UCF set for big series with ECU
Knights look to maintain momentum, have won 17 of last 20 contests
Published: Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 29, 2012 09:03
The last time the UCF softball team returned home from a road swing, it rattled off 12 wins over the course of its next 13 games.
It was a vital stretch for a team that, early in the season, had already been through a winning streak and a losing streak. UCF started the season winning four straight games, then lost six in a row to follow it up.
After the team’s most recent five-game stretch, one that saw four contests away from the UCF Softball Complex (including one against Jacksonville that was called due to weather), the Knights (22-10, 3-3) are returning home for an important weekend series with the East Carolina Pirates (13-17, 3-3).
They’ll be hoping for similar results in this homecoming.
The series will begin with a Saturday doubleheader against the Pirates, with games scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The series finale is set for Sunday at noon.
With both teams off to a 3-3 start in league play, each will approaching this series as a make-or-break opportunity to position themselves in the conference standings.
Freshman Mackenzie Audas is expected to start the first and third games of the series, with senior Ali Schmidt likely getting the start in the second. Audas has a Conference USA-leading 1.22 ERA so far this season with an impressive 11-5 record with 16 complete games and four shutouts. Schmidt is 6-2 with a 1.77 ERA.
Since Feb. 25, UCF has won 17-of-20 games, an impressive stretch that has seen the Knights beat the likes of Georgetown, Tulsa, Southern Miss and Stetson.
The next few weeks will be vital for the team as the season progresses, with some key conference weekend series and a looming date with the No. 4 Florida Gators at home. The Knights will take on the Gators (29-2) on April 11 at the UCF Softball Complex, and the game will be televised on Bright House Sports Network, the lone telecast of the season for UCF.