Spartanburg, S.C. - The USC Upstate softball team is back in action this weekend, heading to Georgia for a pair of key A-Sun doubleheaders against Kennesaw State and Mercer. The Spartans will take on Kennesaw State Friday afternoon at 2:00 and will take on Mercer Saturday afternoon at 2:00.
Upstate stands 34-10 overall and 6-6 in the A-Sun entering the weekend. The Spartans are in fifth place in the league and in the No. 4 position for the A-Sun Tournament with Florida Gulf Coast ineligible for the tournament in its final year of provisional status. Kennesaw State is 23-19 overall and 5-5 in the A-Sun and in fifth position for the A-Sun Tournament. The Owls own a 33-4 lead in the all-time series with Upstate. The Spartans are 3-4 against the Owls since moving to Division I in 2008. Mercer enters the weekend with a 21-17 overall record and a 4-6 mark in the A-Sun. The Bears are in the sixth position for the A-Sun Tournament. Upstate leads the all-time series, 6-2, while the teams are 3-3 since 2008.
Fans can follow the action online in a variety of ways. Live statistics for free and live video for a fee on ASun.TV will be available for the Kennesaw State games and can be accessed at www.ksuowls.com, the official Kennesaw State Athletics website. Live statistics for free will be available for the Mercer doubleheader at www.mercerbears.com, the official Mercer Athletics website.
Looking Back at South Carolina
Upstate jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, but saw the advantage slip away by the sixth as South Carolina rallied for a 4-3 victory Wednesday night in front of 414 fans at Cyrill Stadium. Senior Jenna Torbert drove in a pair of runs with a double in the fourth inning. South Carolina got a run back in the fifth and went on top for good on Molly Brossart's three-run home run. Upstate got within one, 4-3, with a run in the bottom of the sixth, but went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the seventh as the Gamecocks took the win.
Childers Ties All-Time A-Sun Wins Record
With a 4-2 win at Stetson in the first game of the doubleheader on April 9, Morgan Childers not only secured an important win for the Spartans this season, she reached yet another career milestone in tying the all-time A-Sun record with her 108th career victory. She is now tied with Nikki Myers, who won 108 games in her four years at Florida Atlantic from 1999-02. With another victory, she will own the record outright.
Closing in on 600 Wins
While Morgan Childers has continued to rack up milestone after milestone and other Spartans has put their name on Upstate's career record books, head coach Chris Hawkins is closing in on a career milestone of his own. With 592 wins in his career, he is just eight victories shy of reaching 600. Now in his 17th year at the helm of the program, he is not only the winningest coach in the history of the softball program, he has more wins than any other coach who has ever coached at Upstate in any sport.
Upstate Among A-Sun Elite
In the final stretch of the regular season, Upstate continues to rank among the A-Sun's elite teams in the latest statistical report posted by the conference. The Spartans top all conference schools with a .304 batting average, while ranking second with a 1.53 ERA and a .977 fielding percentage. Individually, the Spartans lead the league in eight statistical categories. Kim Brasil leads the league with five triples, Katie Zauner tops the A-Sun with 14 doubles, and Morgan Childers leads the league in wins (24), strikeouts (303), shutouts (9), opponent batting average (.157) and complete games (21). See the full listing in the left sidebar on page 5.
Brasil an All-Time Great
Kim Brasil is closing out a career in which she has set a standard at the plate for all future Upstate players. She ranks among the all-time career leaders in eight different categories, ranking fourth all-time with 49 doubles, fifth with 14 triples, and sixth with 197 hits and 136 runs. She is the only player to have played all four years on the Division I level to reach the top 10 in hits. In addition to her offensive capabilities, she also ranks ninth all-time with a .982 fielding percentage while playing both outfield and catcher in her career.
Quevedo Second on Upstate's All-Time Home Runs List
A second team all-conference selection as a freshman, Lauren Quevedo is wrapping up a career that will place her as one of the top power hitters in the history of the program. She currently ranks second on Upstate's all-time home runs list with 31 and is seventh with a .546 slugging percentage. She is also the only player who has played all four years on the Division I level to have reached the top 10 in RBIs, ranking fifth with 110.
Feast or Famine in Conference Play
Since opening A-Sun play against Belmont on March 23, it has either been feast or famine for Upstate. In six league doubleheaders this season, the Spartans have either swept or been swept in each series. Upstate has swept Belmont, North Florida and Stetson, while being swept by Lipscomb, Jacksonville and Florida Gulf Coast.
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 UltimateCollegeSoftball.com poll.
Childers Tops 300 Strikeouts for Second-Straight Season
With her fourth strikeout of the evening against South Carolina (April 13), Morgan Childers reached 300 strikeouts on the season. It marked the second time in her career that she has reached 300 strikeouts. She topped the mark last season and finished the year with 428.
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 168-45 (.789) all-time at home since 2002. Upstate entered the doubleheader against Lipscomb (March 27) with a 26-game home winning streak dating back to last season and a 20-0 mark to start the 2011 season. However, the loss to the Lady Bisons in the first game ended the streak.
Childers Second on A-Sun Career Shutouts, Strikeouts Lists
Morgan Childers has moved into second place in A-Sun history with 41 shutouts and 1,266 strikeouts. Florida Atlantic's Nikki Myers owns the all-time marks with 47 shutouts and 1,376. Childers is six shutouts and 110 strikeouts shy of the all-time records.