The Knights’ ace became just the second pitcher in school history to earn Pitcher of the Week honors three times in one season and the first to do it back-to-back weeks. She struck out 33 batters in 21.2 innings and allowed just seven hits for the week.
Audas opened her week with a dazzling two-hit, 11 strikeout performance against Florida. The Gators came into the game ranked in the top 20 in the nation in batting average, slugging percentage and runs per game, but only managed two singles against Audas.
On Saturday, Audas made a relief appearance and a start at UAB. In game one, Audas stepped in relief with the bases loaded and one out and got a pop up and strikeout to end the Blazers' threat. Later that day in game two, she pitched a complete game and took a loss despite allowing just four hits and striking out 11.
Audas followed up that performance the next day with another stellar outing as she picked up her seventh conference shutout of the season. The young hurler took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished up with eight innings and just one hit allowed while striking out 10 as the Knights won by 1-0.
Audas has been arguably the most dominant pitcher in C-USA this season as she has a 17-6 record and leads the conference with a 1.06 ERA. She has only allowed 96 hits in 165.2 innings and has recorded a league-high 202 strikeouts while holding opponents hitters to a conference-low .166 batting average.
This is the fourth C-USA Softball Pitcher of the Week award for the Knights this season. Senior Ali Schmidt won the award on Feb. 27 and Audas took home the award on March 19 and April 9.
Audas and the Knights will return to action today (Wednesday), hosting Bethune-Cookman at 5:30 p.m. at the UCF Softball Complex before welcoming Memphis to Orlando for a 3-game C-USA series this weekend with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and a single game Sunday at noon.
UCF fans can follow all of the action on UCF All-Access with live video and audio. Fans also can follow UCFAthletics.com's Gametracker as well as www.twitter.com/UCF_Softball.
UCF 1, UAB 0
Freshman Mackenzie Audas took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and allowed only one hit in an eight-inning complete game as the UCF softball team defeated UAB 1-0 Sunday.
Pitching dominated as the Knights (31-12, 10-5 in Conference USA) and the Blazers (27-15, 11-4) combined for only four hits. Audas struck out 11 and walked only one. She reached double-digit strikeouts for the third consecutive start and increased her conference-leading total to 202.
After going 27 2/3 innings without a run, the Black and Gold finally broke through in the top of the eighth. Senior Natalie Land worked a two-out walk and stole second to move into scoring position. The steal was Land's second of the day and her 31st of the year, moving her into first place in C-USA.
Senior Vanessa Perez snapped an 0-12 slump and ripped an RBI single into center that easily scored Land and provided Audas all of the support she would need on the day.
Senior Natalie Land set the single-season stolen bases record Saturday afternoon, but the UCF softball team fell twice at UAB in a Conference USA doubleheader at Cougar Softball Stadium. The Knights lost both games 2-0.
Errors and mistakes on the bases cost the Knights valuable chances in game one.
Senior Ali Schmidt was tagged with the loss in the circle, and she fell to 9-3 on the season. Schmidt allowed only two runs, one earned, on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
A dropped foul ball in the bottom of the second directly led to an unearned run as the Blazers hit a solo home run on next pitch to claim a 1-0 lead.
The Knights had a chance in the top of the third with runners on first and second with one out. However, Lauren Aldridge was thrown out at third to end the inning on an attempt to tag up from second on a fly out to left field.
UCF threatened again in the top of the fourth with runners at second and third with one out. Hayley Barrow hit a ground ball to third, and Vanessa Perez broke too soon for home. She was tagged out after getting caught in a rundown.
UAB added an insurance run in the sixth after a pair of errors by the Knights.
Land led off the game with a walk and then broke the UCF single-season stolen bases record by swiping second. Land, already the Knights’ career leader in steals, stole her 29th base of the year, passing Tiffany Lane, who held the previous mark with 28 in 2008.
Freshman Mackenzie Audas took just her second conference loss in the circle after allowing two runs on four hits and two walks in 6 innings of work. The Knights’ young ace picked up 11 strikeouts to increase her conference-leading total to 192. The loss dropped the Audas' record to 16-6 on the year.
Audas gave up the game’s first run in the first inning after she uncorked two wild pitches. UAB added a second run in the bottom of the third with a solo home run. UCF loaded the bases in the fourth and had runners on first and second in the fifth, but the Knights were unable to come away with any runs.