The UCF Knights Softball team pulled off arguably the most memorable home win in program history by knocking off No. 2 Arizona, 2-0 on Monday. The Knights ended Arizona’s nation-best 23-game win streak.
No. 2 #ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/aK5pWV43tL— UCF Softball (@UCF_Softball) March 8, 2021
Knights pitcher Gianna Mancha was the star of the game as she dominated an Arizona offense that is among the best in the country, throwing a 3-hit complete game shutout with 9 strikeouts.
mwahahaha @UCF_Softball pic.twitter.com/w3ZLir7Ee2— UCF Knights (@UCFKnights) March 8, 2021
It is the first time Arizona has been shut out since June 1, 2019 against Alabama at the Women’s College World Series - a streak of 646 days. It is also the first time Arizona has been shut out in a regular season game since April 27, 2019 at California.
The Knights capitalized on opportunities on offense with a bases-loaded walk by Karissa Ornelas in the first that put UCF up 1-0.
Karissa walks with the bases loaded and we're up 1-0 ‼ #ChargeOn pic.twitter.com/QvVWwJQJPY— UCF Softball (@UCF_Softball) March 8, 2021
They added a second run in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out, two-strike double from Georgia Blair.
GEORGIA BLAIR!— UCF Softball (@UCF_Softball) March 8, 2021
BIG INSURANCE RUN #CHARGEON
That would be all that Mancha and the Knights needed as they improved to 13-3 on the season while posting the signature win of the Cindy Ball-Malone era and perhaps the best regular season win in the 15 years of the UCF Softball Complex. We will break that down when we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Plex’s opening later in the month.
To put this win in perspective, UCF just knocked off the New York Yankees of college softball. Arizona has been one of the standards in college softball since the '90s, led by the legendary Head Coach Mike Candrea, who is the all-time leader in wins (1,645) and national titles (8) in college softball history.
The Wildcats are also one of the favorites for the national title in 2021, led by star catcher Dejah Mulipola, who will be representing the United States this summer in Tokyo in the Olympics and could be the National Player of the Year.
UCF!— Amanda Scarborough (@ascarborough) March 8, 2021
It is a win that will resonate throughout the college softball world for the entire 2021 season. The Knights hope it is just the beginning of a memorable ride.