Earlier this season, I wrote up a timeline of UCF's 600 wins that highlighted some of the more memorable wins in UCF Softball history.
As it turns out, Renee Luers-Gillispie will end up with UCF's first 625 wins in program history as she was introduced as Iowa's new head coach this past Friday. As we take a look back at the Gillispie Era at UCF, I break down some of the more memorable wins of Gillispie's 18 years she spent at UCF since coming over from Texas Tech in 2000 to start up a new program.
25. 1st win in UCF Softball History - 2/2/2002 vs. Arkansas
Sarah Miller had a bases-clearing triple in the first inning as UCF scored 5 in the first, which would be more than enough for winning pitcher Dottie Cupp, who came in relief of Pysha Simmons as UCF knocked off the SEC’s Arkansas for the program’s first win in Daytona Beach by a score of 6-5.
24. Milestone Day at Storrs - 4/1/2016 at UConn
It was a milestone day at UConn as Shelby Turnier became the third UCF pitcher ever to have 70 or more career wins with her 21st career shutout, which also moved her to third place all-time at UCF in that category, as the Knights won 1-0, giving Renee Luers-Gillispie her 800th career win.
23. Turnier Passes Audas - 5/12/2016 vs. UConn (AAC Tournament)
Shelby Turnier became UCF’s all-time winningest pitcher, passing her former teammate Mackenzie Audas with her 79th win, as the Knights defeated the Huskies 3-2 to advance to the semifinal. Turnier set an AAC Tournament record with 13 strikeouts, which lasted up until this past May when Tulsa's Emily Watson broke the record with 15 strikeouts in a semifinal win over Houston.
22. Audas vs. Nevins - 4/13/2014 at USF
With the series and possibly a conference regular season title on the line, Mackenzie Audas outdueled the Bulls’ all-time pitching great Sara Nevins, who would go on to pitch for Team USA. The Knights would hold on to win 2-1 to win the series and take control of American Athletic Conference regular season race. It was a bit of revenge for Audas, who lost to Nevins in the 2012 NCAA Tournament 1-0 in a classic pitching duel. Audas went 2-0 this weekend against the Bulls and would end her career with more wins against USF then any Knight pitcher all-time.
21. Kime vs. Shamblin - 4/6/2008 vs. #9 Houston
Allison Kime went 3 for 3 at the plate with a home run off her rival Angel Shamblin, and pitched 6 innings to give UCF its first-ever win over #9 Houston, 6-4. The two teams would meet one month later in Houston in the C-USA Championship Game, where Kime once again got the best of Shamblin to win the C-USA Championship.
T-20. Turnier vs Hanson - 5/20/2016 vs. Florida Atlantic (NCAA Tournament)
In a great pitching duel, Shelby Turnier out-dueled her high school and college rival Kylee Hanson as a Jasmine Acevedo home run was all Turnier would need to pick up her 80th career win. Turnier became just the 2nd UCF pitcher to throw a shutout in the NCAA Tournament, joining Allison Kime, who did it in the 2008 regional final against Florida. This would turn out to be Turnier's last win in her legendary UCF career.
T-20. Twins Day - 5/21/2016 vs. Florida Atlantic (NCAA Tournament)
Jessica Ujvari’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the 8th sent the Knights to their third straight regional final, knocking off Florida Atlantic 2-1 in 8 innings. Jessica’s twin sister Jamie Ujvari got the win, going all 8 innings.
19." Fab 4" Take Over - 5/7/2014 vs. Stetson (NCAA Tournament)
UCF advances to the regional final in Gainesville, holding off Stetson 6-4 in a classic game to advance to Regional Final. UCF came out of the loser's bracket with a win over FAMU earlier. The "Fab 4" of Mackenzie Audas, Farrah Sullivan, Kahley Novak and Maddy Schroeder led the way. It would be a turning point even though UCF lost in Regional Final. This day would set the tone for historic 2015 season.
