ELOOnline : Mackenzie Audas and Shelby Turnier
On this edition of ELOOnline, I got to sit with UCF'sstar softball pitchers Mackenzie Audasand Shelby Turnier who have form a dominant 1-2 punch in the circle for the Knights.
The UCFKnights 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 helplead the way as she became the first Knight in program history to win a Pitcher of the year award winningCUSAC0-Pitcherof the Year, and Freshman of the Year. AudasThis season Audasnow 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.
Audasand Turnierboth joke around with each other refered to each other as " Shake and Bake" after the movie TalledegaNights 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 Audaswas part of a combine no-hitter with Mackenzie Huhnon March 18th vs Ionawhich was Audas3rd career no-hitter. A few days later in the AAC Conference opener, Turnierfollowed it up with her first career no-hitter against Memphis on March 22.Both have had significant moments this season. Two weeks ago Mackenzie Audashad 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. Audaswouldgo 2-0 on the weekend includingoutpitchingUSFAll-American pitcher Sara Nevins 2-1 in a classic series finale duelto give the Knights series win. Earlier that week in Deland, Audasmoved into third place all-time in program historywith a 1-0 win at Stetson.
Turnierthis season has broken some of the records that were heldby Knights Legendary pitcher Allison Kimewho is the standard at UCFwhen 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. Kimestill has the school record with 17 strikeouts in a game at FSU in 2007 in a 12 inning win for the Knights. Turnierthis season had a stretchof 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 March13 when Turniershutout 22nd rank NotreDame at home.Both Turnierand Audashave been honored winning AAC pitcher of the week twice and are in the conversation with USF'sSara Nevins for AAC pitcher of the Year and first team all-conference. Neither is concern with any that the only thing that Turnierand Audas are concerned with is team success.
I had a chance to chat with both Audasand Turnier and talk about how they help each other out, What been the key to both success this season and more.
Mackenzie Audasand Shelby Turnier :
2014 Seasonas 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 Kimeis arguabablythe greatest player in program history and has almost every significant pitching record in school history. Audasand Turnierso far compare very well and hope to duplicate what Kimedid in 2008. Kimehelp lead the Knights toCUSAChampionshipin Houston on May 10, 2008in the CUSAChampionship game against 9th rank Houston. It was fitting for Kimeto win on May 10 as she wore number 10. ThisyearAudas, 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: WinsERAAvg 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 ELOOnlinePodcast which airs onSportstalkflorida.com. Eric Lopez also host 1080am Insiders Show that airs Sundays from 10-11ameastern on Sportstalk1080 the team in Orlando. Lopez also fills in on Tuck and ONeill on Sportstalk 1080 the Team Orlando.