Upstate Reaches 41 Wins With Sweep of ETSU
Johnson City, Tenn. – The USC Upstate softball team scored seven runs in each of its games on Friday and the Spartans matched last year's win total with 41 in taking a doubleheader sweep at East Tennessee State Friday evening at Balser Field. The Spartans won by scores of 7-4 and 7-0.
Upstate ended the regular season with a 41-11 overall record and a 13-7 mark in the A-Sun. The 41 wins ties the Division I-era school record for wins set last year. The 13 wins in conference play are the second-most in school history since joining the A-Sun four years ago. The 2008 squad won 16 games en route to earning a share of the regular season championship.
"It was good to get two wins heading into the conference tournament," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "I could tell we were a little rusty defensively in the first game. It was nice to have 20 hits today and look forward to starting the conference tournament."
Morgan Childers (Kings Mountain, N.C.) took the win in game one and improved to 28-7 on the year. She struck out 14 in the 7-4 victory. Hannah Alexander (Lexington, N.C.) scattered three hits en route to a complete game shutout in the 7-0 win.
Upstate jumped out to a 7-0 lead and got things started in the second inning. Erica Kaufman (Moncks Corner, S.C.) reached on a squeeze bunt while driving in Lewis from third to give Upstate a 1-0 lead. The Spartans made it a 2-0 lead with a run in the fourth inning on Zauner's RBI single.
Upstate broke the game open with four runs in the fifth inning. Ashley Butler (Laurens, S.C.) and Kim Brasil (Mississauga, Ontario) started things off with RBI singles and Zauner collected a pair of RBIs on a single to give Upstate a 6-0 lead. The Spartans made it a 7-0 game with a run in the sixth on Haley Sheehan's (Graniteville, S.C.) sacrifice fly.
ETSU fought back with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Tara Hartnett and Sam Lower scored on Nicole Fox's RBI single and Katie Henderson knocked a two-run home run to cut the Upstate lead to 7-4. However, Childers regrouped and got three straight outs to end the inning and allowed no other damage.
Jessica Duncan took the loss for ETSU to fall to 8-14 on the year. She allowed six runs, four earned, in four 1/3 innings. Butler finished with two hits to help the Upstate cause at the plate.
In the second game, Alexander was simply solid. She scattered just three hits to earn the win and improve to 13-4 on the year. Like Childers in the first game, Alexander got a lot of run support.
After four scoreless innings, Upstate jumped on top with four runs in the fifth inning. Ohlrich started things off with a leadoff solo home run and Butler followed with a solo homer as well. Lauren Quevedo (Wellington, Fla.) finished the scoring off with a two run single.
Upstate added to the lead with three runs in the seventh inning. Lewis singled on a squeeze bunt attempt to drive in a run. Pinch runner Lauren Buckner (Asheville, N.C.) scored when Jenna Torbert reached on a fielder's choice and Lewis scored when Butler reached on a fielder's choice as well.
The run support was good, but not really needed as Alexander was stout in the circle. She only allowed three base runners the entire game and no ETSU player advanced past second. Shelby Morris took the loss for ETSU to fall to 6-10.