Spartans Open Campus Suited Spartan Classic With Win Over Howard
Spartanburg, S.C. – On a blustery day with winds steady at 25 mph and gusting to 35 mph, Morgan Childers struck out 14 in a strong showing to lead USC Upstate to a 2-0 victory over Howard in the Campus Suites Spartan Classic softball tournament at Cyrill Stadium Friday afternoon.
Childers (Kings Mountain, N.C.) allowed just two hits and walked two in recording her fourth shutout of the season. She struck out 14 for the third time this season, topping 100 strikeouts on the year. She improved to 9-0 with her performance in the circle.
In other action, Oakland opened with a pair of wins, taking a 4-3 victory over La Salle and a 7-3 win over Lafayette. Howard took a 9-1 win over Lafayette. The tournament continues Saturday with games at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Upstate will take on Oakland at 1:00 and Lafayette at 3:00.
Upstate improved to 13-0 on the season with the win over Howard. It marks the best start since the 2004 Spartans began the season 14-0. Upstate played without the services of Kim Brasil who did not play because of a stomach illness.
"Morgan pitched really well in tough conditions," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "I don't think we played with any kind of urgency out there. That is something I would like to change immediately. We didn't run our structure very well. We didn't get our bunts down, we didn't run the bases very well and we didn't hit like we have all season. I look forward to that changing Saturday."
After two scoreless innings, Upstate put a run on the scoreboard in the third inning when Katie Zauner (Canby, Ore.) hit her fifth home run of the season, a solo shot to right center. Another two scoreless innings passed by before Upstate padded its lead with a run in the sixth inning when Lindsay Kelly (Jacksonville, Fla.) drew a bases loaded walk.
The two-run lead was all that Childers would need. She allowed just two runners to reach second base, but kept them there to prevent any damage. Upstate, on the other hand, put runners on, but had trouble getting them home. The Spartans left eight women on for the game.
Zauner was strong at the plate, finishing 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run. Jenna Torbert (Denver, N.C.) continued to shine at the plate, finishing with two hits. Howard's Marissa Coats finished with a pair of hits. Starter Emily Johnson (0-2) took the loss for the Bison, allowing a run on six hits.
Campus Suites Spartan Classic
Friday, February 25
Game 1 – Oakland 4, La Salle 3
Game 2 – Upstate 2, Howard 0
Game 3 – Howard 9, La Salle 1
Game 4 – Oakland 7, Lafayette 3
Game 5 – Lafayette vs. La Salle, 11:00 a.m.
Game 6 – Oakland at Upstate, 1:00 p.m.
Game 7 – Lafayette at Upstate, 3:00 p.m.
Game 9 – Howard vs. Lafayette, 10:00 a.m.
Game 10 – La Salle at Upstate, 12:00 p.m.