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Softball evens series with 12-3 run-rule win over Cyclones

by Ryan Ladika

AMES, Iowa – “You could feel that all-around energy, one through nine in the lineup,” said senior shortstop Jasmine Williams. “It was total belief, and we were having a lot of fun.”

The UCF softball team ensured that its Friday run-rule defeat became a fleeting memory, evening its final series of the season at one game apiece with its 12-3 six-inning run-rule victory over the Iowa State Cyclones at Cyclone Sports Complex Saturday afternoon.

Behind a strong performance in the circle by the tandem of Kaitlyn Felton and Katelyn Cochran, the Knights scored in each of the final five innings of the contest, including a trio of three-run frames, to secure their 29th win of the spring campaign and 11th win in Big 12 Conference play.

“We were playing as one, we were celebrating the little moments. We were taking balls above our head, following the plan, and picking each other up. We were playing our game and having fun. When we’re loose and we trust in the process and in each other, and the belief factor, that’s when we play our best ball.”

Jasmine Williams

The fifth-year shortstop gave the Knights offense an early jolt factoring in to each of the Black and Gold’s first three runs. She first helped the Knights break the ice with a sacrifice fly in the second inning that plated Chloe Evans, who doubled to lead off the frame.

An inning later, Williams laced a double of her own off the left-center field wall, pushing UCF’s lead to two in driving home pinch-runner Johneisha Rowe, and the shortstop came around to score the Knights’ third tally in a rundown that followed Samantha Rey’s two-out bunt single.

“Honestly I was in the mindset of ‘see ball, hit ball.' I don’t like to think too much when I’m up at the plate. I was just trying to swing at good pitches and do my job in whatever the situation was.”

Jasmine Williams

With her third-inning double, Williams has hit safely in three of her last five games, including having recorded a double in two of her last three outings dating back to UCF’s series finale against No. 2 Oklahoma April 28. She also notched her second multi-RBI game of the season, and has plated three runs in her last three games.

Fifth-year third baseman Jada Cody highlighted the first of UCF’s three three-run frames in the fourth, leading off the inning with her sixth home run of the season, and the 38th of her collegiate career, out to straightaway center field to push the Black and Gold’s lead to 4-0.

The long ball factored into a 2-for-3 showing for Cody, who scored a season-high-tying three runs for the second time this season, and the first time since UCF’s 21-9 rout of the Wisconsin Badgers in Clearwater Feb. 16.

“I was trusting myself. That was the big thing that Coach Bear came up to me and said, let these last few weeks serve as a reminder of how good I am. When she said that to me at the beginning of the game it gave me a breath of fresh air of knowing that I don’t have to do too much.”

Jada Cody

The utility player has now also hit safely in each of her last three games and five of her last six, going 8-for-19 (.421) with 12 total bases, one home run, one double, one walk and three RBI in that span.

Evans and Sona Halajian both drove in one more following Cody’s home run, with the former notching her second double of the game to clinch her first multi-double game as a Knight, and her first contest with at least two doubles since March 11, 2022 with Minnesota against Nicholls.

“We were free in the box. We knew what we were going to get from the pitchers, and being able to have our pitchers’ backs was a big thing for us,” Cody said of her team’s offense. “Starting off and getting the momentum and going on defense and keeping it was big.”

Sarah Willis waited out a bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning, followed by a two-run single by Shannon Doherty that ballooned UCF’s lead to 9-1, and after the Cyclones responded with two more in the home half, the Black and Gold struck three more times in the sixth, via doubles by Doherty and Samantha Rey, and a fielder’s choice groundout by Cody.

Doherty’s two doubles marked her second such game of the season, and her first since she doubled twice in her squad’s rout of Wisconsin. She also notched her second three-hit game of the season, and her first since her four-hit game against the Badgers.

The offensive support buoyed Kaitlyn Felton, who started the contest with five strong innings before giving way to Katelyn Felton in the sixth.


Felton, who recorded her team-leading 11th win of the season, stranded a pair in the bottom of the first before throwing a perfect second inning and leaving a one-out single on base in the third.

The right-hander yielded a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fourth, but limited the damage with a pair of flyouts and a groundout.

After Iowa State scratched across their second and third scores in the fifth inning, Cochran entered in relief and spun a spotless frame, recording a pair of strikeouts in the process.

“They were great, they were very dominant today, hitting their spots,” Williams said of Felton and Cochran. “Talking to us on defense. Their energy on the mound is really contagious. When they come out fired up, we’re right there fired up with them.”


UCF looks to finish its regular season on a high note, concluding the series against Iowa State at 1 p.m. ET. The contest will be streamed live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+ from Cyclone Sports Complex.


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