T-18. K Stands for Kime - 3/28/2007 at Florida State
Allison Kime struck out a school record 18 batters in 12 shutout innings as UCF knocked off Florida State 1-0 in 12 innings at JoAnne Graf Field. One week later Kime would set a UCF Softball record for most career strikeouts in UCF Softball history, passing Dottie Cupp, while throwing her 3rd career no-hitter at on 4/4/2007 as UCF won at Stetson 1-0.
T-18. Classic War On I-4 - 5/1/2016 at #18 USF
UCF came back from a 3-0 deficit to tie it up at 3-3, but were on verge of losing their first-ever conference series with USF as the Bulls had bases loaded and nobody out in the bottom of the 7th. But Willow Kalinen had other ideas as she caught a fly ball and threw out the Bulls’ baserunner at home for the double play. The Knights got out of the jam and Samantha McCloskey hit a two-run home the in top of the 9th to give UCF a 5-3 win in a game that was televised on ESPNU.
17. Record-Breaking Inning - 3/15/2007 vs. Bethune Cookman
UCF scored 17 runs in the 1st inning, which is 2nd-most runs scored in one inning in NCAA history, as the Knights run-ruled Bethune Cookman 18-2 in 5 innings. Cici Alvarez stole her 75th career base, passing Jania Shinhoster for most in UCF history.
T-16. Shelbanator - 3/9/2014 vs. Bowling Green
Shelby Turnier breaks the UCF record for most strikeouts in a 7-inning game with 16 in the Knights’ 2-0 win. Her 16 Ks was 3rd-highest single-game total in program history behind 17 from Audas in 11 innings vs. UTEP in 2013 and 18 by Kime in 2007 at FSU.
T-16. Marathon Shelby - 4/3/2015 at Tulsa
In the longest game in program history, Shelby Turnier threw all 16 innings, allowing just 1 run, as #16 UCF beat Tulsa 2-1 in a battle of the top two teams in AAC. Turnier would come back the next day and throw 7 innings in a shutout to give the Knights series win 2 of 3. UCF would go on to win AAC regular season title.
15. Audas Win For Ages - 4/11/2015 vs. Houston
Mackenzie Audas would break two of Allison Kime’s record in one game. First, she broke Kime’s career wins mark with her 73rd career victory, and she did it by throwing her 5th career no-hitter, breaking her tie with Kime’s 4 no-nos as #17 UCF run-ruled the Cougars 13-0 in 5 innings.
14. Audas' and Novak's Record Day - 3/13/2015 vs. Monmouth
Mackenzie Audas became the Knights’ all-time leader in career strikeouts, passing Allison Kime with 848 career Ks in the top of the first. In the bottom of the 1st, Kahley Novak stole 2nd to give herself sole possession of the UCF career record with 103 thefts, breaking the record held by Natalie Land. #20 UCF defeated Monmouth 8-3.
13. Roll Knights - 2/12/2016 vs. Alabama
In the first-ever game at the UCF Softball Complex between two top 25 teams, #17 UCF knocked off #5 Alabama 8-1 in front of a sold-out crowd. Courtney Rotton went 4/4 with 5 RBI while Shelby Turnier struck out 9 in the win.
12. 5/13/2005 at Florida Atlantic (A-Sun Championship in Boca Raton)
From 2002-2005, FAU was UCF’s nemesis, always getting in the Knights’ way of an A-Sun Championship and the elusive NCAA Tournament. That changed in 2005, as UCF eliminated FAU to get to the A-Sun Championship Game with a 3-2 win on walk-off RBI hit by Bryttani Lindheim.
11. Best Day Ever - 3/9/2003 vs. Army
Stephanie Best had a day for NCAA record books. Best hit two grand slams in the 2nd inning alone, which tied NCAA record for most grand slams in an inning, and most grand slams in a game. Best ended up with 11 RBI, which is still an NCAA record, as UCF beat Army 19-2. Earlier this year, UCF honored Best on the 15-year anniversary of that game.
T-10. Freshman Phenom - 4/11/2012 vs. #3 Florida
Freshman Mackenzie Audas dominated the Gators, throwing a 2-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts as UCF knocked off #3 Florida 2-0.
