#38 UCF Softball 2017 Preview

UCF Knights
Overall Rank: #38
Conference Rank: #2 American
UCF has been a staple in the NCAA Tournament and last year was no different. The Knights struggled somewhat to begin the year thanks to a brutal schedule that included a stretch of games against James Madison, Auburn, Texas A&M, UCLA, Arizona, LSU, Washington and Notre Dame consecutively over 13 days. For the second time in three years, the Knights were sent to the Gainesville Regional hosted by Florida. And yet again, it would be the Gators who would knock UCF out of the NCAA Tournament.
2016: 38-22, 12-4
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Renee Luers-Gillispie
Key Departed Players:
Shelby Turnier, P, 21-18, 241.2 IP, 2.40 ERA, 251 K
Jessica Ujvari, DP/C, .300 BA, 51 H, 9 HR, 12 2B, 35 RBI
Samantha McCloskey, C/INF, .277 BA, 5 HR, 26 RBI
Jamie Ujvari, P, 8-3, 93.1 IP, 1.42 ERA, 5 SV
Key Returning Players:
Courtney Rotton, IF, .292 BA, 49 H, 9 2B, 26 RBI
Linnea Goodman, OF, .286 BA, 55 H, 14 SB
Manami Calixto, P, 9-1, 2.02 ERA, 66 IP
The Knights will have a new look in the circle this season, as all-time wins leader Shelby Turnier has graduated and is now playing with the Chicago Bandits of the NPF. Losing her and the squad's No. 2 pitcher, Jamie Ujvari, will put a strain on Manami Calixto, who will be asked to man the rotation. Luckily for the Knights, they brought in three freshmen pitchers in this year's recruiting class. Kamryn Toney struck out 276 batters, while compiling a 0.528 ERA as a senior, while Alea White was a three-time All-State selection in Florida and reached 1,000 strikeouts in her junior season. Along with Courtney Rotton and Linnea Goodman, the Knights also return sophomore Cassady Brewer, who last year was named the AAC Rookie of the Year. Brewer finished fourth on the team with 23 RBI but will be looked upon to step up in the places of some of the departed players.  
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament