Lewis, Alexander Lead Upstate to Sweep of ETSU
Spartanburg, S.C. – Janna Lewis led USC Upstate at the plate and Hannah Alexander earned two wins on the day, one as a starter and one in relief, as the Spartans swept ETSU in a key A-Sun doubleheader Saturday evening at Cyrill Stadium. Upstate won game one, 4-0, and game two, 8-3.
Upstate improved to 31-6 on the year overall and 4-2 in the A-Sun with the wins. The Spartans have won at least 30 games in eight of the last nine seasons. ETSU fell to 10-22 overall and 0-6 in the conference. Upstate will travel to Athens, Ga., Tuesday night for a game against ninth-ranked Georgia.
"I thought we started hitting well in the second game after a week and a half of struggling," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "I'm really proud of Janna. She really helped us win today. Our lefthanders hit the ball well. It's nice to know you can put Hannah in and relax a little bit when we need to. We have a tough week coming up, playing at Georgia on Tuesday and going to Jacksonville to face North Florida and Jacksonville over the weekend. We have to swing the bat well if we want to be successful."
Upstate struck first in the first game when Lewis (Huntersville, N.C.) cracked a two-run single to center in the bottom of the second inning to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead. Cheyenne Griffin (Moore, S.C.) started things off with a double to lead off the inning and Ashley Butler (Laurens, S.C.) reached on a fielder's choice.
Upstate added to the lead in the fifth inning when Hayley Reinfeld (Parkland, Fla.) led off the inning with a double. She later scored when Butler reached on an error with two outs to give the Spartans a 3-0 lead.
Alexander (Lexington, N.C.) was dominant in the game. She allowed one hit through five innings and didn't allow a base runner to reach second until the sixth. She was able to strand the runner at second to keep ETSU off the board. She also struck out the side in each of the first two innings and totaled eight strikeouts through the first three innings.
Alexander went the distance. She finished with nine strikeouts and scattered two hits to improve to 19-2 on the year. ETSU starter Katie Wolff went the distance as well, dropping to 4-11 on the year after allowing four runs on six Upstate hits.
Lewis opened the scoring for Upstate in the second game, belting a solo home run to left to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Upstate added to the lead in the inning when Shellie Robinson (DeLand, Fla.) smacked a double down the line in left to drive in Ericka Harris (Piedmont, S.C.) from first.
Reinfeld gave Upstate a 3-0 lead when she knocked a two-out single to center to score Kendall Settlemyre (Hickory, N.C.) from second.
ETSU got on the board in the top of the third inning. Tara Hartnett drew a two-out walk and Casey Horner followed with a double to left when Upstate left fielder Lindsay Kelly (Jacksonville, Fla.) lost the line drive in the tough evening sun.
Upstate made it a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning when Maddison Kieffer (Middleburg, Fla.) led off the inning with a solo home run to right center. Upstate made it a 6-1 game when Robinson knocked a two-run double. She later scored on Griffin's RBI single as the Spartans opened a 7-1 advantage after four innings.
ETSU cut into the lead with a pair of runs in the fifth inning off of Upstate reliever Alexander. Jackie Baird did the damage with a two-run single with the bases loaded and two outs to get within 7-3. Upstate added a run in the sixth inning when Robinson picked up an RBI on a ground out to put the Spartans ahead, 8-3.
Upstate starter Lacey Dinney (Hannon, Ontario) went 1.2 innings before leaving the game. Reliever Casee Clauser (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) pitched 1.1 innings of relief before Alexander came in to close the door on ETSU. Alexander tossed four innings of relief, allowing two runs on two hits. She was credited with the win to improve to 20-2 on the year. ETSU starter Shelby Morris went 3.2 innings, allowing seven runs on 10 Upstate hits to fall to 2-8 on the year.
Robinson led Upstate at the plate, finishing 3-for-4 with four RBIs and a run. Lewis finished with two hits, a run and two RBIs, while Griffin added a pair of hits as well. Lewis completed the doubleheader with four hits.