Oklahoma is playing in its 12th straight Super Regional this weekend, and the Sooners will host a new face.
The 16-seeded UCF Knights are headed to Norman after advancing to the Super Regionals for the first time in program history.
UCF went 3-0 in regional play last weekend, and the Knights will be looking to keep their dream run rolling by upsetting Patty Gasso’s top-seeded Sooners at Marita Hynes Field.
Opponent: UCF Knights
Record: 49-12 overall, 16-2 in AAC play (AAC Champions)
Head Coach: Cindy Ball-Malone (244-173-2 overall, 145-57-1 at UCF)
NCAA Tournament Path: 3-0 in hosting the Orlando Regional, beat Villanova 6-0, Michigan 3-2 in 11 innings and Michigan again in the Regional Final 9-4
Key Wins in 2022: Georgia (7-6), Texas (15-10), Ole Miss (6-3), Virginia Tech (5-4)
Key Losses in 2022: Minnesota (3-1), Tennessee (6-2), Florida State (8-0), Florida (12-11 and 10-3), Virginia Tech (1-0 and 7-0), Houston (9-8), Wichita State (11-4)
The Offense: UCF ranks No. 36 in the country in batting average, hitting .300 this season as a team. The Knights plate runs by stringing together hits and playing a bit of small ball, as UCF only hits 0.67 home runs per game, the 124th best mark in the country.
In the Circle: UCF’s pitching staff has done a nice job containing opposing offenses this season. As a staff UCF’s ERA is 2.14, which ranks No. 22 overall. Oklahoma should have plenty of chances to put balls in play, however, as the Knights only have a 2.03 strikeout to walk ratio, the 118th best mark in college softball.
Key Players: Offensively, the Knights are led by do-it-all utility player Jada Cody. The sophomore from Murrieta, CA, leads UCF in batting average (.363), home runs (14) and slugging percentage (.695). During regional play, Cody combined to hit 3-for-10 across the three games, driving in five RBIs.
In the circle, UCF is led by senior Gianna Mancha. Boasting a 23-3 record on the year, Mancha ranks 22nd in the country with a 1.62 ERA, and has struck out 186 batters while only allowing 77 walks. Mancha made two appearances in the Orlando Regional, allowing three runs and eight hits in 12 1/3 innings of work. The senior right-hander also struck out 14 batters last weekend, surrendering just five walks.
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