Spartanburg, S.C. – Kaitlyn Jaeger knocked a pair of two-run home runs to lead the USC Upstate softball team to a 14-0 win over N.C. Central and Upstate claimed a 9-0 victory over Western Carolina as the Spartans won the Subway Upstate Classic Sunday afternoon at Cyrill Stadium. Maddison Kieffer capped a strong weekend and was named the tournament Most Valuable Player.
Upstate improved to 4-0 on the year with the wins over N.C. Central and Western Carolina. The Spartans will be back in action next weekend hosting the Firehouse Subs Spartan Classic Friday-Sunday at Cyrill Stadium.
"I thought we played well all weekend," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "We hit, played defense and got good pitching. Maddie was tremendous. She started really hitting well in the A-Sun games last year and worked hard heading into the season. It was good to see Kaitlyn do well today. She can hit the ball. We were able to pitch everyone this weekend and everyone came through."
Jaeger (North Port, Fla.) had a blast in the first game for Upstate, belting two 2-run home runs to lead the Spartans to the win over N.C. Central.
After a scoreless first inning, Upstate broke on top in the second. After Kieffer (Middleburg, Fla.) scored from second on Jessica Ujvari's (Niceville, Fla.) single and a fielding error, Jaeger (North Port, Fla.) made it a 3-0 game with a two-run home run off the scoreboard in left. It was her first career homer. Shellie Robinson (DeLand, Fla.) made it a 5-0 game with a two-run single later in the inning. A batter later, Cheyenne Griffin (Moore, S.C.) drove in Robinson with a double to left to give the Spartans a 6-0 advantage.
Jaeger made it an 8-0 lead with a two-run homer in the third inning, her second of the game. The Spartans went on to score seven runs in the inning to open a 13-0 advantage and added a run in the fourth to make it a 14-0 game.
Upstate starter Jamie Ujvari (Niceville, Fla.) went a scheduled three innings to earn her first collegiate victory. Pitching to her sister, Jessica, at catcher, Ujvari struck out four and allowed just one hit to improve to 1-0 on the year. Sam Poarch (Jacksonville, Fla.) closed out the game with two innings of relief work. She scattered two hits and struck out two.
Six Spartans finished with two hits apiece in the game as Upstate pounded out 16 hits. Jaeger led the way with four RBIs, while Robinson, Griffin and Jessica Ujvari each had two RBIs.
In the tournament finale, Upstate didn't wait long to score. After Western Carolina threatened by putting two on with one out in the top of the first, Upstate starter Hannah Alexander (Lexington, N.C.) got out of the jam. In the bottom of the frame, Ericka Harris (Piedmont, S.C.) doubled to drive in Meredith Barnes (Salem, Ore.) with the first run of the game.
Upstate made it a 3-0 game in the second with a pair of two-out RBI hits by Kendall Settlemyre (Hickory, N.C.) and Barnes. Jessica Ujvari made it a 5-0 game with a two-run single in the third. Upstate plated four runs in the fourth inning on RBI hits by Griffin, Kieffer, Jessica Ujvari and Dana Landers (Simpsonville, S.C.) to make it a 9-0 lead.
Alexander cruised to the win over WCU. She went the distance in the five-inning game, scattering four hits and striking out seven to improve to 2-0 on the year. Jordan Garrett took the loss for the Catamounts, falling to 1-2 after allowing five runs on seven hits.
Barnes was one of several Spartans to shine at the plate. She was 3-for-3 with a run and RBI. Harris, Kieffer and Jessica Ujvari each had two hits, while Ujvari collected three RBIs.
Kieffer hit .800 for the tournament, finishing 8-for-10 with four doubles, two RBIs and six runs en route to earning tournament Most Valuable Player honors. She was joined on the all-tournament team by fellow Spartans Hannah Alexander, Cheyenne Griffin, Ericka Harris and Shellie Robinson.
In addition to the Upstate players on the all-tournament team, all teams had at least one representative. The other all-tournament team members were N.C. Central's Tiphani Jackson, Maine's Kristen Koslosky, Western Carolina's Shemekia Scotton and Amelia Griffin, and UMKC's Liz Broyles, Marlee Maples and Katie Kelley.
In other action…
UMKC scored four runs in each of the third and fourth inning and cruised to a 9-3 victory over Maine to improve to 3-1 on the season. Deanna Friese got the win for the Kangaroos, while Marlee Maples was strong at the plate with two hits, three runs and three RBIs.
Sunday, February 10 Schedule
10:00 am – UMKC 9, Maine 3
12:00 pm – Upstate 14, N.C. Central 0
2:00 pm – Upstate 9, Western Carolina 0