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Everything You Need To Know About the 2024 UCF Softball Team

UCF Softball is ready for historic 2024 season

Noah Goldberg

The UCF Knights Softball team is set for a historic season with the most experienced, deepest roster it has ever had in program history as it goes up most challenging schedule in program history.

Listen to our preview podcast here:

Here’s everything you need to know about the Knights for 2024.


Last Season

40-21 (15-3 AAC), Won The American Championship, Lost in NCAA Tallahassee Regional

For the first time in program history, UCF won at least 40 games in three straight seasons. UCF ended a great run in The American by winning the AAC Tournament in Tampa, becoming the first Knights team to go back-to-back conference tournament champions.

In nine completed seasons in the AAC, UCF won:

  • Three regular season titles (2014-2015, 2022)
  • Three Tournament titles (2015, 2022, 2023)
  • Six NCAA Tournament appearances (2014-2016, 2021-2023)
  • Five regional finals appearances
  • One regional title as a host and national seed in 2022, advancing to the program’s first Super Regional.

This Season

Picked 5th in Big 12 preseason coaches poll

Softball has nine conference weekends with five on the road and four at home. Eight of the nine opponents had an RPI under 100 with four teams putting up 40 wins or more.

UCF will play three teams that were a top-16 national seed last year with Baylor being in the mix to host.

UCF’s first Big 12 road series is at Oklahoma State, which advanced to its fourth-consecutive WCWS last season and finished with 47 wins.

The Big 12 was the top-ranked RPI league in 2023 and was the only conference to have 57% of its teams finish with 40 or more wins. The league finished with a 64-26-1 (.709) record against other Power Five leagues last season and had a winning record against each of the other four conferences.


Who’s in Charge

Cindy Ball-Malone – 6th season with UCF

Cindy Ball-Malone enters her sith season at UCF with an overall record of 185-80-2. She’s taken the Knights to three NCAA Tournament appearances in 2021- 2023 and was awarded the Extra Innings National Coach of the Year award in 2022. You can watch my interview with Coach Ball-Malone below.

Ball-Malone currently is in her 2nd consecutive year as the USA Softball national assistant coach. In 2022, Ball-Malone helped Team USA win the gold medal at the World Games held in Birmingham. It is the 2nd gold medal for Ball-Malone who was an assistant coach at the 2019 WBSC U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup.


What to Watch for

Syndication: The Oklahoman
Oklahoma Head Coach Patty Gasso will bring the Sooners to UCF for the first time ever
Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman / USA TODAY NETWORK

UCF will host the three-time defending national champion Oklahoma Sooners on April 26-28, in the Knights’ final Big 12 conference series of the 2024 season. It will be the most-demanded regular season series ticket in program history.

The Sooners are in the middle of a dynasty run, having won five national titles since 2016, including the last three. They enter 2024 on an NCAA record 53-game winning streak.

UCF played Oklahoma in the 2022 Super Regional in Norman, won by the Sooners. UCF graduate assistant Shannon Saile played for Oklahoma from 2019-2021, helping lead the Sooners to win the national title in her final year there.

The Texas Longhorns also will make the trip to UCF for the first time on the weekend of March 22-24.

The Longhorns are coming off an NCAA Super Regional appearance and an appearance in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Softball Championship game, winning 45 games last year.

The Knights and Longhorns had a memorably wild meeting in Clearwater in 2022, won by UCF 15-10.

Maddie Bejarano UCF Softball
Maddie Bejarano celebrating after walk off win against Michigan in 2022 Orlando Regional.
Photo: Conor Kvatek/UCF Athletics

UCF will host the BYU Cougars on April 4-6, which will mark the return of former Knight Maddie Bejarano, who played at UCF for three seasons and was part of the Knights’ NCAA Tournament appearances in 2021 and 2022.

She helped UCF to the AAC title and the historic Orlando Regional championship where she hit the game-tying and game-winning double in an 11-inning thriller against Michigan in the winner’s bracket game


Players to Watch

3B/C Jada Cody and 1B Shannon Doherty

Cody and Doherty has helped lead the Knights program to new heights with the Knights having three straight 40-win seasons, Three straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2021-2023), two AAC Championships (2022-2023) and winning the school’s first regional as a first-time host in 2022.

Cody, tabbed to USA Softball’s Preseason Collegiate Player of the Year Top 50 watch list while also making the preseason top 100 player rankings by D1Softball (No. 90) and Softball America (No. 89), enters the 2024 season needing two home runs to claim sole possession of second place on the UCF all-time career list, and ranks within the top four on the Knights’ career batting average list (.328), on-base percentage list (.417) and slugging percentage list (.576).

