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Oklahoma Softball: Meet OU's Super Regional Opponents, the 16-seeded UCF Knights

UCF is making its first Super Regional appearance in program history this weekend, as the Knights will look to upset Patty Gasso's Oklahoma juggernaut.

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)

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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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