Spartans Record Two Shutouts to Open Lowcountry Invitational

Charleston, S.C.Hannah Alexander tossed a three-hit shutout against UNC Wilmington and Morgan Childers threw a five-hit shutout against Charleston Southern as USC Upstate won both of its games on Friday in the opening day of the Lowcountry Invitational at Charleston Southern. The Spartans defeated UNCW, 5-0, and Charleston Southern by the same margin.

In addition to the performances by the Upstate starters, Lauren Quevedo (Wellington, Fla.) and Ericka Harris (Piedmont, S.C.) each posted three hits on the day to lead the Spartans at the plate.

Upstate improved to 20-0 on the season and will face Georgetown tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. in the first game of the day. The Spartans will finish the tournament in either the championship game at 3:00 p.m. or the consolation game at 1:00 p.m. with the seeds determined after pool play tomorrow.

"I thought our pitching was outstanding again," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "I am really proud of Lauren (Quevedo) for hitting the ball today. We hung in there and got hits when we had runners in scoring position."

Alexander (Lexington, N.C.) was strong throughout game one. She scattered three hits and struck out seven to improve to 6-0 on the year. She allowed two runners to reach second the entire game, but did not allow any more movement on the base paths.

Upstate jumped on top with a run in the second inning when Janna Lewis (Huntersville, N.C.) singled to drive in Haley Sheehan with the eventual game-winning run. The Spartans added a run in each of the third and fifth innings. In the third, Jenna Torbert (Denver, N.C.) singled to score Harris. In the fifth, Katie Zauner (Canby, Ore.) doubled with one out, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead.

Upstate gave Alexander even more insurance with two runs in the seventh inning when Kim Brasil (Mississauga, Ontario) and Harris each scored on Cheyanna Ohlrich's (North Bend, Ore.) RBI-single.

Harris finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs, while Lewis added a pair of hits and an RBI. UNC Wilmington starter Amanda Aditays went the distance, allowing five runs on 10 hits to fall to 0-4 on the year.

In game two, Upstate overcame an injury to Harris, who was hit by a foul line drive while standing at third. The ball struck her in the arm. She was taken to a physician's office and X-rays showed only a deep bruise.

Despite Harris' absence, Upstate continued to roll. The Spartans got a strong performance from Childers (Kings Mountain, N.C.) in the circle and benefitted from a five-run fourth inning. Childers went the distance, recording her 40th career shutout while scattering five hits and striking out 15. She improved to 14-0 on the year. Charleston Southern starter Morgan Dowdy also went the distance, giving up five runs on six hits with seven strikeouts to fall to 2-6.

The entire offensive production came in the top of the fourth inning. Harris singled to start the inning and moved to second on Ohlrich's sacrifice bunt. Zauner singled to put runners on first and third. Pinch runner Erin Schattle stole second to put runners on second and third before Quevedo connected on a foul line drive that hit Harris and forced her from the game at the end of the half inning. She made up for the accident by belting a two-run double to give Upstate a 2-0 lead.

Upstate wasn't done. Quevedo moved to third on a ground out and scored on a throwing error by the Charleston Southern third baseman. With Haley Sheehan (Graniteville, S.C.) and Torbert on base, Brasil singled to drive both runners in as Upstate opened a commanding 5-0 lead.

Childers allowed just one runner to reach second in the first four innings and loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but pitched out of the jam to get the shutout.

Quevedo finished the day with three hits, including a triple in game one and a double in game two.