Doherty has been a mainstay at first base for UCF softball and helped produce some memorable moments over her career thus far. Going into 2024, Doherty ranks among the Knights’ career leaders in a handful of categories. She is third in program history in career on-base percentage (.425), fifth in slugging percentage (.507), fourth in home runs (29), ninth in batting average (.311), sixth in RBIs (126) and holds the program record for most career hit-by-pitches (31).

OF Chloe Evans

Chloe Evans had arguably the greatest season any Knight outfielder has ever had in 2023. Here is the breakdown:

  • 49 RBIs is 4th most ever at UCF in a season, behind only Best (60 in 2005 and 66 in 2003), and Cody (75 in 2022)
  • 8 triples are tied for most in a season at UCF, tying Tiffany Lane’s mark from 2009
  • 16 Doubles are tied for 2nd-most ever by a Knight behind only Aubrey’s 18
  • .621 slugging pct is 6th-highest in program history, with only Best (2002-2005), and Cody (2022) having better seasons. Chloe is only the 5th Knight to slug .600.
  • UCF record 17 game hitting streak
  • 116 total bases is 6th-most in a single season at UCF
  • 7 assists set a program record for most assists by OF in a season, breaking Vanessa Perez’s record of 6 which she did twice (2009, 2011).

P/OF Sarah Willis

Willis went 19-3 in 2023, including 4-1 in the postseason. She also made history, throwing the first-ever 7-inning perfect game in program history against Houston on April 28.

Willis won the AAC Pitcher of the Year award, joining Shelby Turnier (2015) as the only Knights to win that award and the third Knight to win a conference Pitcher of the Year award (Mackenzie Audas won it in C-USA in 2012).

Willis would also win AAC Tournament MVP, going 3-0 and joining Allison Kime (2008) as the only Knights to go 3-0 in three days in a single elimination tournament.

She leads a staff of 9 pitchers that include fellow senior right-hander Grace Jewell who earned NFCA Third Team All-Region honors in 2023 throwing the program’s first no-hitter against a nationally ranked top 25 team in defeating then-No. 22 Arizona State on March 17 as well as Angelina DeVoe, Junior Kaitlyn Felton and Sophomore Macy Miles.

Ball-Malone also added two the pitching transfer portal twice over the summer, bringing in redshirt senior pitcher and designated player Sona Halajian and southpaw Ava Justman from Cal and Wisconsin, respectively. The Knights also have Freshman Isabella Vega.

SS Jasmine Williams

In 2023, Williams got national attention for #MomBombs, she was quietly putting up a historic defensive year, setting the program record for any shortstop by being involved in turning 19 double plays. Williams’ fielding pct of .958 is 2nd-best ever behind only Brittany Solis’s .977 in 2017. Williams’s 9 errors are the 4th-fewest ever behind only Erin Emanuel (7 in 2019, 8 in 2018) and Solis (4 in 2017).

Infielder Aubrey Evans

In 2023, Aubrey Evans showed why she was the highest-touted infielder to come to UCF since Natalie Land (2009-2012). Evans hit .338, which is tied with Jania Shinhoster for the 3rd-highest batting average for any true freshman in a non-COVID season behind only Denali Schappacher, who hit .340 in 2018, and UCF Hall of Famer Stephanie Best, who hit .347 in 2002.

Evans also set a program record with 18 doubles while playing 2B, 3B, and even catching a little bit.


Who’s New That’s Good

UCF has ten new faces: seven freshmen — a class that was ranked 16th in the nation by Extra Innings — and three transfers that were ranked as the No. 14 transfer class in the nation by D1Softball.com.

P Ava Justman

Justman comes to Orlando following a pair of seasons with Wisconsin, during which she notched a career 3.50 ERA in 78 collegiate innings.

INF Stormy Kotzelnick

Kotzolnick had two standout seasons with the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns highlighted by an All-Sun Belt Second Team season in 2022, leading the Cajuns in RBI (51) and extra-base hits (30) while slashing .356/.419/.644 (69-for-194). In two years, Kotzelnick had 35 stolen bases in 43 tries in her 118 total games.

P/DP Sona Halajian

Halajian joins the Knights after spending the last three seasons at California where she was a Second Team All-Pac-12 and First Team All-Region selection as a redshirt sophomore in 2022.

