Spartans End 12-Game Home Stand Wednesday With Two Against Furman
Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate softball team heads back to the diamond Wednesday afternoon at 3:00 when it plays host to Furman in a non-conference doubleheader at Cyrill Stadium. Upstate will look to extend its 16-game winning streak to start the season as it ends its 12-game home stand. Upstate is 11-15 all-time against Furman, though the Spartans own a 7-1 record against the Paladins since moving to Division I in 2008.
Upstate enters the game with a 16-0 record. The Spartans are off to their best start in Division I era and the best start since the 2000 team began the season 28-0. Furman enters the game with a 2-6 record. The Paladins dropped their first six games of the season before taking a doubleheader sweep from Oakland.
Fans can follow the action online at www.upstatespartans.com, the official Upstate Athletics website. Live video will be available for a fee through ASun.TV, while live statistical updates for free will also be available.
Looking Back at the Campus Suites Spartan Classic
Upstate pulled off its third tournament championship of the season after winning all four games in the Campus Suites Spartan Classic at Upstate last weekend. The Spartans claimed wins over Howard (2-0), Oakland (5-0), Lafayette (10-0) and La Salle (2-0) to win the tournament. Morgan Childers went 3-0 with three shutouts and a no-hitter to earn MVP honors in the tournament. She struck out a season-high 17 batters against La Salle in tossing the sixth no-hitter of her career and the second of the season on Sunday. She also earned shutouts over Howard and Oakland. Katie Zauner had a monster weekend as well, finishing the tournament with a .692 batting average, collecting nine hits, two doubles, a home run, two RBIs and three runs. She joined Childers on the all-tournament team along with Ericka Harris and Cheyanna Ohlrich.
Upstate Gains Ground in Top 25 Polls
After receiving its first mention in any national Top 25 poll last week, Upstate gained ground in this week's polls. The Spartans received 26 points in the UltimateCollegeSoftball.com poll. If the poll was expanded, the Spartans would be ranked No. 31, up one spot from last week. The Spartans earned three points in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. If that poll was expanded, Upstate would be ranked No. 32, also up one spot from last week.
Childers Tosses Sixth Career No-Hitter, Second of the Season
In a span of 15 days, Morgan Childers tossed two no-hitters to increase her career total to six. This time, she had to go the distance in the 2-0 win over La Salle on Feb. 27. Childers struck out a season-high 17 batters, one off of her own single-game school record of 18 (vs. Tusculum, 2008), to earn the win over the Explorers. She now has two no-no's this year, matching her season high of two last season. She had one in each of her freshman and sophomore seasons.
Childers Named MVP, Three Others Earn All-Tourney Honors
Morgan Childers went 3-0 with three shutouts, a no-hitter and 40 strikeouts to lead Upstate to the championship of the Campus Suites Spartan Classic (Feb. 25-27), earning MVP honors along the way. She was joined on the all-tournament team by Katie Zauner, who hit .692 with three runs and two RBIs, Cheyanna Ohlrich, who hit .375 with two RBIs and two runs, and Ericka Harris, who hit .364 with three RBIs and two runs. Childers and Harris have now earned all-tournament honors in each of the three tournaments played this season. Upstate has won the championship in all three events as well.
Spartans Off to Best Start in Division I Era
Upstate's 16-0 start is not only the best start of any A-Sun team this season, it is also the best start the program has had during its Division I era which started in 2008. Prior to this season, Upstate's top effort to begin a season was an 8-0 performance before losing in Ole Miss' tournament in 2009. The start is also the best since the 2000 squad went 28-0 to begin the season.
Childers Named to the Lowes Senior CLASS Award List
Morgan Childers has earned many awards and honors in her collegiate career. She received her first national honor on Feb. 16 when she was one of 30 Division I softball players to be named to the initial listing for the Lowes Senior CLASS Award. The program honors student-athletes who show excellence in four areas - community, classroom, character and competition. The list will be whittled down to 10 finalists in March with members of the media, Division I coaches and others voting on the winner which will be announced during the College World Series.
Brasil Moves into Top 10 All-Time for Hits
Kim Brasil's name appears in the Top 10 in six different career statistical categories at Upstate. She recently moved into the Top 10 on Upstate's all-time hits list and is currently ninth with 168 in her career. She is the first player who has played her entire career on the Division I level to reach the Top 10 in the hits category. She also ranks fourth all-time with 44 doubles and ninth with 116 runs.
Childers Second on A-Sun Career Strikeouts, Wins and Shutouts Lists
Morgan Childers owns nine career school records, but she is also making a name for herself in the A-Sun. She has moved into second place in A-Sun history with 1,095 strikeouts. Florida Atlantic's Nikki Myers owns the all-time mark with 1,376. With 95 wins, Childers also moved into second place on the conference's all-time wins list. Myers also owns the all-time mark with 108. Lastly, Childers has recorded 38 shutouts in her career, trailing Myers on the all-time list at 47.
Childers Owns Nine Career Records at Upstate
Morgan Childers entered her senior season already the owner of seven career records at Upstate. Though early in the season, she has put two more records under her hat. She tops the all-time list with 95 wins, 1,095 strikeouts, 272 batters struck out looking, 38 shutouts, a .158 opponent batting average, 133 appearances, 104 games started, 88 complete games and 758.2 innings pitched.
Three Spartans Among All-Time Defensive Leaders
One of the nation's top defensive clubs last year and off to a strong start this season, three current Spartans currently rank among the all-time great defensive players at Upstate. Sophomore Ericka Harris tops the all-time list with a .997 fielding percentage, playing primarily as the starting catcher while also seeing action at first and third base. Lauren Quevedo ranks seventh all-time with a .987 fielding percentage and fifth all-time with 798 putouts as the starter at first base. Kim Brasil is eighth all-time with a .982 fielding percentage and 10th with 494 putouts. She has played both outfield and catcher in her career at Upstate and is currently the every day starter in left field for the Spartans this season.
Upstate Supplies the Power
Upstate certainly has started the season having added the power stroke to its offensive arsenal. The Spartans have belted 17 home runs in 16 games this season. They have hit a homer in 11 of 16 games, going deep a season-high three times in the season opener against Coastal Carolina. Seven different players have cleared the fences with Katie Zauner leading the way with five dingers. The 2010 squad set a Division I era school record with 27. The 2009 Spartans hit just 15 home runs, two fewer than what the Spartans have totaled to start the 2011 season.
Spartans Strong at Home
Since opening Cyrill Stadium in 2002, Upstate has been tough to beat at home. The Spartans were 24-6 in 2010 and set a school record for winning in 2009 with an 18-3 mark for an .857 winning percentage. Upstate is 158-41 (.794) all-time at home since 2002.