Knights start softball season 1-1

Courtesy UCF Athletics Communications

Knights shine in opening 10-2 victory over Florida A&M

In its softball season opener, the Knights took big swings at the plate and made smart plays in the field to garner a 10-2 win over Florida A&M on Friday afternoon.

After senior pitcher Manami Calixto led the defense and created some momentum, the offense started its scoring in the bottom of the first. Senior left fielder Linnea Goodman walked to first base and then continued to steal a base after an error was made by the Rattlers’ catcher. When sophomore first baseman Cassady Brewer stepped up with a hit, Goodman crossed home giving Brewer the Knights its first RBI of the season.

FAMU answered right back with two runs in the top of the second inning and after not scoring in the second, the Knights adapted quickly.

“When another team like that strikes early, sometimes we’ll get down on ourselves,” senior outfielder Linnea Goodman said.  “We came in on that third inning and we knew we needed to get hits and then score runs. We didn’t try to score runs before getting hits and we knew that it was going to be a team effort and each person had to do their job.”

The Knights did exactly that, scoring eight runs to lead the Rattlers, 9-2.

“It’s fun when someone starts hitting and it’s contagious, and you saw that in that inning,” head coach Renee Leurs-Gillispie said. “Everyone was hitting and really coming through with some big hits.”

Calixto pitched six innings, striking out two batters and allowed only six hits.

 

After big win, Knights hit wall against Pittsburgh

After a large 10-2 rout over the Florida A&M Rattlers on Friday afternoon, the mood for the Knights (1-1) quickly changed after Pittsburgh came in to defeat UCF 6-0 later in the day.

After graduating nine seniors last season, the UCF softball teamed welcomed nine new freshmen into their roster, creating the smallest team for UCF in program history.

One such freshman that wasted no time to impact her team was Alea White. White started on the mound for the Knights and with the help of her defense, kept the Panthers from scoring for four innings.

Then trouble came as White struggled during the fifth when Pittsburgh took notice and adjusted to her curveball. A RBI double and a wild pitch later, the Panthers found themselves with a 2-0 lead over UCF, with a three-run sixth inning still ahead of them. Through five innings, White threw 100 pitches, giving up four earned runs, seven hits, while striking out five.

“We made our adjustments earlier in the first game,” senior outfielder Linnea Goodman said. “In the first game we adjusted as soon as we got our second-at-bats, and in the second game it took everyone their second and third-at-bats to make those adjustments against the pitcher.”

Regardless of the tough loss, the Knights are still looking forward.

“We are a young team and this is only the second game of the season. We know the mistakes we made and we are going to come out and fix those tomorrow,” said Goodman.

 

Taya Britten is a contributor for the Central Florida Focus. You can follow the Central Florida Focus on Twitter at @UCFSportsNow and you can contact the sports team at EvanA@centralfloridafocus.com.