This past week of UCF Knights sports was quite the busy one. Two teams ended their regular seasons, one team continued to show prominence on the national stage, and another team.
Plus, we name the Knights of the Week and Knight Play of the Week in your Knight Cap for Thursday, April 6, 2023.
Baseball Dominated by Miami
Final.— UCF Baseball (@UCF_Baseball) April 5, 2023
The UCF Baseball team’s five-game road trip got off to a shaky start with the Knights losing 14-3. It is the first time Miami has beaten UCF by double digits since 2010.
UCF SP Cameron Leiter was credited with the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings. Though, the freshman he did strike out five batters to up his season total to 29.
As for the UCF bullpen, it was a mixed bag for the UCF. Nick Vieira, Dominic Castellano, and Kris Sosnowski combined to pitch 3.1 innings, allowed no runs on two hits and struck out five. Meanwhile, Julian Balzer and Zack Austin combined to allow 9 runs on 7 hits and strike out one.
However, the defense behind them had similar struggles as the Knights committed three errors, making this the 7th multi-error game this season.
On the offensive side, Ben McCabe, who picked up an RBI single in the fourth inning, got to take up the DH role since Andrew Sundean got to make his first start at catcher for 2023. However, the Knights ended up taking double-digit strikeouts for the 15th time this season, going 6-9 in such games.
UCF will look to rebound as they travel up to Greenville, North Carolina to take on No. 12-ranked East Carolina. Due to Easter weekend and inclement weather forecasted for Saturday, the series will begin with a doubleheader on Thursday starting at 2 p.m. followed by Game 3 on Friday.
Schedule update— UCF Baseball (@UCF_Baseball) April 5, 2023
Due to projected inclement weather in Greenville, we'll now play a doubleheader against ECU tomorrow starting at 2 p.m.https://t.co/2PRQf7Ygnv
Track and Field Makes More History at Florida Relays
The UCF Track and Field team held onto its spot in the Top 10 in the nation after competing at the Florida Relays in Gainesville last weekend.
Highlights from the meet included:
- Rayniah Jones running the third-fastest 100-meter hurdle time in the nation thus far this season (12.75 seconds) to take home the gold.
- Beyonce Defreitas running the third-fastest 100-meter dash time in program history (11.16 seconds) to finish fifth. It’s the first time a UCF athlete ran a sub-11.20 time in the event since 2013.
- Kiah Williams running the 7th-fastest outdoor 400-meter dash time in the nation thus far this season (12.75 seconds) to finish 7th. It is also the 3rd-fastest outdoor 100-meter dash in program history, making her the 4th UCF athlete to run a sub-53-second time in the event.
- Ani Wells, I’Asia Wilson, Defreitas, and Janyah Jasper teamed up to run the 9th-fastest 4x100-meter relay in the nation thus far this season (43.77 seconds) to capture bronze. Just behind them, in 4th place, Jones, Kaylor Harris, Latasha Smith, and Daija Lampkin ran the 15th-fastest time in the nation so far this season (44.42 seconds).
- Jones, Harris, Alicia Coleman, and Natalia Madison teamed up to win the shuttle hurdle relay with a 53.45-second time, setting a new program record with the 7th-fastest time in the event in NCAA history.
- Lillian Holtery took home a silver in the 1500-meter run with a 4:29.00 time, the 4th-fastest time in the event in program history.
Only two Knights athletes will see action this weekend as Madison and Holly Cassels compete in their first heptathlon of 2023 at the Miami Alumni Invite.
Women’s Golf Concludes Regular Season
Anna and Sandwich finish The Bruzzy tied for 4th— UCF Women's Golf (@UCF_WGolf) April 2, 2023
We finished 5th as a team pic.twitter.com/vp4hhVUFfs
The UCF Women’s Golf team concluded its regular season at The Bruzzy in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
Grad student Anna Nordfors and freshman Pimpisa “Sandwich” Sisutham led the way for the Knights as both finished in a tie for fourth overall at 214 (+4), finishing six strokes back of the individual champion, Tulsa’s Lilly Thomas. It is the second Top 5 finish of the season for both golfers.
As a team, UCF earned its fifth Top 5 finish of the season thanks to finishing in 5th place at 871 (+31). While the Knights did beat the likes of No. 35 TCU and No. 36 Houston, they fell short of No. 32 Texas Tech, No. 39 Tulsa, and team champion No. 42 North Texas.
UCF will have the chance to face Tulsa and Houston again for the American Athletic Conference Championship in Brooksville on April 17-19.
Stayin' steady at No. 18 this week in the Golfstat Rankings pic.twitter.com/X0W3M70L42— UCF Women's Golf (@UCF_WGolf) April 5, 2023
Men’s Golf Concludes Regular Season in Augusta
The UCF Men’s Golf team, like its female counterpart, wrapped its regular season last weekend as well, just at the Augusta Haskins Award Invite in Augusta, Georgia.
Fifth-Year Luis Carrera led the way by shooting the fifth-lowest 54-hole score in program history, 204 (-12), finishing in third place individually. He also led the entire field with 19 birdies in the tournament.
Fellow Fifth-Year Johnny Travale joined Carrera under par by finishing at 215 (-1), to get into a tie for 23rd place.
As a team, the Knights came in 7th, finishing as the highest non-Top 50-ranked team at the tournament at 853 (-11), even beating out the likes of No. 19 Georgia Southern and No. 47 Notre Dame.
Full results from the Augusta Haskins Award Invite can be found on Golfstat.com.
The Knights now have a couple of weeks to prepare for the American Athletic Conference Championship, hosted in Belleair from April 21-23.
Rowing Nabs Two Medals at Sunshine State Invite
The UCF Rowing team picked up a couple of medals in Sarasota at the Sunshine State Invite.
The Second Varsity Eight came away with a victory, finishing nearly two seconds ahead of Miami at 6:34.42. Meanwhile, the Varsity Four boat took home a bronze, only coming short of Wisconsin and Michigan State.
The performances helped the Knights receive 45 votes in the Pocock/CRCA Coaches Poll
For the full results of the Sunshine State Invite, check out row2k.com.
The team will be returning to Sarasota again this weekend to compete in the Big Ten Invite from April 7-8.
Men’s Tennis Splits AAC Matchups
Senior Bogdan Pavel took home a ranked singles play victory after taking down No. 122 Fynn Kuenkler of Tulane. Meanwhile, fellow senior Lleyton Cronje went unbeaten in this pair of matches.
The Knights (7-11, 3-1 AAC) will be back on the road this weekend to face No. 53-ranked South Florida in the War on I-4.
Knights of the Week
Rayniah Jones (Track and Field) and Shannon Doherty (Softball)
Both Jones and Doherty were announced as Order of Pegasus recipients on Wednesday, which is the most prestigious honor a UCF student can receive.
They join the likes of McKenna Melville and Alex Ward, who were both selected last year.
Both were also backing up their classroom success on the field this week.
Jones ran her fastest 100-meter hurdle time since the 2021 Olympic Trials, was in a squad ranked 15th in the nation in the 4x100-meter relay, and in another squad that ranks 7th all-time in the shuttle hurdle relay.
Meanwhile, Doherty has been on a six-game hit streak. In the softball team’s Wednesday win over Florida Gulf Coast, she hit her 5th home run of the season and 25th of her career.
Career home run number 2⃣5⃣ for Shannon pic.twitter.com/4mmwCYtdV9— UCF Softball (@UCF_Softball) April 5, 2023
Knight Play of the Week
Rayniah Jones runs her fastest 100-meter hurdles since the 2021 Olympic Trials