Spartanburg, S.C. – After leading Upstate to a 4-0 start to the season in dominant fashion, USC Upstate softball players Katie Zauner and Morgan Childers have received weekly honors from the A-Sun as Upstate swept the first awards of the season. Zauner was named the player of the week, while Childers took home pitcher of the week honors.
Zauner, a senior from Canby, Ore., earned her first weekly honor from the A-Sun after a tremendous start to the season. She was named the MVP of the Palmetto State Showdown, leading a stout offensive effort by the Spartans in winning the tournament championship.
Zauner had a monster weekend at the plate for Upstate. She led the Spartans with a .571 batting average, going 8-for-14 in four games. She collected seven RBIs and scored seven runs. She belted two home runs and collected two doubles for a 1.143 slugging percentage.
Zauner hit a solo home run with two RBIs in the 8-0 victory over Coastal Carolina to start the weekend on Friday. She collected a pair of hits, both doubles, with an RBI and two runs in the 7-0 victory over Charleston Southern on Saturday. She had two hits, three runs and an RBI in the 9-1 victory over Winthrop in the first game on Sunday. She capped the weekend when she led Upstate at the plate in the finale against South Carolina. She drove in all three of Upstate's runs, collecting the game-winning hit on a two-run homer to give Upstate a 3-2 win.
Zauner had a solid season in 2010, her first in a Spartan uniform after transferring to Upstate from the College of Siskiyous. She hit .307 last season and was a second team all-conference selection.
Childers, a senior from Kings Mountain, N.C., is no stranger to winning a weekly award from the A-Sun. Her selection this week marks the eight such honor in her career. She earned one weekly award as a freshman en route to being named the A-Sun Pitcher and Freshman of the Year in 2008. She earned three weekly awards as a sophomore and junior.
Childers had a standout weekend in the circle last week. She finished the weekend with a 3-0 record, including tossing her fifth career no-hitter to open play on Friday. She struck out 14 and did not give up a hit in Upstate's 8-0 win over Charleston Southern. She tossed another shutout on Saturday, scattering three hits with 14 strikeouts in the 7-0 win over Charleston Southern. On Sunday, she allowed two runs on eight hits against South Carolina, giving the Gamecocks their first loss of the season. She struck out 12 and topped the 1,000 career strikeout mark along the way. She finished the tournament with a 3-0 record and 40 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched.
Childers currently ranks second in the A-Sun with 1,003 strikeouts in her career, trailing the all-time mark of 1,376 held by Florida Atlantic's Nikki Myers (1999-02). She is one of only two pitchers in the history of the conference to reach 1,000 strikeouts. She also ranks second all-time in league history with 87 wins, trailing Myers' 108.
Childers is a three-time all-conference selection, earning first team honors in 2008 and 2010 and second team honors in 2009.