Central Florida bounces back from defeat to blank No. 22 Notre Dame
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A three-run first inning was all that Central Florida junior pitcher Shelby Turnier needed in leading the Knights to a 3-0 victory against No. 22 Notre Dame on Thursday night. The Knights bounced back after a 9-5 loss to FIU to open the day at the UCF Softball Complex.
Turnier (11-1) fanned six and yielded just two hits before the Irish loaded the bases on a trio of singles in the seventh with one out. She was up to the task in inducing a groundout and pop up, which landed in the glove of freshman shortstop Brittany Solis, to keep Notre Dame (17-5) off the scoreboard.
The Knights' pitcher, who is the reigning American Pitcher of the Week, has tallied a 5-0 mark during a scoreless streak that covers 31.0 innings, dating back to March 5 against Jacksonville.
The big first inning for UCF (19-9) began with the first of two base hits by junior outfielder Kahley Novak, who took second on a groundout. Junior third baseman Farrah Sullivan, who was moved up to the third slot, singled up the middle to put the Knights up 1-0.
Sophomore designated player Jessica Ujvari continued the rally with a single through the right side, and a stolen base by freshman pinch runner Blaire Kelly put two runners into scoring position. Sophomore outfielder Mariah Garcia, who notched a pair of hits, added the first insurance run on an RBI single through the left side to extend the advantage to 2-0, which chased the starter Rachel Naslund (2-1).
The relief pitcher Allie Rhodes was able to get Notre Dame out of the inning on a sac fly by junior first baseman Samantha McCloskey that turned into a double play. Kelley crossed the plate before the second out was recorded on the runner attempting to advance to third.
After a pair of 3-2 walks were drawn by the Irish in the first two frames, Jenna Simon opened the third with a single to short. Turnier sent down the Notre Dame offense in order over the next two frames to setup the dramatic seventh inning.
The Knights were kept in check by Rhodes over the final 5.2 innings. She tallied two strikeouts and yielded two hits.