Halajian brings 303 innings worth of experience in the circle to Orlando, accruing 204 strikeouts and 18 complete games. She is a two-way player with a power bat.


Who We’ll Miss

Micaela Macario

Macario is the only regular starter lost from 2023. Look for Evans, Kotzolnick, and freshman Samantha Rey to play at 2nd.


Roster Breakdown

  • 4 Fifth-Years
  • 7 Seniors
  • 5 Juniors
  • 4 Sophomores
  • 7 Freshmen
  • 10 Floridians (2 Central Floridian)

2024 UCF Softball Roster

No. Name Pos Year Hometown 2023 School 2023 Stats
No. Name Pos Year Hometown 2023 School 2023 Stats
1 Jasmine Williams INF Fifth Year Mission Viejo, Calif. UCF All-AAC 2nd Team, .302 BA, 28 RBIs, 6 HRs,.958 fielding %
2 Samantha Rey INF Freshman Salinas, Calif. Notre Dame HS Salinas N/A
3 Aubrey Evans INF Sophomore Apopka, Fla. UCF All-AAC 2nd Team, AAC All-Rookie Team, .338 BA, 18 2Bs, 30 RBIs
4 Katelyn Cochran RHP Sophomore North Augusta, S.C. UCF 5 Innings Pitched
6 Angelina DeVoe LHP Senior Carson, Calif. UCF 4.31 ERA, 39.0 IP, 3-5, 30 SOs
7 Johneisha Rowe OF Senior Avon Park, Fla. UCF .302 BA, 11 SBs
8 Sierra Humphreys INF Freshman Corona, Calif. Centennial HS N/A
10 Taylor Kittleman INF Freshman Lancaster, Penn. Manheim Township HS N/A
11 Macy Miles RHP/UTL Sophomore Naples, Fla. UCF 7 Innings Pitched
12 Chloe Evans OF Senior Seymour, Wis. UCF All-AAC 2nd Team, .302 BA, 16 2Bs, 8 3Bs, 6 HRS, 49 RBIs
16 Kiley Strott C Freshman Longwood, Fla. Lake Brantley HS N/A
17 Jada Cody UTL Senior Murrieta, Calif. UCF All-AAC 1st Team, .301 BA, 12 2Bs, 7 HRs, 29 BBs,
18 Kaitlyn Felton RHP Junior Valrico, Fla. UCF 3.80 ERA, 77.1 IP, 6-6, 73 SOs
20 Katie Burge UTL Senior Miami, Fla. UCF .304 BA, 13 R, 21 hits
21 Isabella Vega RHP Freshman Bradenton, Fla. Parrish Community HS N/A
22 Kennedy Searcy UTL Senior Jacksonville, Fla. UCF All-AAC 1st Team, .291 BA, 48 hits, 24 RBIs, 17 SBs
24 Savannah Adams UTL/DP Junior La Mirada, Calif. UCF .300 BA, 24 hits, 6 HRs, 22 RBIs
25 Ava Justman LHP Junior Northridge, Calif. Wisconsin Did Not Play
26 Samantha Delhoyo INF/OF Freshman Flemington, N.J. Hunterdon Central Regional HS N/A
27 Ashleigh Griffin C R-Sophomore Newnan, Ga. UCF Did Not Play due to injury
35 Carson Frier C Junior Live Oak, Fla. UCF .114 BA, .995 fielding %
42 Alexis Morgan OF Freshman Centreville, Va. Westfield HS N/A
44 Stormy Kotzelnick INF R-Junior Carmel, Ind. Louisiana .279 BA, 6 HRs, 28 RBIs, 13 SBs
46 Shannon Doherty 1B Senior Coral Springs, Fla. UCF All-AAC 1st Team, .268 BA, 9 HRs, 38 RBIs, 27 BBs
55 Grace Jewell RHP Senior Chesapeake, Va. UCF 2.28 ERA, 122.2 IP, 12-6, 72 SOs
66 Sarah Willis RHP/OF Senior Ontario, Calif. UCF NFCA All-Region 1st Team Selection, AAC Pitcher of the Year, All-AAC 1st Team, 1.65 ERA, 152.1 IP, 19-4, 10 CGs, 124 SOs, .228 BA, 4 HRs, 14 RBIs
98 Sona Halajian RHP/DP Fifth Year San Anselmo, Calif. California 5.38 ERA, 65 IP, 4-4, 40 SOs, .228 BA, 6 HRs, 14 RBIs

