Two streaks were snapped and history was made with UCF’s 3-1 victory at the USF Softball Complex on Wednesday.
The Bulls (36-19, 6-0 Big East) suffered their first loss in more than two weeks, snapping the team’s nine-game winning streak, while the Golden Knights (14-29, 0-15 C-USA) earned their first win since April 9, ending an 18-game slump. The game also marked the first win against the Bulls for UCF, which now trails 8-1 in the all-time series.
Freshman Cristi Ecks started the game for the Bulls, but was relieved by sophomore Bree Spence after allowing six hits and three runs in only 2 1/3 innings of work.
“I don’t know, I guess my movement wasn’t as good today,” Ecks said. “I mean, that just happens; you have off days, and that’s what happened today.”
Spence finished the game allowing three hits and no runs in 4 2/3 innings.
After UCF jumped out to a three-run lead in the third inning, Bulls sophomore Laura Wolf got USF on the board with an RBI double in the fourth that proved to be the last run of the game for either team.
Coach Ken Eriksen felt his team displayed a lack of intensity during the game and blames himself for the loss, saying he was too easy on the team during practice this week.
“I probably could’ve done a better job at practice preparing them for UCF, and I didn’t,” Eriksen said. “It was my fault completely, and I thought we had kind of an easy practice yesterday that wasn’t real intense. You’ve got to take them all seriously and I just didn’t do my job yesterday.”
While Eriksen took credit for his team’s loss, citing lack of preparation, the 10th-year head coach also praised UCF ace Allison Kime, who pitched all seven innings in the contest allowing two hits, one run and recording 11 strikeouts.
“Allison is a fantastic pitcher,” Eriksen said. “She’s been on everybody’s radar screen and everyone knows what a fine pitcher she is. She can throw and she is only going to get better with age.”
Senior shortstop Christie Chapman, who was 0-for-2 against Kime during the game, agreed with Eriksen.
“Yeah, she had some pretty good movement and you’ve got to hand it to her, I mean she beat us today,” Chapman said.
Despite the loss, Eriksen knows he has a talented team and hopes that keeping a consistent work ethic in practice will help them succeed in the future.
“We’ve got a good team,” Eriksen said. “I just felt like I let them down a little bit today because of the (lack of) intensity in practice yesterday.”