The No. 7 Gators (22-4) are looking to rebound after a series loss to Tennessee at home to open SEC play. UCF is 5-1 in its last six games ahead of Wednesday’s game and sit at a 17-8 record ahead of its first road game of the season.
Tennessee center fielder Cailin Hannon sprinted backward and tracked the softball as it grad…
Here are three numbers to know about this matchup:
The Knights’ record against ranked teams.
UCF has played then-No. 1 FSU twice, No. 5 Washington and a trio of fringe teams in No. 21 Minnesota, then-No. 24 Ohio State and then-No. 25 Mississippi State. UCF has been outscored 34-11 in its six ranked matchups and hasn’t scored more than three runs in any of those games.
It relies on junior Alea White and freshman Breanna Vasquez in the circle. Its 1.84 team ERA is ranked 30th in the country, though the results against ranked teams this season have been much worse.
White has started four of UCF’s games against ranked opponents, and she has been inconsistent, sporting a 3.40 ERA in those games. Her best appearance was against FSU on March 3, when she pitched seven innings and didn’t give up an earned run despite allowing eight hits and four walks.
Vasquez, on the other hand, struggled in her two starts against ranked teams, losing both games and giving up eight runs in 7.1 innings.
Wednesday’s matchup brings an excellent opportunity to reignite a Florida offense that struggled in the first two games against Tennessee before an eight-run explosion on Sunday.
The number of games played by Florida in only 33 days.
It’s been an exhausting schedule for the Gators. The team has had very few days off, and the days they did have off were for travel. Florida has played less than half of its schedule at Katie Pressly Seashore Stadium, and it has traveled across the country twice already.
Throw in the renovation of its home stadium, and it has been a difficult and demanding slate of games for the Gators.
“I think we’re prepared for it,” outfielder Jade Caraway said. “It’s fun. I like it. I like coming out and playing.”
The score of the UCF-UF game last season.
UCF catcher Kassady Brewer’s RBI single in the first inning stood as the winning run in a 1-0 victory over the Gators.
White started that game and only allowed one hit in a complete-game shutout, though she only struck out one batter.
The Gators put 27 balls in play, but they couldn’t manage to turn that contact into offensive production, much like Saturday’s game against Tennessee.
“We didn’t play very well last year against them in the middle of the week,” coach Tim Walton said. “They pitched really well and got enough timely hits.”
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