Orlando, Fla. - The Stetson softball team (23-19) lost 8-1 at local rival UCF (35-13) in its final non-conference game of the regular season Wednesday evening at the UCF Softball Complex. Senior first baseman Carolyn Boyd (Germantown, Tenn.) and sophomore center fielder Chrissy Morello (Ormond Beach, Fla.) had two base hits apiece to lead the Hatters.
Freshman pitcher Courtney Brandt (Dade City, Fla.) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, but the Knights loaded them up again with nobody out in the second. This time, a two-run double from shortstop Natalie Land, immediately followed by a two-run single by second baseman Kahley Novak, put Stetson in a hole from which it could not escape.
The Hatters cracked the scoreboard in the top of the third when junior right fielder Chelsea Whalley (Calgary, Alta.) led off with a single, stole second and came around to score on a two-out UCF error, but Knights pitcher Mackenzie Audas would not let Stetson score again en route to her 19th win of the season.
UCF tacked on four more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth to make the final score 8-1. Audas struck out eight and scattered four hits and a walk in six innings; Alex Hartshorn pitched a scoreless seventh. Brandt struck out two for the Hatters. Boyd's two hits included her third double of the season; Whalley's stolen base was her sixth of the year.
Stetson is off until Thursday, May 3 when it hosts A-Sun rival Jacksonville in its final regular season doubleheader at 4:00 pm. The Hatters can clinch a spot in the A-Sun Tournament (May 9-12 in Spartanburg, S.C.) with a sweep or with help from other games around the league that weekend. Live Stats and Hatter Vision will be available at GoHatters.com.
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