UCF dominated the Friday series, advancing their win streak to 14 by defeating first Utah, 4-3 and then Florida Gulf Coast University, 5-3.
On a walk-off RBI single from freshman Cassady Brewer, the Knights were able to defeat Utah in the first game.
Starting pitcher, senior Shelby Turnier, struggled with control walking four batters, but kept the Knights in the game.
She ended her outing, pitching four innings, giving up two runs on three hits, striking out six.
Jamie Ujvari, the pitcher awarded the win, pitched three innings, giving up two hits and one run.
Both teams battled, as the score lead changed a total of six times. The Knights scored first when senior catcher McCloskey drove in lead-off hitter junior left fielder Linnea Goodman.
However, Utah’s second baseman Hannah Flippen hit a homerun in the third inning. The Knights would lose their lead in the fourth inning when pinch-hitter Bella Secaira would single in a run.
“We were really resilient as a team and we wanted to get that run back even more. We all have the mindset, we’re going to get on base and win this game,” junior right fielder Willow Kalinen said.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Kalinen got on base with an infield single setting up the Knights to score two runs.
Sophomore third baseman, Courtney Rotton, hit a ground ball off the shortstop’s glove into centerfield scoring Kalinen.
After Utah walked the bases loaded, freshman second baseman Cassady Brewer would come
to the plate. She had a seven pitch at-bat resulting in an RBI walk.
“When we got down, we didn’t really panic,” Brewer said. “We never lay down and quit. We don’t go without a fight.”
Then in the later game against Florida Gulf Coast University, the Knights scored all five of their runs in one inning.
“[Winning the first game] brings up our energy. We were a little flat to start out, but we busted it open in the fourth inning,” Kalinen said.
Brewer hit a hard hit ball to the first baseman who mishandled it.
“Being able to start something off and watch us go from doing that to five runs, and get the ball going is really important,” Brewer said.
With two outs, redshirt junior left fielder Jasmine Acevedo hit a single to the left field.
Kalinen would score two runs when she hit a single to right field.
“I had to keep telling myself that I am going to score these runners,” Kalinen said.
The Knights would then score runs off two walks and a hit batter.
Turnier dominated the first four innings of the game. She recorded seven strikeouts and had a perfect game through four.
“[Shelby Turnier] can be unstoppable,” head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said.
UCF would bring in junior pitcher Manami Calixto to try to close the game out. She pitched two innings, but gave up four hits and walked a batter leading to FGCU scoring two runs.
Junior second baseman Brittany Solis made a diving catch towards third base, and Acevedo made a diving catch on a ball that was dropping in for a single showing some good defense. A runner tagged up and scored on Acevedo’s catch, but the catch helped end the inning without more damage.
Turnier would reenter the game in the seventh inning, and gave up a lead-off homerun to dead centerfield. She then retired the other three batters in order. She ended the day pitching five innings giving up one run on one hit with eight strikeouts.
The Knights hope to continue their 14-game winning streak on Saturday when they take on Indiana State and Purdue. Their first game of the day begins at 5:30 p.m.
Johnathan Kuntz is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.