Schedule Breakdown

2024 UCF Softball Schedule

Day Date H/A/N Time Opponent 2023 RPI 2023 record UCF Results LY Last Season
Day Date H/A/N Time Opponent 2023 RPI 2023 record UCF Results LY Last Season
Thursday 2/8/2024 Home 4:30 PM Howard 259 20-26 (10-9 MEAC) - 4th in MEAC
Thursday 2/8/2024 Home 7:00 PM UConn 78 34-15 (19-5 Big East) - Big East Regular Season Champion
Friday 2/9/2024 Home 6:00 PM Seattle 95 36-20 (14-10 WAC) - 4th in WAC
Saturday 2/10/2024 Home 5:30 PM UConn 78 34-15 (19-5 Big East) - Big East Regular Season Champion
Sunday 2/11/2024 Home 12:00 PM Georgia State 204 18-36 (7-17 Sun Belt) - T-8th in Sun Belt
Wednesday 2/14/2024 Home 6:00 PM Liberty 25 40-22 (19-5 ASUN) - Eliminated in Los Angeles Regional Final
Clearwater Invitational
Friday 2/16/2024 Neutral 2:00 PM North Carolina 77 26-28 (13-10 ACC) - 6th in ACC
Friday 2/16/2024 Neutral 8:00 PM Wisconsin 58 27-20 (12-10 Big Ten) - 5th in Big Ten
Saturday 2/17/2024 Neutral 1:00 PM Kentucky 29 31-22-1 (10-14 SEC) - Eliminated in Evanston Regional
Sunday 2/18/2024 Neutral 12:30 PM Northwestern 7 42-13 (20-3 Big Ten) - Eliminated in Tuscaloosa Super Regional
Sunday 2/18/2024 Neutral 6:00 PM UCLA 2 52-7 (21-3 Pac-12) Lost 2-1 Eliminated in Los Angeles Regional
Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic
Thursday 2/22/2024 Neutral 2:00 PM Mississippi State 48 28-25 (7-16 SEC) Won 6-5 12th in SEC
Thursday 2/22/2024 Neutral 5:00 PM Oregon 17 38-17 (14-10 Pac-12) - Eliminated in Stillwater Super Regional
Friday 2/23/2024 Neutral 5:30 PM Missouri 38 35-26 (7-17 SEC) Lost 11-8 Eliminated in Norman Regional
Friday 2/23/2024 Neutral 8:30 PM Oregon State 85 15-29-1 (6-17-1 Pac-12) - 7th in Pac-12
Saturday 2/24/2024 Neutral 5:00 PM Tennessee 6 51-10 (19-5 SEC) - Eliminated in WCWS Semifinals
Saturday 2/24/2024 Neutral 7:30 PM San Diego 135 23-29-1 (8-7 WCC) - 4th in WCC
Wednesday 2/28/2024 Home 6:00 PM UNF 103 29-23-1 (10-13-1 ASUN) Won 3-2 10th in ASUN
Friday 3/1/2024 Home 5:00 PM Princeton 106 29-20 (16-5 (Ivy League) - Ivy League Regular Season Champion
Friday 3/1/2024 Home 7:00 PM South Carolina 30 40-22 (9-15 SEC) Split 1-1 (6-1, 1-10) Eliminated in Tallahassee Regional Final
Saturday 3/2/2024 Home 5:30 PM Princeton 106 29-20 (16-5 (Ivy League) - Ivy League Regular Season Champion
Sunday 3/3/2024 Home 11:00 AM Kennesaw State 144 20-32 (11-13 ASUN) Won 2-0 (11-5, 8-0) 9th in ASUN
Sunday 3/3/2024 Home 1:00 PM Bethune Cookman 228 19-31 (15-9 SWAC) - 2nd in SWAC East
Wednesday 3/6/2024 Home 6:00 PM Stetson 105 28-28 (12-12 ASUN) Lost 4-3 6th in ASUN
Friday 3/8/2024 Home 6:00 PM Kansas 53 25-27 (5-13 Big 12) - T-6th in Big 12
Saturday 3/9/2024 Home 2:00 PM Kansas 53 25-27 (5-13 Big 12) - T-6th in Big 12
Sunday 3/10/2024 Home 12:00 PM Kansas 53 25-27 (5-13 Big 12) - T-6th in Big 12
Friday 3/15/2024 Away 6:00 PM Oklahoma State 5 47-16 (10-8 Big 12) Lost 0-2 (4-0, 9-4) Eliminated in WCWS 2nd Round
