UCF Knights Softball dominated this past week, becoming the first Knights team ever to go undefeated on the West Coast, going 7-0 and outscoring opponents 61-14 to improve to 22-7 on the season. The Knights have now won 11 in a row.
In total, 11 players on the Knights roster are from the state of California. It was a homecoming for many of them in what turned out to be a historic weektrip for the program.
Let’s go around the bases!
1st: UCF Had a Great West Coast Homecoming
The trip started last Tuesday with UCF run ruling Pacific 8-0 in 5 innings. The game marked a homecoming for UCF Head Coach Cindy Ball-Malone, who was a two-time All-American there as a player.
Kama Woodall pitched 4 innings, giving up just 4 hits and striking out 6 to pick up the win.
The Knights followed that up with a 10-2 win over Fresno State on Wednesday night in another homecoming — this time for pitcher Gianna Mancha, who is from the Fresno area. Mancha went 6 innings, giving up just 2 runs while striking out 8 in the win.
2nd: Denali Schappacher Was On Fire
Denali Schappacher broke out of her recent slump, going 10/18 at the plate with hits in all seven games, and scoring 7 runs during the west coast trip.
Schappacher is now 4 away from 200 career hits, and sparked UCF’s win over NCAA Tournament team Boston 6-2 on Friday.
3rd: Jada Cody Continues Historic Pace
Jada Cody continues to deliver big hits and runs as she had another strong week, highlighted by her Saturday performances in a doubleheader against Iowa State and Cal State Fullerton, going 5/7 with three homers and 7 RBI in leading UCF to 7-5 win over Iowa State and 11-2 over host Cal State Fullerton in 6 innings.
Cody became fastest Knight to reach 40 RBIs in a single season. She also has Cody at 8 homers and is hitting .356 for the season.
J.P. Gilbert asked the following:
“Is Jada Cody on pace for the best season by a UCF hitter ever?”
Not yet. UCF Athletic Hall of Famer Stephanie Best’s 2005 season is the benchmark, as she led the NCAA in homers with 26 and drove in 60 runs. In 2003, Best hit 18 homers while driving in 66 runs, which is the school record, while hitting .403.
That said, if Cody continues this pace, it will go down as the greatest UCF season any everyday Knight player has had since Best’s 2005 season, and maybe better all-around when you add to the fact that Cody plays catcher and 3rd base on defense.
Home: Mancha/Woodall is a Great 1-2 punch
Kama Woodall was fantastic on Sunday in relief and as a starter. Woodall came in relief of Mancha in the 5th inning against Nebraska and was lights out, retiring all 8 Cornhusker hitters she faced as UCF would knock off Nebraska, 7-3.
Woodall would then start against host team Long Beach State and threw 5 shutout innings in getting the win, as the Knights run-ruled Long Beach State 12-0 in 6 innings.
Robert Clark asks the following:
Who is the best pitcher for UCF softball this year?— Robert Clark (@RobertWClark7) March 13, 2022
Mancha and Woodall have combined for a 17-3 record and 3 saves. They both have completely different styles which makes them a perfect match which is why you see them both pitch in same game with one starting and one come in relief. They have a chance to be a great 1-2 combo like White-Mancha was the last two years, which I did not anticipate this season.
Woodall has been having her best season of her college career. The two of them give Coach Ball-Malone options on how she wants to attack an opposing offense. Mancha is the ace but both of them could end up being All-Conference and All-Region if they keep this pace up.
UCF comes home to host a marquee midweek game against Ohio State on Tuesday night. The Buckeyes are 13-3 on the season, and winners of 5 in a row, including a 5-0 win over South Florida on Sunday night.
UCF will host Furman for a three-game series starting on Saturday with a doubleheader and single game on Sunday.