Clearwater, Fla. – The USC Upstate softball team returned to action at the USF-Under Armour Invitational on Saturday and picked up a pair of victories over the Purdue Boilermakers and Saint Joseph's Hawks at the Eddie C. Moore Complex.
Upstate improves to 22-4 on the season while Purdue fell to 5-17 overall and Saint Joseph's 3-11.
The Spartans began the day by defeating the Boilermakers 7-0 and then rallied in game two for a 3-2 victory over the Hawks in eight innings.
GAME ONE – USC UPSTATE 7, PURDUE 0
- Top 1st – Upstate broke the game open early by scoring four runs in the first to lead Purdue 4-0. Abbie Millete began the scoring with her RBI single to left center field and Brittany Case followed the next at-bat with another RBI single up the middle. Case and Gemma Miller, pinch-running for Millete, would score when Kori Wancheck reached on an error by the Boilermaker centerfielder.
- Top 2nd – The Spartans added two more runs to extend their lead to 6-0. Both runs in the inning came on a two-RBI single to left field by Karla Beasley that plated Ansley Gilstrap and Kendsey Chappelear.
- Top 5th – Gilstrap added an RBI single to left field in the fifth as Chappelear scored her second run of the game and Upstate made it a 7-0 contest.
- Holly McKinnon (10-2) joined teammate Lexi Shubert with double-digit wins this season as the senior tossed a complete game shutout and struck out eight while allowing three hits and three walks.
- Maddie Damon (3-5) took the loss for Purdue after giving up six runs (three earned) on five hits, two walks and one strikeout in two innings of work.
- McKinnon compiled her fifth appearance this season, and third in the last four outings, of not allowing a run.
- Gilstrap and Beasley led the Spartans offensively with two hits each, while Beasley drove in a game-high two RBI.
- Beasley recorded her seventh multi-hit and sixth multi-RBI game of the season, and Gilstrap also contributed her sixth multi-hit game of the year.
- Gilstrap and Chappelear both scored two runs, and Millete and Case drove in one run apiece.
- Kristen Hoppman, Alexa Binckes and Kayla Hampton all had one hit for the Boilermakers.
- Bottom 2nd – Saint Joseph's led 1-0 over Upstate in the second following an RBI double to right field by Molly Kapala.
- Bottom 5th – Stacey Mayer put the Hawks ahead 2-0 with two outs on her RBI single to center field.
- Top 6th – The Spartans answered back to tie the game at 2-2 in the sixth started by Beasley's leadoff home run for her team-leading sixth of the season. Wright, pinch-running for Millete, scored the tying run after Chappelear reached on an error by the Saint Joseph's left fielder.
- Top 8th – Ryan Rector scored the go-ahead run for Upstate in the eighth on Beasley's RBI single to center field. Rector was placed on second base to start the inning.
- McKinnon (11-2) earned her second victory of the day after coming on in relief of Shubert in the sixth and tossed three scoreless innings and did not give up a hit while walking one and striking out two.
- Shubert went five innings in the start and allowed two runs on five hits, three walks and six strikeouts.
- Ashley Ventura (2-5) suffered the loss after pitching all eight innings and surrendered three runs (one earned) on seven hits, two walks and six strikeouts.
- Beasley led the Spartans with two hits, her second multi-hit game of the day and eighth this season, and had two RBI.
- Mayer and Kapala both tallied one RBI for the Hawks and were two of five players to have one hit.
- Upstate is now 2-0 in extra-inning games this season after also picking up a 3-2 win in eight innings against Campbell on Feb. 17 to open the USC Upstate/Furman Classic in Spartanburg.
- The Spartans close out the USF-Under Armour Invitational on Sunday morning at 11:15 a.m. against Monmouth.