UCF 5, Florida 3 May
UCF 5, Florida 3May 21, 2005
For Immediate Release: May 21, 2005 Contact: Courtney Hastings, 407-823-2409
GAINESVILLE, Fla.-Stephanie Best was three-for-four at the plate with a pair of RBI to lead UCF (47-28-1) to a 5-3 victory against Florida (41-23) in an elimination game on Saturday night in the Gainesville Regional.
The win for the Golden Knights was the first-ever in program history against the Gators.
"We've had some close calls against Florida over the years," Head Coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. "I was so proud of the effort and the heart our girls showed tonight."
UCF grabbed the early 1-0 lead as Best (Fort Mill, S.C./Fort Mill HS) ripped a two-out triple down the right field line. She would come around to score on a fielding error by Gator third baseman Kristin Butler.
The Golden Knights used an RBI single by Brytanni Lindheim (Mission Viejo, Calif./El Toro HS) to extend the advantage to 2-0 in the second inning.
UCF stretched the lead to 3-0 in the third inning as Crystle Krafft (Jacksonville, Fla./Middleburg HS) reached on a Gator fielding error.
Best capped her three-for-four evening driving home two runs with a double in the left field gap to make it 5-0.
The Gators didn't go down with a fight blasting a three-run home run by Melissa Zick. The inning was continued on a throwing error by Lindsay Enders (Virginia Beach, Va./Kempsville HS) with two outs. Enders was able to rebound retiring the final four Florida hitters.
Enders fired a complete game to pick up her 26th win of the season tying a single season record. Dottie Cupp also threw for 26 wins for the Golden Knights in the 2002 season.
"Lindsay is a competitor," Luers-Gillispie said. "I knew she was going to be able to rebound after the home run."
The Golden Knights will take on USF in another elimination game tonight at the Florida Softball Stadium. You can follow all of the action via a live radio webcast on UCFathletics.com
Game Notes: Stephanie Best knocked her third triple of the season in the first inning*The Golden Knights are now 37-6-1 when scoring first this season*All five RBI for UCF came with two outs*137 of the 281 RBI this season for UCF has come with two outs*UCF is now 34-0 this season when leading after six innings.
-- Florida is making its sixth NCAA Regional appearance in the programs nine-year existence. It is the third consecutive regional appearance for Florida, which is hosting a regional for the second time in school history.
-- UCF is making its first NCAA Regional appearance in school history.
-- The Golden Knights picked up their first NCAA Regional victory in school history with the win over Florida. UCF is 1-1 all-time in NCAA Regional action.
-- UCF also picked up its first win vs. Florida in the history of the program. The Gators still lead the all-time series 4-1. UF defeated the Golden Knights 6-1 earlier this season in the Clearwater Invitational.
-- The Golden Knights improved to 37-5-1 on the season when scoring first in the game.
-- The Gators are 0-7 vs. opponents from the state of Florida in NCAA Regional play.
-- Sophomore first baseman Melissa Zick hit her ninth home run of the season for the Gators in the bottom of the sixth inning. The round-tripper was the 14th of Zicks career.
-- Senior shortstop Stephanie Best hit her third triple of the season for the Golden Knights. It was the 36th triple of her career.
-- Florida catcher Kristen Butler hit her 12th double of the season, which ranks second on the club.
Head Coach Karen Johns
On this years teams accomplishments:
The unity level, the work ethic level, the ability to place themselves in the top-15 in the country pretty consistently through most of the season up until the end, those kind of things are things that we try to build for with this senior class.
We thought going into this season at 45 wins was going to be a good year for this group. We thought with where we thought we were pitching wise and all things added up, so we fell a little short on our goal as far as what I saw on paper, but Im very pleased with what we were able to accomplish mentally. You take out the last, you know, three weeks of the season, and its a phenomenal year. The problem is, is that most people, and the thing people write about or hear on TV, is postseason, and thats the next step that we have to take. We have to learn how to charge it on that last three weeks of the season, and thats whats going to be the next step, and thats what the goal of this next group is going to have to be.
On the number of errors this postseason:
It makes you sick, as a coach, especially in this game, really in any game, if you cant play defense, its very difficult.
Senior Outfielder Mandy Schuerman
On playing her final game:
Its pretty difficult, it was my last time playing for the Gators, which is sad for me. (The team) is a great group of girls, they are going to do great things next year. Theyre all really hard workers. Its sad for me, but the big picture is the team, and theyre going to do great next year.
On Melissa Zicks homerun:
Our team can bounce back at any point, Zicks homerun was a big momentum change. Shes a great hitter and it was a great shot she had.
Sophomore Pitcher Stacey Stevens
On UFs defense:
Its hard to say I pitched well. I gave up too many extra-base hits today. My team has picked me up so many times that I cant worry about them making a few errors behind me.
-- Courtesy UCF