Spartanburg, S.C. – Ericka Harris collected a pair of hits and three RBIs to lead USC Upstate took an 8-0 victory over North Carolina Central in five innings in the second game of the day for the Spartans in the Subway Spartan Classic at Cyrill Stadium. Upstate, though, suffered its first loss of the season when it dropped a 3-1 decision to Dayton earlier in the day.
Upstate stands 17-1 on the year with the win and loss on Saturday. The Spartans will finish the tournament Sunday afternoon at 1:00 against Appalachian State.
"The last two innings against Dayton, we hit the ball hard and had a lot of intensity. It proved to me that our players are determined and will compete," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins.
Upstate jumped on top with two runs in the first inning against N.C. Central. Lindsay Kelly (Jacksonville, Fla.) reached on an error and scored on Ericka Harris' (Piedmont, S.C.) RBI-single. Harris later scored on Janna Lewis' (Huntersville, N.C.) ground out to make it a 2-0 Spartan lead.
Upstate broke the game open with three runs in the second. With two outs, Lindsey Greeson (Stanley, N.C.) walked and Kelly was hit by a pitch. Harris and Shellie Robinson (DeLand, Fla.) followed with back-to-back doubles to give Upstate a 5-0 lead. Harris drove in two runs with her double, while Robinson brought in one.
Upstate made it a 6-0 lead in the third inning on Dana Landers' sacrifice fly. Butler knocked a solo home run in the fourth inning to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead.
Upstate ended the game with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Spartans put runners on second and third with one out when Greeson delivered an infield RBI-single to score Hayley Reinfeld (Parkland, Fla.) from third with the winning run.
Upstate starter Lacey Dinney (Hannon, Ontario) earned the win and improved to 6-1 on the year. She tossed 4 1/3 innings with six strikeouts. Sam Poarch (Jacksonville, Fla.) finished the game with 2/3 of an inning in the fifth. N.C. Central starter Aurora Baker took the loss and fell to 0-7 on the year.
Harris was the standout at the plate in the game. She finished with two hits, three RBIs and two runs. Griffin and Greeson also totaled a pair of hits.
Dayton jumped on top with three runs in the second inning. Brandy Brown scored on Kasi Vazquez's double and Tiffany Ricks knocked a two-run home run to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead.
Upstate got on the board with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning when Butler doubled with one out and scored on Harris' RBI-single. The Spartans put runners on second and third with one out, but could not get another run home.
Upstate attempted a rally in the bottom of the seventh, putting a runner on first with one out, but couldn't get her home as Dayton held on for the win.
Dayton starter Kayla English went the distance. She earned the win to improve to 1-2 on the year, striking out two Spartans along the way. Upstate starter Dinney (Hannon, Ontario) took the loss after giving up three runs on three hits in 1 2/3 innings of work.
Harris and Kelly led Upstate at the plate. Harris finished with three hits, while Kelly added two. Hannah Alexander (Lexington, N.C.) relieved Dinney and tossed 5 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. She gave up just one hit and struck out seven in keeping the Spartans in the game.
Game 1 – Dayton 7, Appalachian State 3 - Game Box
Game 2 – Dayton 3, Upstate 1 - Game Box
Game 3 – Upstate 8, N.C. Central 0 - Game Box
Game 4 – Appalachian State 9, N.C. Central 1 - Game Box