ORLANDO, Fla. – After back-to-back phenomenal campaigns and an appearance in the American Athletic Conference title game, UCF Softball head coach Cindy Ball-Malone has signed a contract extension that keeps her at the helm of the Knights through the 2026 season.

“I want to thank Terry Mohajir for the opportunity that he has continued to give me,” said Ball-Malone. “When we got to Orlando, we knew this was home. Seasons like last year and even the year before and the people around us have continuously reminded us why this is home.”

The Knights are coming off a highly successful 2021 campaign which saw them win 41 games, make a run to The American Championship game and advance to the regional final in the NCAA Tournament’s Tallahassee bracket. The 41 victories was the most the Black and Gold had achieved since 2015. Three of those victories were over top five opponents as the Knights beat No. 5 Florida twice by scores of 8-6 and 7-0 and No. 2 Arizona by a 2-0 margin.

“When you’re surrounded by great student-athletes that do what they’ve done since I’ve been here, it allows me to be at this awesome institution even longer. I love this group in Orlando for all that they’ve done and accomplished.”

Ball-Malone produced 10 All-Conference honorees in 2021. Jada CodyJazmine EsparzaDenali Schappacher and Alea White landed on the First Team while Shannon DohertyKyra KlarkowskiGianna Mancha and Karissa Ornealas checked in on the Second Team. Cody, Juliana Wilson and Kennedy Searcy made the All-Rookie Team. In all, 16 student-athletes have earned all-conference nods during the Ball-Malone era.

Coach Bear achieved her milestone 50th win at UCF on Mar. 1, 2020 in a 2-0 win over Longwood. In the 26 game, COVID-19 shortened 2020 season, UCF outscored opponents 156-64 and racked up a 9-4-1 record against Power 6 teams and a 6-5-1 record against Top 25 teams or teams receiving votes. After leading UCF to a program-best 16-2 start in 2020, including an 11-game winning streak from Feb. 14 through Mar. 1, the Knights were tabbed as high as No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Softball and NFCA/USA Today Top 25 Polls. Get more info here.