Childers Pitches Spartans Over Charleston Southern
Feb. 12, 2010
Columbia, S.C. - Morgan Childers struck out 12 batters and scattered just two hits to lead USC Upstate to a 2-1 victory over Charleston Southern in the Spartans' season opener Friday afternoon in the first game of the Palmetto State Shootout hosted by South Carolina. Playing in an increasing heavy snow, Upstate's second game was halted after four and a half innings as Coastal Carolina took a 6-1 victory.
With three-to-five inches of snow forecasted for the Columbia area tonight, no other games were played Friday. Upstate is scheduled to play College of Charleston Saturday evening at 6:00 and Winthrop Saturday night at 8:00.
"Morgan again showed that she can be a dominant pitcher," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "She was in total control from the beginning. She got into a little trouble in the fourth, but showed how tough she is by pitching out of it. We made the most of our opportunities in the first game. We were not nearly as sharp in the second game, but this was our first day of the season. We know we have to improve and will take some lessons away from today."
In the first game of the tournament, Morgan Childers again proved her dominance in the circle. She pitched out of a jam in the fourth inning and finished the game with 12 strikeouts to lead Upstate to the win.
Upstate got on the board with a run in the first inning, manufacturing the run with solid baserunning from Kim Brasil. The junior from Mississauga, Ontario, led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a ground out. She stole third with two outs on Cheyanna Ohlrich's walk. Brasil scored from third on a double steal, though pinch runner Becca Williams was thrown out after Brasil crossed the plate for the third out.
Neither team was able to put much of a consistent threat together offensively over the next two innings. Childers pitched out of a jam in the fourth when Charleston Southern put runners on second and third with one out. Childers, a junior from Kings Mountain, N.C., induced a ground out and struck out Kristin Kelleher for the third out to end the threat.
The Upstate bats rewarded Childers' effort with an important insurance run in the bottom of the fourth. Katie Zauner singled with one out and advanced to second on Keri Sarratt's single to left with two outs. Monica Hall singled to drive in Zauner with the eventual game-winning run.
After not putting up a threat in either the fifth or sixth innings, Charleston Southern got on the board in the seventh inning. With two outs and two strikes against her, Jana Matthews homered to left field just inside the foul pole to cut the Upstate lead to 2-1. However, Childers got Trea Steele to pop up to first to end the game.
Childers allowed just two hits and one run to go along with her 12 strikeouts. She walked just one batter and hit another. Hall led Upstate at the plate, going 1-for-1 with an RBI. Sondra Vetter took the loss for Charleston Southern.
In the second game, Coastal Carolina used a five-run third inning, capped off by a grand slam from Jazmin Diagle, to vault out to the lead and went on for a 6-1 victory. Upstate jumped on top in the first inning when Katie Zauner scored after Hall reached on a throwing error to extend the inning.
Coastal, though, answered with five runs in the third and added a run in the bottom of the fifth when the conditions became too difficult for the players to handle the ball. The game was called with Coastal taking the win.
Blake Meredith took the loss for Upstate, allowing four earned runs on four hits. She struck out four. Ashley Frederick allowed one run on one hit to earn the win for Coastal.