Spartanburg, S.C. - The USC Upstate softball team takes its 6-0 record on the road for the first time in 2012 when it makes the short trip to Boiling Springs, N.C., to take on Gardner-Webb Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. The doubleheader will conclude with the second game starting around 3:00.
Upstate has dominated the series between the two schools. The Spartans are 30-2 all-time against Gardner-Webb, including a 7-1 mark since Upstate moved to Division I in 2008. Upstate has swept doubleheaders in each of the last three seasons to own a six-game winning streak in the series. The Spartans are 3-1 since 2008 playing in Boiling Springs.
Fans can follow the action online with live statistical updates for both games on gwusports.com, the official website for Bulldog Athletics. Live video for a fee will be available through bigsouthsports.com. Complete game recaps, game statistics and season statistics will be available after the game on upstatespartans.com, the official website for Upstate Athletics.
Upstate enters the doubleheader with a 6-0 record after winning three games in each of the first two weekend tournaments hosted by Upstate at Cyrill Stadium. The Spartans are hitting .333 on the season and have yet to give up an earned run on the year. Gardner-Webb stands 2-2 this season. The Bulldogs swept a doubleheader at home against Morgan State before dropping a doubleheader on the road at Furman over the weekend. They are hitting .276 and own a 2.66 ERA this season and are hosting a doubleheader against North Carolina A&T Tuesday.
Dinney Tosses First Division I No-Hitter
Although tossing a no-hitter in the junior college nationals, Lacey Dinney accomplished a first playing on the Division I level, she tossed a no-hitter against UNC Wilmington in the final game of the Spartan Invitational (Feb. 17-18). Dinney went the distance, striking out six to earn the win and the no-hitter. She is the first player other than former all-time great Morgan Childers to pitch a no-hitter for Upstate since moving to Division I.
Spartans Tops in A-Sun
Not only is Upstate one of two undefeated teams in the A-Sun, the Spartans also rank at the top of the league in several statistical categories. Upstate leads the league with a 0.00 ERA and ranks second with a .333 batting average and a .975 fielding percentage.
Individually, Ericka Harris leads the A-Sun with a .533 batting average, while Kendall Settlemyre tops the conference with a 1.125 slugging percentage and .583 on-base percentage. Hannah Alexander leads the A-Sun with five wins and a 0.00 ERA, while Lacey Dinney tops the league with a .043 opponent batting average.
Spartans 19th in Mid-Major Top 25 Poll
After starting the season with a 6-0 record, Upstate finds itself ranked No. 19 in the latest Mid-Major Top 25 poll released by midmajorpoll.blogspot.com on Monday. The Spartans are one of two A-Sun schools in the poll with Stetson coming in at No. 21.
Six Games, No Earned Runs
Through the first six games of the season, Upstate has yet to give up an earned run. It took five games before the Spartans gave up a run at all when George Mason scored three unearned runs in Upstate's 9-3 victory on Feb. 18. The Spartans have tallied five shutouts on the year.
Harris Nearing 100 Career Hits
Ericka Harris has been a starter since her freshman season and has turned in a solid performance at the plate. Although just the start of her junior season, she is nearing 100 career hits. She currently ranks sixth on Upstate's Division I era record book with 96 hits, just four shy of the century mark. A .295 hitter, she also ranks sixth on the Division I era batting average list. She ranks in the top 10 in at bats, runs, doubles, home runs, and RBIs during the Division I era as well.
Butler MVP, Four Others Named All-Tournament in Spartan Invitational
After hitting .571 with four RBIs, Ashley Butler was named the Most Valuable Player of the Spartan Invitational (Feb. 17-18). Joining her on the all-tournament team were Hannah Alexander (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 15 K), Lacey Dinney (no-hitter vs. UNC Wilmington, 6 K), Janna Lewis (.667, 5 R, 3 RBI) and Kendall Settlemyre (.500, 5 RBI, 2 R).