Knights Split 1st 2 Games in Season-opening Invitational

University of Central Florida left fielder Linnea Goodman swings at a ball during a 10-2 win over Florida A&M University at the UCF Softball Complex on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. (Photo by Victor Tan / New Day Review)

Game Recap (vs. FAMU)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The new season started nicely for the University of Central Florida. In the Knights’ first game of the UCF Invitational, UCF (1-0) defeated Florida A&M University (0-2) 10-2 in six innings at the UCF Softball Complex on Friday afternoon.

“I think this is the time of year that we really see what we have,” UCF head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said after both games. “We’re so young right now, and we’re talking about losing 10 seniors last year and getting our freshmen [work]… Just getting them kind of accustomed to it, knowing how to play together. I thought defensively we did a fantastic job… So you saw them really playing well defensively, and that’s what we wanted to see.”

After falling to an early 2-1 lead, the Knights opened the game up in the bottom of the third inning.

Sophomore Cassady Brewer scored the first of eight runs in the third when Tamesha Glover walked and brought Brewer in for a 2-2 tie. A wild pitch then allowed Courtney Rotton to score. Glover and catcher Autumn Gillespie scored on Aubrey Johnson‘s single to shallow left field. Then Linnea Goodman‘s double allowed Johnson and Willow Kalinen to score while Megan Greenwell scored on a throwing error. Brittany Solis capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to left field that brought home Goodman.

“I think the girls just had an opportunity to be able to see [FAMU pitcher Trinity Alexander] for a few innings and kinda know how to make those adjustments,” Luers-Gillispie said. “It’s fun when you say whenever someone starts hitting it’s contagious, and you saw that in that inning. Everybody was just hitting, feeling good about themselves and really coming through with some big hits that we needed.”

Freshman Ali Little doubled to left-center field for the walk-off RBI that brought in Tiffany Lower in the bottom of the sixth inning.

“We only have 17 players this year—smallest team we’ve had in a while,” Goodman said. “So it’s great to see how every single player can contribute in that it’s going to be a team effort. Like, we can’t rely on just one person to get that big hit. We know that every single person on the team can go up to bat and do something.”

Player of the Game (vs. FAMU): Linnea Goodman

Goodman hit 1-for-3 and had two RBIs, a walk and a team-leading two runs.

“We do have a young team, so everyone’s excited,” Goodman said after both games. “Everyone’s excited to just get out here and play. We will be facing these teams again, so we know what to expect, and we’re just ready to come back out here tomorrow, give it our best, learn from our mistakes and keep doing the things that we were doing well.”

Game Recap (vs. Pittsburgh)

As for the second matchup of the evening, the Knights were not as fortunate. The University of Pittsburgh (2-0) downed the Knights (1-1) 6-0 at the UCF Softball Complex Friday night.

Pittsburgh broke the mid-game 0-0 tie in the top of the fifth inning.

Connor McGaffic doubled to left-center field to drive in Kaitlin ManuelTaylor Myers would advance to third on a wild pitch and score on a throwing error by Gillespie. The Panthers added three runs to their lead in the sixth, and McKayla Taylor‘s double to right-center field added an insurance run in the top of the seventh.

“I think we just didn’t make our adjustments a little bit earlier,” Goodman said. “In the first game, we adjusted as soon as we got our second at-bats, and I think in [second] game it took everyone maybe second, third at-bats to make those adjustments against the pitcher.”

UCF’s second game of the invitational saw freshman Alea White make her debut for the Knights. She pitched four scoreless innings before surrendering two runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings. Kamryn Toney relieved White with no outs in the top of the sixth.

“I thought [White] did well,” Luers-Gillispie said. “She knows that we’ve got two more games tomorrow, and it wasn’t a point of pulling her because she was doing a bad job. I felt like she was still doing a really good job out there. But having five games in a weekend, you’ve gotta make sure you’re working your pitchers in and giving them time to rest and being ready for tomorrow’s game.”

Player of the Game (vs. Pittsburgh): McKayla Taylor

Taylor helped solidify the Panthers’ win with her lone RBI in the seventh inning. She finished the game 2-for-3 with a run, two doubles and a walk.

What’s next?

UCF will host the Kentucky Wildcats and the FAMU Rattlers at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively as part of the UCF Knights Invitational.

Highlights vs. FAMU

Highlights vs. Pittsburgh

 NDR Notes

  • White made her debut for the Knights in the 6-0 loss to Pittsburgh. She finished 5.0 innings pitched, five strikeouts and three walks, allowing four earned runs and seven hits.
  • Little doubled to left-center field for the Knights’ first walk-off, mercy-rule win of the season. Last year, UCF mercy-ruled six teams.

