Spartanburg, S.C. - Six days after winning its third-straight game in conference play, the USC Upstate softball team will be back in action on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. when it plays host to A-Sun rival Campbell on Senior Day at Cyrill Stadium. The Spartans are playing their final regular season home games of the season and will honor seniors Kim Brasil, Morgan Childers, Cheyanna Ohlrich, Lauren Quevedo, Jenna Torbert and Katie Zauner between games of the doubleheader.
Upstate enters the game with a 37-11 overall record and a 9-7 mark in the A-Sun. The Spartans need just one win in their last four games to assure themselves of a spot in the A-Sun Tournament. Campbell enters the weekend with a 27-22 overall record and a 9-7 mark in the A-Sun. The Camels are scheduled for a doubleheader on Friday. Upstate leads the all-time series, 5-3, including a split of the regular season series last year in Buies Creek. Fans can follow the action online at the official Upstate Athletics website, www.upstatespartans.com. Live statistical updates will be available for free, while live video will be available for a fee at ASun.TV.
Looking Back at Kennesaw State and Mercer
Upstate played quite the interesting doubleheader with Kennesaw State and took a sweep of Mercer last weekend in Georgia. The Spartans opened the weekend at Kennesaw State on Friday, dropping a 3-2 decision in nine innings in game one. Game two went to eight innings before lightning and rain caused the game to be halted. Upstate went on to Macon to play its doubleheader at Mercer. Morgan Childers recorded the win in game one to become the A-Sun's all-time leader in wins. Hannah Alexander earned the win in game two and Childers picked up the save as the Spartans swept the series. Upstate returned to Kennesaw State on Sunday to resume the halted game from Friday. Lauren Quevedo had hit a double with one out in the eighth when the game was halted. The game resumed with Jenna Torbert belting a double to score Quevedo with the eventual game winning run as the Spartans took a 6-4 victory over the Owls to split the series.
Celebrating Their Careers
Saturday will be a special day for Upstate softball when six seniors will be honored for their service at Upstate. Kim Brasil, who ranks in the top 10 in eight career statistical categories, Morgan Childers, who owns 11 career school records and the all-time wins record in the A-Sun, Cheyanna Ohlrich, who has been the starter at shortstop for the last two seasons after transferring to Upstate from the College of Siskyous, Lauren Quevedo, who ranks second on Upstate's career home runs list and in the top 10 in five other career statistical categories, Jenna Torbert, who has seen a career year this season, and Katie Zauner, who has been a starter in the outfield the last two seasons after transferring to Upstate from the College of Siskyous, will play their final regular season home games of their careers on Saturday. The six have been a part of a team that has won 78 games the last two seasons and advanced to the championship game of the A-Sun Tournament in 2010. Brasil, Childers, Quevedo and Torebrt have been in the program for four years and have won a regular season conference championship (2008), played for the conference tournament title (2010) and won 141 games.
Childers Named Upstate Student-Athlete of the Year
At Upstate's Pepsi Athletics Awards Banquet held on April 21, senior pitcher Morgan Childers was named the Female Student-Athlete of the Year. She earned the honor for the second straight year. She is the second person to win the honor twice (former men's golfer Josh Gallman) and the first person to win the honor in back-to-back years.
Softball Players Rack Up Honors at Pepsi Awards Banquet
In addition to Morgan Childers earning the Female Student-Athlete of the Year award at the athletic department's annual Pepsi Athletics Awards Banquet on April 21, the softball team was well represented in earning honors at the event. Childers also earned the Dr. Joe Bowman Pinnacle Award for career achievement, was inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Fraternity and was named the team's Most Valuable Player. Lauren Quevedo earned the team's Impact Player Award, took home a Dr. Joe Bowman Pinnacle Award and earned a departmental Leadership Award. Kim Brasil earned a Dr. Joe Bowman Pinnacle Award and was inducted in the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Fraternity. In addition, the softball team was selected as the female sport with the highest team GPA.
Childers Tops All-Time A-Sun Wins Record
With a 3-1 victory at Mercer on April 16, Morgan Childers became the A-Sun's all-time wins leader. She also earned a win in the second game of the Kennesaw State series, which was finished on April 16, and now has 110 wins. She broke the old record of 108 held by Florida Atlantic's Nikki Myers (1999-02).
Looking to Secure a Spot in the A-Sun Tournament
Upstate has four regular season conference games remaining on the schedule and needs to win just one game to assure itself of a spot in the A-Sun Tournament, which will be held at Upstate May 11-14. Jacksonville and Lipscomb have already secured a spot in the six-team tournament, while the Spartans and Campbell are tied at 9-7 in position for the No. 3 seed in the tournament heading into the weekend.
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 595 wins in his career, he is just five 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
Winding down the regular season, Upstate remains one of the top teams in the latest A-Sun statistical ranking. The Spartans lead the conference with a .302 batting average and rank second with a 1.50 ERA and a .975 fielding percentage. Individually, the Spartans top the A-Sun in six categories. Kim Brasil tops the league with five triples and Lauren Quevedo leads with a .724 slugging percentage. Morgan Childers leads the A-Sun with 26 wins, 326 strikeouts, nine shutouts and a .159 opponent batting average. 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 201 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 .981 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 32 and is seventh with a .557 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 115.
Breaking the Sweep Streak
Entering last weekend's doubleheaders at Kennesaw State and Mercer, Upstate had either recorded a sweep of been swept in every A-Sun doubleheader on the year. The Spartans split with Kennesaw State for the first split in conference play this season. They went on to sweep Mercer, giving the Spartans four sweeps (Belmont, North Florida, Stetson and Mercer) and have been swept three times (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. She has 326 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 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 1,289 strikeouts. Florida Atlantic's Nikki Myers owns the all-time marks with 47 shutouts and 1,376. Childers is six shutouts and 87 strikeouts shy of the all-time records.
Childers Owns 11 Career Records at Upstate
Morgan Childers entered her senior season already the owner of seven career records at Upstate. Three-quarters the through the season, she has put three more records under her hat. She tops the all-time list with 110 wins, 1,289 strikeouts, 10.06 strikeouts per game, 316 batters struck out looking, 41 shutouts, a .162 opponent batting average, 158 appearances, 122 games started, 102 complete games, nine saves and 896.2 innings pitched.