UCF came out flat against Memphis Saturday afternoon and could not recover from an early 5-0 deficit and would eventually lose to the Tigers 5-4.
“We came out and had opportunities for base hits in the infield that we should have been making,” said head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie. “We didn’t make adjustments early on here. It took us a lot of innings to finally get our bats going.”
In the top of the second inning after two consecutive walks by the Knights, Memphis junior center fielder Lindsay Crowdus hit a deep double to left scoring three runs.
Things really started to unravel for the Knights in the top of the fourth inning, as they allowed two more runs due to fielding errors.
“We were focused in the beginning of the game,” junior pitcher Manami Calixto said. “Then in the middle we were just kind of down.”
Luers-Gillispie substituted in senior pitcher Shelby Turnier in the fourth inning after the Knights allowed five runs.
“We just couldn’t make a play behind Ma (Calixto),” Luers-Gillispie said. “It wasn’t that she was throwing bad.”
The Knights had a surge in the bottom of the fifth inning scoring four runs.
Junior center fielder Jasmine Acevedo, junior left fielder Linnea Goodman, junior shortstop Brittany Solis and senior Jessica Ujvari all had RBI hits in the inning.
“In this game, it can change on a dime,” Solis said. “So we just didn’t give up and we had a big inning, that fifth inning, but we waited a little too late to bust it open with the bats.”
UCF displayed tremendous effort and resilience, rallying behind the play of Turnier, who pitched 3.1 innings, allowing only one hit.
“I think it showed a testament to our team that we don’t give up,” Solis said. “Even if we’re down five runs like we were today.”
Luers-Gillispie said the team needs to be more aggressive on defense next game.
The player’s mindset after the loss to Memphis seems to be focused and determined.
“I’m just glad everybody got their head back up and we were trying to fight,” said Calixto. “We’re not even that upset. We’re more like angry and we definitely want to win tomorrow.”
The Knights have another opportunity to put their best foot forward against Memphis tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. at the UCF Softball Complex.
Jean Racine is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future.