UCF softball defeats Pittsburgh with blowout win MA

Freshman pitcher Breanna Vasquez (12) throws a pitch against Pittsburgh. The Knights defeated the Panthers 9-1 in five innings on Feb. 22.

The UCF softball team took out the Pittsburgh Panthers on Friday night with a blowout score of 9-1 at the UCF Softball Complex.

The game was the second victory of the day, following a 1-0 win against the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.

Junior infielder Jazmine Esparza said she credits the win to a well-executed plan.

“We knew what we were looking for and we jumped right on it … We all came together as a team and we wanted to do better than we did last year,” she said.

Redshirt junior infielder Tamesha Glover’s RBI single gave UCF the lead at the top of the second inning. It was followed by a single through the right side by Esparza scoring Glover and sophomore outfielder Denali Schappacher.

Glover scored again in the fourth inning following a bases-loaded walk from senior infielder Brooke Barlow.

Junior infielder Aubrey Johnson then scored Schappacher at the bottom of the fourth with a single through the left side.

The Panthers managed to score once in the fifth inning after Pittsburgh senior infielder Alexis Solak was brought in by junior catcher Walker Barbee’s double to left field. UCF sophomore infielder Takiya London scored off a Panther throwing error.

Senior infielder Cassady Brewer closed out the game in the fifth inning with a bases-clearing double scoring freshman outfielder Tera Testa, Schappacher and Esparza.

UCF head coach Cindy Ball-Malone said once the team agrees on its plan of action as a whole, it’s difficult to get them out.

“What I like about them is that they’re that thorn in your side where you’re like ‘Ugh, it’s still there,’” Ball-Malone said. “They’re not going to give up, so if we score on a bunt, a hit, an air, a pass ball, whatever it takes, I love their fight and their grit.”

The Knights will face Pittsburgh again on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in another double header, following a game against Penn State at 3 p.m. — both at the UCF Softball Complex.

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