Saturday 3/16/2024 Away 2:00 PM Oklahoma State 5 47-16 (10-8 Big 12) Lost 0-2 (4-0, 9-4) Eliminated in WCWS 2nd Round
Sunday 3/17/2024 Away 12:00 PM Oklahoma State 5 47-16 (10-8 Big 12) Lost 0-2 (4-0, 9-4) Eliminated in WCWS 2nd Round
Friday 3/22/2024 Home 6:00 PM Texas 8 45-15-1 (11-7 Big 12) - Eliminated in Knoxville Super Regional
Saturday 3/23/2024 Home 2:00 PM Texas 8 45-15-1 (11-7 Big 12) - Eliminated in Knoxville Super Regional
Sunday 3/24/2024 Home 12:00 PM Texas 8 45-15-1 (11-7 Big 12) - Eliminated in Knoxville Super Regional
Thursday 3/28/2024 Away 6:00 PM Texas Tech 67 31-22 (5-13 Big 12) - T-6th in Big 12
Friday 3/29/2024 Away 6:00 PM Texas Tech 67 31-22 (5-13 Big 12) - T-6th in Big 12
Saturday 3/30/2024 Away 12:00 PM Texas Tech 67 31-22 (5-13 Big 12) - T-6th in Big 12
Wednesday 4/2/2024 Away 6:00 PM UNF 103 29-23-1 (10-13-1 ASUN) Won 3-2 10th in ASUN
Thursday 4/4/2024 Home 6:00 PM BYU 61 35-17 (11-4 WCC) - 2nd in WCC
Friday 4/5/2024 Home 6:00 PM BYU 61 35-17 (11-4 WCC) - 2nd in WCC
Saturday 4/6/2024 Home 12:00 PM BYU 61 35-17 (11-4 WCC) - 2nd in WCC
Wednesday 4/10/2024 Home 6:00 PM Jacksonville 130 25-27 (11-13 ASUN) - 8th in ASUN
Friday 4/12/2024 Away 6:00 PM Houston 122 20-30 (7-10 AAC) Won 3-0 (7-0, 8-2, 4-0) 5th in AAC
Saturday 4/13/2024 Away 2:00 PM Houston 122 20-30 (7-10 AAC) Won 3-0 (7-0, 8-2, 4-0) 5th in AAC
Sunday 4/14/2024 Away 12:00 PM Houston 122 20-30 (7-10 AAC) Won 3-0 (7-0, 8-2, 4-0) 5th in AAC
Wednesday 4/17/2024 Home 5:00 PM FAU 92 35-20 (15-9 CUSA) - 4th in CUSA
Friday 4/19/2024 Away 6:00 PM Baylor 22 40-18 (8-10 Big 12) - Eliminated in Salt Lake City Regional
Saturday 4/20/2024 Away 2:00 PM Baylor 22 40-18 (8-10 Big 12) - Eliminated in Salt Lake City Regional
Sunday 4/21/2024 Away 12:00 PM Baylor 22 40-18 (8-10 Big 12) - Eliminated in Salt Lake City Regional
Friday 4/26/2024 Home 6:00 PM Oklahoma 1 61-1 (20-1 Big 12) - Women's College World Series Champions
Saturday 4/27/2024 Home 2:00 PM Oklahoma 1 61-1 (20-1 Big 12) - Women's College World Series Champions
Sunday 4/28/2024 Home 12:00 PM Oklahoma 1 61-1 (20-1 Big 12) - Women's College World Series Champions
Friday 5/3/2024 Away 4:00 PM Iowa State 71 25-30 (6-12 Big 12) - 5th in Big 12
Saturday 5/4/2024 Away 1:00 PM Iowa State 71 25-30 (6-12 Big 12) - 5th in Big 12
Sunday 5/5/2024 Away 12:00 PM Iowa State 71 25-30 (6-12 Big 12) - 5th in Big 12

Big 12 Tournament

Dates: May 8-11, 2024

Location: USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Did You Know...

UCF has two players on the roster whose fathers won a college football national title.

  • Sophomore utility Macy Miles is the daughter of former LSU Head Football Coach Les Miles, who led the Tigers to the national title in 2007.
  • Junior catcher Carson Frier’s father, Todd, was on the Florida State Seminoles’ 1999 national championship team. Frier’s uncle, Matt Frier, was on Noles’ 1993 national title team.