The UCF softball team is NCAA tournament-bound after finishing the season as Conference USA's runner-up.
The Knights trounced UTEP and Memphis in the early rounds of the C-USA tournament to make it to the championship game against East Carolina.
Heroes had emerged in both of the first two games. Abby McClain slammed a 3-run homer in the opening round of the tournament to lift her team over the Miners 4-2. Then in the next game Hillary Barrow ended the game with a bang, hammering a 2-run double to put her Knights over the top against Memphis.
But against East Carolina there were no heroics at the plate. Pirates pitcher Toni Paisley threw a complete game 3-hitter to end the Knights' chances of a championship. The Knights would fall 3-1 in that game.
Now the Knights (35-21) face off against Florida International in the first round. They hadn't played the Panthers (36-19) this season. That game starts at 3:30 p.m. Friday in Gainesville.
After losing two straight games to East Carolina, the Knights decimated the Pirates in a 14-1 rout Sunday.
In the process, UCF slugger Chris Duffy hammered his 18th homerun of the year, tying the school's single-season homerun record. The power-hitting Knights knocked three over the wall to set a team record with 70 home runs in a single season.
The massive turnaround for the Knights (31-21, 8-13) marked the first time since 2008 that they had caused officials to invoke the run rule and end the game early due to the 14-1 scoring disparity.
After a quick home game against Florida Atlantic at press time, the Knights head to New Orleans this weekend at Tulane starting at 7 p.m. Friday.
After a string of wins in the NCAA Division II tournament, the Tars fell 7-1 to Southern Arkansas. The Muleriders ended the Tars' tournament run after a 41-19 season, which tied them for the second most wins in team history.