Spartans Renew Rivalry with South Carolina Wednesday
Spartanburg, S.C. - USC Upstate will make the trip down Interstate 26 to continue the in-state rivalry with South Carolina Wednesday evening in a 5:00 p.m. single game at Beckham Field. Upstate owns a 3-1 lead in the all-time series, taking two last season and picking up a 3-2 victory over the Gamecocks earlier this season in the Palmetto State Showdown.
Upstate enters the game against South Carolina with a 30-5 overall record. The Spartans began the season with a 25-game winning streak. South Carolina enters the game with a 17-15 overall record. The Gamecocks swept Ole Miss in a SEC series in early March, but have lost eight of their last nine games.
Fans can follow the action live in a variety of ways. Live statistical updates using Gametracker and an audio broadcast will be available for free at www.gamecocksonline.com, the official South Carolina Athletics website. A game recap and statistics will be available after the game on www.upstatespartans.com, the official Upstate Athletics website.
Looking Back at Belmont and Lipscomb
USC Upstate opened A-Sun play with a doubleheader sweep of Belmont last Friday, taking 2-1 and 4-1 wins over the Bruins. Morgan Childers went the distance in game one and struck out 11 to improve to 21-2 on the year. Hannah Alexander started game two and earned the win to improve to nine wins on the season. Childers came into the game and earned the save to tie the all-time saves record at Upstate, eight also held by Jenn Whited. Rain postponed the Lipscomb doubleheader from Saturday to Sunday. Despite hitting the Lady Bisons well, the Spartans made seven errors in two games and allowed nine unearned runs in falling by scores of 7-3 and 11-6. Lauren Quevedo finished the weekend with two homers to move into sole possession of second place on Upstate's all-time list.
Upstate Among Nation's Statistical Leaders
Off to a 30-5 start to the season, Upstate has made a mark on the national level. As a team, the Spartans rank in the top 25 in six statistical categories. The Spartans rank fifth with 1.8 doubles per game, 11th with a 1.44 ERA, 13th with an .857 winning percentage, 18th with a .975 fielding percentage, 20th with a .329 batting average and 24th with a .507 slugging percentage.
Individually, the Spartans appear in the top 50 15 times. Morgan Childers leads the nation with 21 wins and 12.4 strikeouts per game. She also ranks second with 250 strikeouts and fourth with eight shutouts. Kim Brasil ranks eighth in the nation with four triples, while Janna Lewis ranks 33rd with a .447 batting average.
Upstate Garners First-Ever Top 25 National Ranking
For the first time in school history playing on the Division I level, the Upstate softball program earned a top 25 national ranking in a major top 25 poll, coming in at No. 25 in the March 22 UltimateCllegeSoftball.com poll.
Morgan Childers is no stranger to chasing down and surpassing records. She has had a brilliant career at Upstate and already owns several career records at the university. She is set to take down the A-Sun wins record, entering the weekend just three victories shy of the all-time mark. She has collected 105 wins in her career, just shy of the all-time mark of 108 set by Nikki Myers (Florida Atlantic) from 1999-2002. She is just the second pitcher in the history of the A-Sun to reach 100 career wins.
Childers Leads Nation in Wins
Morgan Childers owns a 21-3 record on the season and the start is good enough to place the senior as the nation's leader in wins. She has tossed two no-hitters this season in leading Upstate to a 30-5 record entering this week.
Upstate Sits Atop A-Sun Rankings
Upstate continues to turn in numbers that keep the Spartans among the A-Sun statistical leaders. Upstate remains the conference leader in all three major statistical categories, topping the league with a .329 batting average and a 1.44 ERA. The Spartans lead the conference in 11 individual categories with Janna Lewis topping the A-Sun with a .447 batting average and Morgan Childers with 21 wins and 250 strikeouts. Overall, the Spartans appear 46 times in the various top 10 lists in the latest report.
Brasil Moves into Top 10 All-Time for Hits
Kim Brasil's name appears in the Top 10 in seven different career statistical categories at Upstate. She recently moved into the Top 10 on Upstate's all-time hits list and is currently sixth with 191 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 47 doubles and seventh with 135 runs.
Quevedo Second on Upstate's All-Time Home Runs List
Lauren Quevedo continues to move up the ladder on the all-time home runs list at Upstate. With two home runs last weekend, she has reached 29 in her career, moving into sole possession of second on the all-time list. She also ranks fifth with 106 RBIs and seventh with a .549 slugging percentage.
Spartans Off to Best Start in Division I Era
Upstate's 25-0 start to the season was not only the best in the A-Sun this year, but the top effort in the school's Division I era, topping the 8-0 start in 2009. The effort was also three games short of the all-time school record of 28-0 in 2000.
Freshman pitcher Hannah Alexander nearly pulled off an accomplishment no other Spartan has ever achieved, a perfect game, in game one of the doubleheader against North Carolina A&T (March 7). She faced the minimum through 20 outs. Taking the count to 1-and-2, she was just one strike away from recording the program's first perfect game, but gave up a hit down the line in left, the ball hitting off the fence for the only hit of the game.
Four Tournaments, Four Tournament Titles for Spartans
Prior to playing in the Husky Classic at the University of Washington March 11-12, Upstate played in four tournaments this season and claimed the championship in all four events. The Spartans opened the season by winning the Palmetto State Showdown (Feb. 11-13) at South Carolina. They won the next two tournaments played at Upstate, taking the Upstate Classic (Feb. 18-20) and the Campus Suites Spartan Classic (Feb. 25-27) at Cyrill Stadium. They claimed the Lowcountry Invitational (March 4-5) at Charleston Southern.
In winning the four tournaments, Upstate players have been named tournament MVP four times. Katie Zauner was named MVP at the Palmetto State Showdown. Ericka Harris earned MVP honors at the Upstate classic. Morgan Childers took home back-to-back MVP honors at the Campus Suites Spartan Classic and the Lowcountry Invitational.
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 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.
Childers Second on A-Sun Career Shutouts, Strikeouts Lists
Morgan Childers has moved into second place in A-Sun history with 40 shutouts and 1,213 strikeouts. Florida Atlantic's Nikki Myers owns the all-time marks with 47 shutouts and 1,376. Childers is seven shutouts and 163 strikeouts shy of the all-time records.
Childers Owns 10 Career Records at Upstate
Morgan Childers entered her senior season already the owner of seven career records at Upstate. Midway through the season, she has put three more records under her hat. She tops the all-time list with 105 wins, 1,213 strikeouts, 302 batters struck out looking, 40 shutouts, a .162 opponent batting average, 148 appearances, 115 games started, 95 complete games, eight saves and 834.1 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 .994 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 .985 fielding percentage and fifth all-time with 895 putouts as the starter at first base. Kim Brasil is eighth all-time with a .982 fielding percentage and 10th with 518 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.
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 166-42 (.798) all-time at home since 2002.