“We knew we needed to come out and win because it was senior day and we wanted to be sent off on a good note,” Hillary Barrow (Miami, Fla.) said.
The win over the Golden Hurricane improved the Knights’ record to 29-20 overall and 13-7 in league action, while it also moved the Black and Gold into second place in the C-USA standings, just behind East Carolina.
Cole improved her record to 18-12 on the year with her victory in the circle, as she struck out two batters and walked only one in the outing.
“Today just shows how much of a warrior Ashleigh is,” head coach Renee Luers-Gillispie said. “To be able to pitch nine innings yesterday and within 12 hours to come back and pitch a great game takes a lot of heart. She has really worked hard on getting her level of fitness to level it needs to be to stay in those long games. It just shows that all the hard work she has done has paid off.
Fellow seniors Barrow and Mary Helen Tyler (Marianna, Fla.) also came up big in the clutch for UCF in the victory. Barrow posted a hit and scored the game-winning run, while Tyler drove Barrow in with her game-winning RBI single in the fourth inning.
“Senior day is always emotional,” Luers-Gillispie said. “You now know why many coaches wear sunglasses when they are out there honoring their seniors. We are really going to miss these seniors and they’ve worked so hard this year. They’ve been a great group of leaders and have always been the ones to push their teammates. Their inspiration to get to the post season is really helping them push the team to excel. I was really proud of how the team really stepped up for each other.”
All five of the seniors had their families in attendance to share this special day with them and the tight knit group of leaders was happy to share this experience with one another.