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Felton Twirls One-Hit Shutout in Softball's 1-0 Win over FAU

Cody becomes Knights' all-time career doubles leader in UCF's 10th straight win

by Ryan Ladika

ORLANDO – The remaining members of Kaitlyn Felton’s pitching staff have her to thank for their chance to take pitchers’ batting practice when the team arrives in Waco, Texas, Thursday afternoon.

 “When we throw a shutout, pitchers get BP,” said head coach Cindy Ball-Malone with a smile.

The junior right-hander was nearly untouchable in clinching the Knights’ fifth shutout victory of the spring, bringing a no-hitter into the sixth frame in her eventual seven-inning, one-hit complete game shutout, leading the charge in the UCF softball team’s 1-0 win over Florida Atlantic at the UCF Softball Complex Wednesday evening.

UCF’s Wednesday win, marking its sixth in six midweek games thus far, also pushed the Knights’ win streak to 10 straight dating back to the squad’s April 2 doubleheader against North Florida. The Black and Gold’s 10 straight wins, accompanied by their six straight Big 12 Conference wins, both represent the longest active streaks in the Big 12.

Felton’s masterpiece, meanwhile, represented her third effort of the season with at least seven innings pitched, as well as the fifth such start of her two-plus year career.

Her Wednesday outing also marked the second start of her collegiate career with one or fewer hits allowed in at least seven innings of work, joining her dominant 13-strikeout performance against the UMass Minutewomen Feb. 10, 2023, that also saw her go the distance with just one hit allowed.

“I didn’t really know, I had a feeling. I was very free, my defense was working for me. When they’re doing really good behind me, it makes my job easier. Being in a pitchers’ duel makes the game more fun.”

Kaitlyn Feltonon her near no-hitter

The Knights struck for an early tally in the bottom of the first inning after Felton retired the side in order in the top half on a pair of flyouts and a groundout. With two outs, Jada Cody swatted a 1-2 offering to the left-center field gap and slid into second base easily with her ninth double of the season.

The two-bagger also clinched another moment of history for the Knights’ fifth-year utility player, as it represented the 51st double of her collegiate career, breaking a tie with Jania Shinhoster (2002-05) for the most in a career in UCF’s program history, leaving Cody alone atop the Knights’ all-time career doubles list.

“It meant a lot, I’ve been struggling for the last week and a half, so I just got back into my groove. It felt good coming into this game and starting off hot with the double. It means everything, I couldn’t do it without God and the whole coaching staff. It’s all glory to God.”

Jada Codyon breaking the Knights' all-time career doubles record

Right fielder Chloe Evans delivered a single back up the middle in the moments immediately following Cody’s double, plating what would prove to be the Knights’ lone tally of the evening and pushing her team-leading RBI total to 30.

“Two-out hitting, gotta love it,” Ball-Malone added. “Love the clutch hitting there, and then solid defense along the way after that. We made some really good defensive plays, Aubrey Evans made a couple good snags. Jasmine Williams and Sierra Humphreys also making some good plays. It’s fun to play against a good, competitive team.”

UCF’s single score proved to be enough for Felton, who made the run stand up throughout the remainder of the evening.

The right-hander recorded her first strikeout of the evening to cap off a perfect second inning, added her second punchout in a spotless third, and in the fourth demonstrated her resolve in working around traffic. After the Owls waited out back-to-back one-out walks, Felton fanned her third hitter of the night and induced a groundout to Williams at shortstop to escape the threat.

“She’s starting to get stronger and tougher as the game goes on. I think too that she’s a stubborn, competitive player. She allows back-to-back walks and then says, ‘No, that’s not going to happen,’ and then took care of business.”

Cindy Ball-Maloneon Felton's Wednesday shutout

Felton’s no-hit bid survived the fifth inning, her fourth perfect frame out of her first five before the junior yielded a leadoff single to third base in the top of the sixth. She again danced out of danger, stranding two more Owls baserunners before authoring a perfect seventh inning, including her fifth strikeout of the evening to punctuate her dominant start.

“We just feed off each other,” Felton said of her pitching staff. “We’re a very close staff and we all love and support one another, and that just makes our jobs easier. We’re never worried and wanting someone to do bad out there so you can come in, we have full trust in everyone out there, whoever’s out there at the time, and that just makes it really fun.”


The Knights take their 10-game win streak back to the Lone Star State to begin their penultimate regular-season Big 12 Conference road series, a three game set in Waco, Texas, against the Baylor Bears. Start times for the series are slated for 7:30 p.m. ET Friday, 3 p.m. ET Saturday and 1 p.m. ET Sunday, and all games will be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.


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