On Sunday afternoon, UCF cruised to a 5-0 victory over the East Carolina Pirates on senior day, winning the weekend series 2-1.
“It’s tough on senior day, but I think they did a great job holding it together coming out and just establishing themselves on the field and then realizing they had this day to remember and enjoy the moment,” head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. “I think they definitely enjoyed the moment today.”
Senior Jessica Ujvari hit a two-run homerun in the bottom of the first inning, and the Knights were rolling from that point on. Ujvari went 2-for-3 at bat on the day.
“When I was up to bat, I just wanted to do what I can do to get on top,” Ujvari said. “We wanted this game, we want every game, but to get this win it was really something special.”
UCF’s seniors had a strong outing. Senior catcher Samantha McCloskey went 1-for-1 at bat with an RBI, her fourth straight game an RBI. Also, senior first baseman Kalyn Cenal recorded a base hit.
Every member of the Knights’ senior class received playing time, with all three senior pitchers taking the mound.
"That's what we can hope for in our final game. Especially with 10 seniors, it's tough to get them all in," Luers-Gillispie said.
Shelby Turnier pitched the first five innings, allowing only one hit. Mackenzie Huhn pitched the sixth inning, and Jamie Ujvari pitched the final inning.
Turnier reached the milestone of 800-plus strikeouts, the third Knight to reach that landmark and tied Mackenzie Audas for career wins with 78 victories.
“It’s awesome; we’ve always been 1-2,” Turnier said. “To have this means a lot to me.”
The Knights senior class have amassed a 160-71 record and have not lost a conference series since joining the American Athletic Conference in 2014.
“I can’t believe that we’ve reached this point,” Turnier said. “I can’t believe it’s my last home game as a Knight, but I’m excited because I think there’s a lot left for the season for us.”
The Knights have the No. 2 seed in the AAC and are set to travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma, next week for the American Athletic Conference Championship from Thursday through Saturday.
This was originally published on May 8, 2016.
Jean Racine is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future.