Upstate Hopes To Ground Seahawks
March 4, 2009
Spartanburg, S.C. - USC Upstate returns to the diamond Thursday afternoon at 2:30 to battle the UNC Wilmington Seahawks in non-conference action at Cyrill Stadium. Upstate enters the game with an 8-2 record, finishing last week with three wins in five games. UNC Wilmington enters the game with a 1-9 record. The series is tied at 1-1 as the teams split their doubleheader last year in Wilmington.
Fans not in attendance at the games can watch the action live on the Internet via ASun.TV on the service's Web site at www.asun.tv. Live statistical updates are available via Gametracker on the official Upstate Athletics We site, www.upstatspartans.com.
Looking Back At Red & Blue Classic At Ole Miss
Heidi Gibbs and Keri Sarratt each collected a pair of hits and Morgan Childers was solid in giving up just one earned run as Upstate took a 5-2 victory over Mississippi Valley State in the Spartans' first game of the Red & Blue Classic last weekend at Ole Miss. Mississippi Valley State advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year and opened the 2009 season with a 13-2 record. In the second game, Upstate and Ole Miss were tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the first when play was suspended because of rain. The game resumed on Saturday and the host Rebels took a 10-4 victory over the Spartans. Monica Hall finished with two hits, including a home run, with three RBIs to lead Upstate at the plate. Gibbs and Criislyn Chewning also added a pair of hits. In Upstate's final game of the tournament, the Spartans dropped a 5-2 decision to Tulsa, also an NCAA Tournament team from a year ago, as the tournament was shortened due to rain.
About The Competition
UNC Wilmington enters Thursday's doubleheader at USC Upstate with a 1-9 record. The Seahawks opened the season with an 8-0 loss at North Carolina before going 1-4 in Charlotte's tournament. UNCW claimed a 4-0 win over Army in the tournament opener, then dropped four-straight to UNC Greensboro, Charlotte twice and Army. The Seahawks went 0-4 in the last four games, losing to A-Sun member Campbell in a doubleheader and losing to Delaware State and Liberty.
Morgan Walters leads UNCW at the plate as the only player hitting over .300 for the year. She is hitting .333 with five doubles and five runs. Kelsey Eddinger leads the team with two home runs and is hitting .261 with a pair of RBIs. UNCW is hitting .212 as a team and owns a .955 fielding percentage.
Amanda Davenport leads UNCW in the circle. She is 1-3 on the year with a 3.28 ERA in five appearances and four starts. The Seahawks own a 5.20 team ERA and have allowed 10 home runs and 14 doubles on the season.
Gibbs On A Streak
Senior Heidi Gibbs is currently on a seven-game hitting streak, tied for the longest streak this season with Courtney Feldon. Gibbs is also tied for the team lead with Crislyn Chewning with four multi-hit games this year. Keri Sarratt owns the second-longest current hitting streak at four games.
Mitchell Out For Season
Junior shortstop Ana Mitchell suffered a season-ending broken arm after squaring to bunt and being hit in the arm just above the wrist in the Campus Suites Spartan Classic. Her arm has been set and put in a cast, ending her season prematurely.
Hall Breaks Out With Power
Monica Hall came to Upstate with a resume promoting a solid average with some pop in her bat. She showed that she can hit for power last week, finishing the week with a pair of home runs for the Spartans. She hit a home run in the sweep of Gardner-Webb and went deep against Ole Miss over the weekend. She picked up all seven of her season RBIs last week.
Spartans Break Out The Bats, Best DI School Record
Two times last year Upstate scored 11 runs in a game, once against Charleston Southern and once against UNC Wilmington, to pick up wins on the season. But, last Wednesday's second game of the doubleheader against Gardner-Webb proved to be even better as the Spartans pounded out a school Division I record 17 runs against the Bulldogs.
Oh, No-No She Didn't
Morgan Childers took another step in placing her name in the Upstate softball record books last Saturday by becoming the first Upstate pitcher to throw a no-hitter against a Division I program in the 7-0 victory over Presbyterian. Childers struck out 12 en route to the complete-game no-hitter. It marked the second career no-hitter for the sophomore out of Kings Mountain, N.C. She tossed a no-hitter in her collegiate debut last year, striking out seven en route to a 3-0 victory over Tusculum. She now has two of the five no-hitters in school history.
Spartans At Cyrill Stadium
Upstate has called Cyrill Stadium home since Feb. 13, 2002, when the Spartans opened the season, and the Cyrill Stadium era, with a doubleheader sweep of Southern Wesleyan. Upstate has been strong at home, turning in a 119-35 record in seven-plus seasons at the stadium, a .773 winning percentage at the facility. Upstate's top season in the stadium was in 2006 when the Spartans were 22-4 at home. Upstate is currently 7-0 this season at home.
Hawkins Looks For 500
The countdown is on as head coach Chris Hawkins is within five games of reaching 500 career wins. With 496 victories, he is not only the program's winningest coach, but has also won more games than any other current coach at the University.
Childers Tops 300
Morgan Childers topped the 300-strikeout plateau last weekend in the Campus Suites Spartan Classic. Following play at the Red & Blue Classic, she now has 339 career strikeouts and is just 41 shy of the school's all-time record of 380 held by Kasey Heron (2003-06). She already owns the school's single-season strikeout record with 258 last season as a freshman.