Spartanburg, S.C. – Ashley Butler knocked a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift USC Upstate to a 4-2 victory over Dayton in the Subway Spartan Classic Friday evening at Cyrill Stadium. The Spartans went on to take an 8-2 victory over North Carolina Central in the nightcap.
Upstate improved to 16-0 on the year with the two wins Friday. The Spartans will take on Dayton and N.C. Central again Saturday. Saturday's game times have changed due to rain forecasted overnight. The first game pitting Appalachian State and Dayton will begin at 1:00 p.m. Upstate will take on Dayton at 3:00 followed by the Spartans against N.C. Central at 5:00 and N.C. Central taking on Appalachian State at 7:00.
Upstate opened the scoring against Dayton in the second inning when Janna Lewis (Huntersville, N.C.) singled and stole second. Maddison Kieffer (Middleburg, Fla.) drove her in with a double to left center to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
Dayton (2-9) took the lead with a run in the fourth inning, breaking Upstate's streak of not allowing an earned run to start the season. The Spartans had not allowed an earned run through its first 14 games, a span of 89 1/3 innings. Kathleen Maloof singled to drive in a run and later scored on Lauren Nacke's RBI-single.
Upstate tied the game with a run in the fifth inning. Morgan Brookshire (Enka, N.C.) started things off with a pinch-hit single with one out. Kendall Settlemyre (Hickory, N.C.) re-entered the game for Brookshire and advanced to second with two outs. Lindsay Kelly (Jacksonville, Fla.) tripled to drive in the run and tie the game at 2-2.
Upstate jumped back on top with two runs in the sixth inning on Butler's homer. Shellie Robinson (DeLand, Fla.) led off the inning with a single and stole second with one out. Butler then came up and smashed a two-run homer over the wall in left to give the Spartans a 4-2 lead and the game.
Hannah Alexander (Lexington, N.C.) went the distance for Upstate. She allowed two runs on six hits to improve to 10-0 on the year. She finished with nine strikeouts. Dayton's Alysha Isaacson took the loss and fell to 1-4 after allowing four runs on seven hits.
In the second game of the day for Upstate, the Spartans jumped on top in the first inning when Lewis stole home on a double steal attempt.
Upstate took control of the game with four runs in the second inning on three hits and an error. Butler scored from third on a passed ball with two outs to start things off. Lindsey Greeson (Stanley, N.C.) followed with an RBI-single. Lewis doubled to drive in Greeson and two walks later, the bases were loaded. Cheyenne Griffin (Moore, S.C.) walked to bring home the fourth run of the inning as Upstate opened a 5-0 lead.
N.C. Central cut into the lead with two runs in the top of the third when Regina Diaz scored on a wild pitch and Cember Carmichael singled to drive in a run.
Upstate scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to take an 8-2 lead. Kelly doubled to start the inning and Brookshire doubled to drive her in. Greeson reached on a hit on a squeeze bunt play to drive in the second run in the inning and Erin Schattle (Goose Creek, S.C.) plated a run on a single to left.
Casee Clauser (Ladera Beach, Calif.) came in to relieve starter Lacey Dinney (Hannon, Ontario) in the fourth inning. She finished the game allowing just one hit in 3 2/3 innings to earn her first collegiate victory. She also struck out five batters in the win.
Lewis, Schattle and Greeson each had two hits to lead Upstate at the plate in the game. Greeson finished with two runs and two RBIs as well.
N.C. Central starter Bianka Molina went the distance, tossing 154 pitches in taking the loss. She fell to 1-4 on the year as the Eagles dropped to 1-11.