UCF softball relies on historic comeback to open NCAA Tallahassee Regional

UCF scored 9 unanswered runs in the final three innings to rally past Auburn 11-6 for a critical first win in NCAA Tallahassee Regional at the Seminole Softball Complex Friday afternoon.

Shannon Doherty and Jasmine Williams each hit a 3-run homer in the sixth inning, both blasts coming with two outs as the Knights moved on to face the winner of 15th-seeded Florida State and Chattanooga on Saturday (1 p.m.).

The four-run deficit was the largest comeback in the NCAA tournament in program history.

UCF jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to an RBI double by Chloe Evans and an RBI single by Williams. But the Tigers tied it up in the bottom of the second when Rose Roach smacked an RBI double and Nelia Peralta had an RBI single.

Pitcher Sarah Willis (10-10) came into the game in relief in the third inning and quickly walked in two runners before allowing two more runs on a fielder’s choice and an error followed by a sacrifice fly.

UCF began chipping away in the top of the fifth inning when Sona Halajian and Evans had RBI singles to slice the deficit to 6-4. But in the top of the sixth, the Knights rallied on homers by Doherty and Williams to grab the lead for good.

Third baseman Sierra Humphreys had a solo homer in the top of the seventh.

Williams went 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs while Evans finished 4 for 4 with 2 RBIs.

Eight of UCF’s 11 runs came with two outs as the Knights batted .533 (8 of 15) with two outs in an inning.

Matt Murschel can be reached at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com