T-10. White Knight - 4/4/2018 vs #4 Florida.
Behind a record-breaking crowd of 1,236 at UCF Softball Complex. Sophomore Alea White kept Gators hitters off balance and joined Audas as only UCF Softball pitchers to beat Florida at the Complex by throwing a 1-hit shutout as UCF knock off Florida 1-0. UCF got an RBI single by Cassady Brewer in 1st scoring Aubrey Johnson. Brewer went 3 for 3 in the win. Her sister Danielle was part of UCF's 2012 win over Florida.
9. Kime's Time - 5/16/2008 vs. USF (NCAA Tournament)
Allison Kime hit a 2-out, 2-strike, 2-RBI triple in the top of the 6th inning to give UCF a thrilling 3-2 win over South Florida in NCAA Tournament. It marked first time UCF and USF played on field since 2006 and first time in postseason since 2005 Gainesville Regional. The Bulls never recovered from the loss as they went 0-2 in regional while UCF would end up in Gainesville Regional Final.
8. 50 Club - 5/16/2015 vs. South Carolina (NCAA Tournament)
The Knights pick up a school record 50th win in the season, breaking the 2008 team’s mark of 49 wins. The Knights won 5-2 behind a complete game from Mackenzie Audas, who picked up career win #78 in what turned out to be her final career start, to send the Knights to the Tallahassee regional final. UCF would end the magical season at 50-9 ranked 16th.
7. UCF Earns 1st NCAA Tournament Bid - 5/14/2005 vs. Troy. (A-Sun Championship)
UCF wins its first-ever conference championship, completing a two-game sweep over Troy and winning the 2nd game 3-1 behind A-Sun Tournament MVP Lindsay Enders, who pitched both games on the same day in Boca Raton, Florida. You can listen to my interview with Lindsay Enders in 2016 about her UCF career right here.
6. UCF Eliminates Florida - 5/21/2005 at #13 Florida (NCAA Tournament)
UCF gets its first-ever NCAA Tournament win, eliminating the Gators 5-3, as Stephanie Best went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and a memorable triple to ignite the UCF offense. It would be the final win that Best was part of with UCF as the Knights were eliminated later on by USF. Still, Best put the program on the map with a career that would put her in UCF Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015. She was the first softball player to be inducted. You can listen to my interview with Best about her UCF career from 2016 right here.
5. UCF Wins 1st AAC Regular Season Title - 5/3/2014 at UConn
The Knights clinched the program’s first-ever regular season conference title, clinching The American with a 3-0 win at UConn.
4. UCF WIns Back-to-Back AAC Regular Season Championships - 4/18/2015 at Memphis
The 15th-ranked Knights clinched their second straight American Athletic Conference regular championship with a 6-1 win at Memphis.
3. UCF Wins C-USA Championship - 5/10/2008 at # 9 Houston (C-USA Championship Game)
Tiffany Lane’s 2-run homer in the top of 6th would help give UCF the Conference USA Championship with a 4-2 win over #9 Houston. Allison Kime would get the best of her arch-rival Angel Shamblin in their final meeting after a three-year rivalry which I wrote about this year on Fastpitchnews.com.
2. UCF Wins AAC at Home - 5/9/2015 vs. Tulsa (AAC Championship Game)
Samantha McCloskey’s walk-off home run in the bottom of 7th gives the 15th-ranked Knights the American Athletic Conference Championship over Tulsa 1-0 in a game that was televised on ESPN2. Shelby Turnier pitched a 1-hit shutout to keep the trophy at the UCF Softball Complex.
1. UCF Knocks Off No 1. - 5/18/2008 at #1 Florida (NCAA Tournament Regional Final)
Allison Kime’s walk-off hit in the bottom of 8th scored Tiffany Lane to give UCF a 1-0 win to advance to the winner take all final game of the Gainesville Regional. The win ended #1 Florida’s 36-game overall winning streak and 41-game home winning streak. UCF was the only team to beat Florida that season in Gainesville.