Spartans Sweep Rhode Island on Fan Appreciation Day
Spartanburg, S.C. – USC Upstate pitchers Morgan Childers and Hannah Alexander tossed a pair of shutouts, with Alexander taking a no-hitter to the final out in the seventh, as the Spartans recorded a doubleheader sweep of Rhode Island Saturday afternoon in non-conference softball action at Cyrill Stadium. Upstate won by scores of 8-0 and 4-0.
Upstate improved to 28-2 on the year and will next play at No. 1 Georgia on Wednesday in Athens, Ga. Rhode Island fell to 1-14 on the year after being swept.
Childers (Kings Mountain, N.C.) and Alex Yohe (Concord, N.C.) combined to pitch a two-hit shutout in game one as Childers improved to 20-1 on the year. The afternoon after being selected in the fourth round o f the NPF Senior Draft, she went four innings with 10 strikeouts to earn the win. Yohe tossed one inning of perfect relief to close out the game. Alexander (Lexington, N.C.) was impressive in just missing another no-hitter in game two. She struck out nine and walked two. She did not allow a hit until giving up a blooper single that fell between first and second just as the grass meets the infield.
Upstate played without the services of starting catcher Ericka Harris (Piedmont, S.C.), who missed the game with a minor leg injury, but who is expected to return for the Georgia game. Freshman Erin Schattle (Goose Creek, S.C.) was solid behind the plate in both games.
I was really pleased at how well Erin filled in for Ericka Harris," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "Morgan and Hannah, as usual, pitched very well. I was glad to see Katie get back in the groove at the plate and swing with confidence. It was a good day picking up a couple of wins."
Upstate jumped on top in the first game, plating two runs in the first inning. Kim Brasil (Mississauga, Ontario) scored on a wild pitch and Katie Zauner (Canby, Ore.) stole home on a double steal to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead.
Upstate added to the lead with a run in the third inning when Katelyn Molkenthin (Valrico, Fla.) walked with the bases loaded. The Spartans basically ended the game with five runs in the fourth. Schattle scored on a wild pitch, Zauner doubled to drive in two runs and Lauren Quevedo (Wellington, Fla.) smacked a two-run home run to give Upstate an 8-0 lead.
Yohe entered in the fifth and tossed a perfect inning of relief to end the game. Brasil led Upstate at the plate with two hits and two runs. Zauner and Quevedo each collected a pair of RBIs. Rhode Island starter Sam Bedore took the loss and fell to 0-5 on the year.
In game two, Alexander was in total control and needed just one run to get by with the win. The Spartans gave her four. Upstate opened the scoring with a run in the first inning when Brasil scored on Zauner's ground out.
Upstate plated a pair of runs in the third when Cheyanna Ohlrich (North Bend, Ore.) singled to center to drive in Brasil and Lewis. Upstate made it a 4-0 game with a run in the fifth inning on Zauner's double down the line in left to score Lewis, who had doubled just before Zauner's at bat.
The four runs were all that Alexander would need as Rhode Island had trouble doing anything with the freshman hurler. She improved to 8-1 on the year. Rhode Island starter Erika Szymanski tossed four innings and allowed three runs to fall to 0-7 on the year.
Lindsay Kelly (Jacksonville, Fla.) led Upstate with two hits in the contest. Zauner and Ohlrich collected two RBIs each in the game.