February 18, 2012

Dinney Tosses No-Hitter as Spartans Sweep Competition

Spartanburg, S.C.Lacey Dinney tossed a no-hitter to lead USC Upstate to a 5-0 victory over UNC Wilmington in the Spartans' second game of the day, and Upstate completed the sweep with a 9-3 victory over George Mason to start the day in the Spartan Invitational at Cyrill Stadium.

Dinney, a senior from Hannon, Ontario, went the distance, tossing seven innings without giving a hit. It was her first no-hitter pitching on the Division I level. She struck out six and walked six as well in the win. She improved to 1-0 on the year in her second start.

"I'm glad to see Lacey have a good outing today," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "Her focus is getting better and I look to her to be an asset for the rest year."

Upstate improved to 6-0 this season with the two wins Saturday. The Spartans face Georgetown Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the final game of the tournament.

"Overall, I thought we played well," said Hawkins. "We faced some adversity and fought through it to get a couple of wins. I was impressed with our focus and hope we continue to improve."

In Upstate's second game of the day, the Spartans jumped on top early with three runs in the first inning. Janna Lewis (Huntersville, N.C.) collected a pair of RBIs and Ashley Butler (Laurens, S.C.) added an RBI-single to do the damage.

Upstate added to the lead with a run in each of the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Shellie Robinson (DeLand, Fla.) drove in a run with a single in the fifth and Hayley Reinfeld (Parkalnd, Fla.) drove in a run on a ground out to give Upstate a 5-0 lead.

Dinney seemed to get stronger as the game went on. With the no-hitter on the l.ine, she struck out four straight batters and five of the last six in the sixth and seventh innings.

Erica Harris (Piedmont, S.C.), Robinson, Lewis and Butler each had two hits for Upstate.

In the first game of the day, Butler led the offensive attack and Hannah Alexander (Lexington, N.C.) came in to right the ship in the circle as Upstate took a 9-3 victory over George Mason. Butler finished the game with two doubles and three RBIs, narrowly missing a grand slam. Alexander tossed four innings of relief and earned the win to improve to 5-0 with seven strikeouts.

Upstate jumped on top with a pair of runs in the first inning on Kendall Settlemyre's (Hickory, N.C.) two-run single. However, George Mason took a 3-2 lead with three unearned runs in the third.

Upstate, though, gained the lead back immediately with four runs in the bottom of the third and didn't look back. Maddison Kieffer (Middleburg, Fla.,) knocked a single with the bases loaded to score a run and Butler knocked her three-run double that hit about a foot under the top of the fence to give Upstate a 6-3 lead.

Upstate added to the lead with three runs in the fourth inning. Lewis singled on a squeeze bunt to drive in a run, Settlemyre picked up an RBI on a single and Lindsay Kelly added an RBI-single to do the damage as Upstate opened a 9-3 lead.

The runs were all that Alexander needed. She entered the game in the fourth inning and struck out the side in each of her first two innings of work. She finished with seven strikeouts en route to her second victory of the tournament. In all, 20 of Upstate's 23 players saw action in the game.

In other action, Georgetown's Alexandra Antilla hit a grand slam to end the game in the fifth inning to give the Spartans an 8-0 victory over George Mason. In the Hoys' second game of the day, pitcher Megan Hyson pitched a no-hitter to lead Georgetown to a 5-0 victory over Howard. In the day's final game, Youngstown State exploded for eight runs in the third inning and put the game away with two runs in the fourth as the Penguins took a 15-7 victory over Howard.

Game Results
Game 5 – Georgetown 8, George Mason 0
Game 6 – Upstate 9, George Mason 3
Game 7 – Georgetown 5, Howard 0
Game 8 – Upstate 5, UNC Wilmington 0
Game 9 – Youngstown State 15, Howard 7

Game Results
Game 5 – Georgetown 8, George Mason 0 - Box Score
Game 6 – Upstate 9, George Mason 3 - Box Score
Game 7 – Georgetown 5, Howard 0 - Box Score
Game 8 – Upstate 5, UNC Wilmington 0 - Box Score
Game 9 – Youngstown State vs. Howard - Box Score