The UCF Knights battled the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds on Saturday night moving their winning streak to eight with a 3-1 victory.
The Blackbirds proved to be a tough team and ace senior pitcher Shelby Turnier showed her resilience.
Turnier pitched five innings, walked two batters, gave up four hits and allowed one run.
“Shelby did a tremendous job keeping us in that ball game,” senior pitcher Jamie Ujvari said.
The Knights appeared to be in trouble in the fourth inning. LIU had the bases loaded with only one out.
Turnier was able to strike out first baseman Alyssa Gospodarek. The next batter smoked a line drive down third base but sophomore infielder Courtney Rotton snagged it for the final out.
In the bottom half of the fourth inning, Rotton then singled to center field, but the center fielder couldn’t pick the ball up cleanly, allowing Rotton to sneak into second.
“I saw her on second, and all I was thinking was let me trade places with her,” senior designated player and catcher Jessica Ujvari said.
Ujvari crushed a ball to the wall scoring the first run of the game. Senior catcher Samantha McCloskey then drove in the second run off a single to center.
LIU fought back, scoring a run in the top of the fifth inning off of a double but it wasn’t enough.
In the sixth inning, Jamie Ujvari took over on the mound and closed the game out.
“I knew what I had to do to come in and shut them down,” Jamie Ujvari said.
Ujvari faced the next six batters, striking out five.
“Jamie did a great job in the earlier game keeping hitters off balance, and we knew she was going to be the one to close for us,” head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said.
The Knights hope to keep their winning streak alive as they host Ball State on March 8 at 3:30 p.m. and Illinois State at 6:00 p.m.
Johnathan Kuntz is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.