adapt and adjust. She made adjustments later on in the game. That’s the name of the game is to continue to get better as you go through the game. I saw her get stronger and stronger.”

The lone two hits mustered by the Owls (6-14) against the Valrico, Florida, native came in the form of a two-out single in the fourth inning and a leadoff single in the top of the seventh. Felton was unfazed, working around both knocks as well as a her lone walk in the first and a pair of hit-by-pitches in the second with ease.

Twice, Felton retired seven consecutive Kennesaw State hitters as well, and following her strong effort lowered her ERA to a season-best 2.65 in 31.2 innings of work. She has also tossed at least four innings in six of her seven appearances thus far and eclipsed at least six frames twice, and her 31.2 innings represent the second-most on the team behind Sarah Willis' 37.2.

In support of the right-hander, the Knights (11-7) provided early offense on the back of timely hitting and baserunning in key situations. Aubrey Evans and Sierra Humphreys executed a double steal in the bottom of the first inning, with the former pulling off a slick move to avoid a tag at home plate that pushed UCF ahead early, 1-0.

Following a sacrifice fly by the Owls in the top of the second that knotted the affairs at one run apiece, Humphreys continued her torrid pace at the plate with an RBI single to center field to score Jasmine Williams and give her team the lead right back.

The freshman infielder would finish with a spotless 3-for-3 offensive display, adding a run scored and two more stolen bases to her line. Humphreys now owns five hits in her last five at-bats and has recorded two straight games with two stolen bases.

Dating back to the Knights’ California road trip finale against San Diego Feb. 24, she has gone 6-for-8 with one triple, one home run, three runs scored, six RBI, 11 total bases and five stolen bases in five tries.

“CC is a competitor,” Ball-Malone said of Humphreys. “I say this quite often, but this is who she is. She’s a dynamic player and she’s got the speed, the power, the glove, the arm. It’s CC being CC.”

UCF tacked on two more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to provide a bit of breathing room for Felton, via a sacrifice fly off the bat of Willis and a Shannon Doherty RBI single.

“We’re starting to get into our groove and play like ourselves,” Ball-Malone continued. “I’m really liking that aspect of things, and I’m excited to play some new opponents [in conference play] that I haven’t had the opportunity to be on the other side from. I’m excited to see the team go after their goals.”


The Knights’ Sunday evening matchup against Bethune-Cookman was suspended in the bottom of the second inning due to inclement weather, and will be re-scheduled and resumed at a later date to be determined.

UCF will now look ahead to its scheduled midweek tilt against the Stetson Hatters Wednesday, March 6, representing its last tune-up before the commencement of the squad’s inaugural Big 12 Conference slate with a three-game series against the Kansas Jayhawks in Orlando March 8-10.


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