UCF, FSU softball capture wins to open NCAA Tallahassee Regional
TALLAHASSEE — Chloe Evans did a little bit of everything for UCF softball Friday night.
The junior transfer from Minnesota went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple while helping the Knights capture a critical first win, 6-1, against South Carolina in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional at the Seminole Softball Complex.
“It doesn’t matter who’s pitching or how hot they are, she’s a tough out,” UCF coach Cindy Ball-Malone said about Evans. “She’ll just keep knocking on their door until something goes through and then when they try to make an adjustment, she does something else.”
The Knights (40-19) struck first in the top of the third inning when Evans hit an RBI single to left field that scored Jada Cody from third base.
The Gamecocks responded in the bottom of the frame to tie the game 1-1.
A wild pitch behind home plate cost South Carolina (37-21) a run in the top of the fourth as UCF regained its lead. The Knights tacked on another in the same inning when Johneisha Rowe scored from third base thanks to a Cody single to the shortstop.
UCF led 3-1 entering the sixth inning. That’s when Evans tripled to right center to give the Knights some breathing room late in the game.
The Knights tacked on one more in the inning when Shannon Doherty singled and Evans beat the tag at home plate to UCF 6 runs.
“I’m just incredibly proud of our team and our fight because South Carolina is a really hot team right now, but I love the plan we had and we stuck with it,” Ball-Malone said.
The Seminoles (51-8) scored five runs in the third inning and added two more each in the fourth and fifth innings to run-rule the Red Foxes 9-0 in five innings in their first game of the NCAA tournament.
The Seminoles will face the Knights on Saturday at 1 p.m. for the first spot in Sunday’s regional final. Marist and South Carolina will battle to extend their seasons later in the afternoon.