ELOOnline : Mackenzie Audas and Shelby Turnier
On this edition of ELOOnline, I got to sit with UCF’s star softball pitchers Mackenzie Audas and Shelby Turnier who have form a dominant 1-2 punch in the circle for the Knights.
The UCF Knights Softball team is in pursuit of the American Athletic Conference regular season championship and get back to the NCAA Tournament. The last time the Knights were in the NCAA Tournament was in 2012 was led in the circle by then freshman pitcher Mackenzie Audas who help lead the way as she became the first Knight in program history to win a Pitcher of the year award winning CUSA C0-Pitcher of the Year, and Freshman of the Year. Audas This season Audas now the veteran junior has a partner in crime in Sophomore Shelby Turnier. Both have had strong/dominant seasons and helping UCF rank in the top 10 in the country in ERA (1.53) which is on pace for the 2nd best in school history (1.29 in 2007) and have combine for 15 of the team’s 16 shutouts which is 3rd most in school history and 3rd in the country.
Audas and Turnier both joke around with each other refered to each other as ” Shake and Bake” after the movie Talledega Nights But neither jokes around when they get the ball in the game. Both have thrown no hitters in fact threw it back to back games as Audas was part of a combine no-hitter with Mackenzie Huhn on March 18th vs Iona which was Audas 3rd career no-hitter. A few days later in the AAC Conference opener, Turnier followed it up with her first career no-hitter against Memphis on March 22. Both have had significant moments this season. Two weeks ago Mackenzie Audas had a homecoming of sorts pitching in front of many family and friends in Tampa ( Audas from Plant City High School) for big conference series at USF. Audas would go 2-0 on the weekend including outpitching USF All-American pitcher Sara Nevins 2-1 in a classic series finale duel to give the Knights series win. Earlier that week in Deland, Audas moved into third place all-time in program history with a 1-0 win at Stetson.
Turnier this season has broken some of the records that were held by Knights Legendary pitcher Allison Kime who is the standard at UCF when it comes to excellence in the circle. Turnier set the program’s seven-inning strikeout record by fanning 16 versus Bowling Green on March 9th in a 1 hit shutout breaking Kime’s record of 15 which Turnier had tied earlier in the season against Florida A&M. Kime still has the school record with 17 strikeouts in a game at FSU in 2007 in a 12 inning win for the Knights. Turnier this season had a stretch of 39.1 innings scoreless inning streak which was longest in the nation, but the game to this point that is Turnier signature win of her career came on March 13 when Turnier shutout 22nd rank Notre Dame at home. Both Turnier and Audas have been honored winning AAC pitcher of the week twice and are in the conversation with USF’s Sara Nevins for AAC pitcher of the Year and first team all-conference. Neither is concern with any that the only thing that Turnier and Audas are concerned with is team success.
I had a chance to chat with both Audas and Turnier and talk about how they help each other out, What been the key to both success this season and more.
Mackenzie Audas and Shelby Turnier :
2014 Season as of 4/23 W-L ERA K ( Ranks in NCAA) K/7
Mackenzie Audas 15-10 1.62 (39th) 174 (35th) 7.5 (67th)
Shelby Turnier 16-5 1.42 ( 21st) 178 (31st) 9.7 (8th)*
Allison Kime is arguabably the greatest player in program history and has almost every significant pitching record in school history. Audas and Turnier so far compare very well and hope to duplicate what Kime did in 2008. Kime help lead the Knights to CUSA Championship in Houston on May 10, 2008 in the CUSA Championship game against 9th rank Houston. It was fitting for Kime to win on May 10 as she wore number 10. This year Audas, Turnier and the Knights hope to duplicate that by winning AAC Tournament championship ironically in Houston with the championship game scheduled to take place on you guessed it, May 10!
Chasing Kime’s Dimes : Wins ERA Avg Against K/7
Allison Kime (2006-2008) 71 (1st) 1. 20 (1st) .183 (1st) 7.43 (3rd)
Mackenzie Audas (2012-Present) 50 (3rd) 1.80 (4th) .196 (2nd) 7.97 (1st)
Shelby Turnier (2013-present) 30 (6th) 1.89 (5th) .203 (5th) 7.52 (2nd)
Career No Hitters : Allison Kime 4, Mackenzie Audas 3, Shelby Turnier 1.
Photo Courtesy of UCFKnights.com
Eric Lopez host ELOOnline Podcast which airs on Sportstalkflorida.com. Eric Lopez also host 1080am Insiders Show that airs Sundays from 10-11am eastern on Sportstalk 1080 the team in Orlando. Lopez also fills in on Tuck and O’Neill on Sportstalk 1080 the Team Orlando.