Scoring vs. FAMU

Inning Team Play Score
B1 University of Central Florida Cassady Brewer reached on a fielder’s choice to shortstop, RBI; Linnea Goodman scored 1-0, UCF
T2 Florida A&M University Veronica Burse singled to left center, RBI; Nachelle Watson scored 1-1, T
T2 Florida A&M University Alexis Day singled to shortstop, RBI, out at first (6-3); Whitney Farris advanced to third; Trinity Alexander scored 2-1, FAMU
B3 University of Central Florida Tamesha Glover walked, RBI; Autumn Gillespie advanced to second; Courtney Rotton advanced to third; Cassady Brewer scored 2-2, T
B3 University of Central Florida Tamesha Glover advanced to second; Autumn Gillespie advanced to third; Courtney Rotton scored on wild pitch 3-2, UCF
B3 University of Central Florida Aubrey Johnson singled to shortstop, 2 RBI; Willow Kalinen advanced to second; Tamesha Glover scored; Autumn Gillespie scored 5-2, UCF
B3 University of Central Florida Linnea Goodman doubled to left field, advanced to third, 2 RBI; Megan Greenwell advanced to third, scored on throwing error by shortstop, unearned; Aubrey Johnson scored; Willow Kalinen scored 8-2, UCF
B3 University of Central Florida Brittany Solis flied out to left field, sac-fly, RBI; Linnea Goodman scored, unearned 9-2, UCF
B6 University of Central Florida Ali Little doubled to left-center field, RBI; Tiffany Lower, scored 10-2, UCF

Scoring vs. Pittsburgh

Inning Team Play Score
T5 University of Pittsburgh Connor McGaffic doubled to left-center field, RBI; Kaitlin Manuel scored 1-0, Pitt
T5 University of Pittsburgh Valerie Ortega advanced on wild pitch, advanced to third on throw; Taylor Myers advanced to third on wild pitch, scored on throwing error by catcher, unearned 2-0, Pitt
T6 University of Pittsburgh Giorgiana Zeremenko doubled to left field, RBI; McKayla Taylor scored 3-0, Pitt
T6 University of Pittsburgh Olivia Gray doubled to right field, RBI; Kaitlyn Kruger scored 4-0, Pitt
T6 University of Pittsburgh Alexis Solak flew out to right field, sacrifice fly, RBI; Olivia Gray scored 5-0, Pitt
T7 University of Pittsburgh McKayla Taylor doubled to right-center field, RBI; Erin Hershman scored 6-0, Pitt

Statistics and Starting Lineups

Hitting vs. FAMU

Player Team AB H R RBI BB SO
Linnea Goodman University of Central Florida 3 1 2 2 1 0
Courtney Rotton University of Central Florida 3 2 1 0 0 0
Aubrey Johnson University of Central Florida 2 1 1 2 0 1
Nachelle Watson Florida A&M University 2 2 1 0 0 0
Veronica Burse Florida A&M University 1 1 0 1 0 0
Alexis Day Florida A&M University 3 1 0 1 0 0

Hitting vs. Pittsburgh

Player Team AB H R RBI BB SO
McKayla Taylor University of Pittsburgh 3 2 1 1 1 0
Kaitlin Manuel University of Pittsburgh 2 1 1 0 1 0
Brittany Solis University of Central Florida 1 1 0 0 1 0

UCF starting lineup: 1. Linnea Goodman (7) 2. Brittany Solis (6) 3. Cassady Brewer (3) 4. Courtney Rotton (DP) 5. Autumn Gillespie (2) 6. Tamesha Glover (5) 7. Willow Kalinen (8) 8. Aubrey Johnson (4) 9. Megan Greenwell (9)

UCF starting pitcher vs. FAMU: Manami Calixto

UCF starting pitcher vs. Pittsburgh: Alea White

FAMU starting lineup: 1. Alexis Day (9) 2. Tashayla Irvis (7) 3. Amber Fullwood (5) 4. Denise Anderson (2) 5. Jamesia Stoudemire (6) 6. Toni Anderson (DP) 7. Nachelle Watson (3) 8. Veronica Burse (1) 9. Whitney Farris (8) / Shayla Boyd (4)

FAMU starting lineup: Veronica Burse

Pittsburgh starting lineup: 1. Hannah Edwards (7) 2. Erin Hershman (8) 3. McKayla Taylor (6) 4. Giorgiana Zeremenko (DP) 5. Olivia Gray (5) 6. Kaitlin Manuel (3) 7. Alexis Solak (4) 8. Connor McGaffic (9) 9. Valerie Ortega (2)

Pittsburgh starting pitcher: Brittany Knight