DeLand, Fla. – Anna Miller tossed a one-hit shutout and finished with 10 strikeouts to lead the USC Upstate softball team to a doubleheader split at A-Sun rival Stetson Tuesday afternoon at Patricia Wilson Field. The Spartans won the second game of the doubleheader, 2-0, after falling in the first game, 2-1.
Upstate improved to 23-3 overall and 4-1 in the A-Sun with the win in the second game. Stetson is 13-4 overall and 1-1 in the league. The teams will complete their three-game A-Sun series with the series' deciding game Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.
Miller was simply dominant in the circle in game two. She did not allow a hit until the fifth inning and walked just three batters en route to the one-hitter. She improved to 7-1 on the year with the win.
Upstate got on the board with a run in the top of the second inning. Ryan Rector, who played a part in Upstate's attempted rally in the first game, singled to drive in Cheyenne Griffin from third. The Spartans gave Miller an insurance run in the fifth inning to make it a 2-0 ballgame. Griffin singled to drive in pinch runner Lindsey Greeson.
The two runs were all that Miller would need as the senior stayed strong throughout her start. She struck out four batters in the last two innings. Griffin and Kendall Settlemyre led Upstate at the plate, both finishing with two hits.
Sarah Read took the loss for Stetson to fall to 6-1 on the year. She allowed two runs on eight Spartan hits.
It was an entertaining pitcher's duel for most of the game with Upstate freshman Lexi Shubert getting the start against Stetson veteran hurler Meredith Owen in the first game of the series. With two of the A-Sun's best pitchers battling out, the game hinged on one swing in the fourth inning and an error in the sixth.
Neither team would budge early on as the teams played three scoreless innings to open the game. The best chance Upstate had at cracking the scoreboard early was in the third when the Spartans put runners on first and second with two outs. However, Shellie Robinson, playing in front of her hometown crowd, lined out to left field.
Stetson was the first to put a run on the board and it came in the bottom of the fourth inning with Owen helping her won cause. She hit a solo home run to give the Hatters a 1-0 advantage. The Hatters stretched their lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the six. After Chrissy Morello tripled, Demi Meza laid down a safety squeeze bunt and Morello scored on a throwing error.
After Owen held Upstate scoreless in the fifth and sixth despite the Spartans putting a runner on base in each inning, Upstate battled back in the seventh. Rector homered with two outs to get the Spartans within a run, 2-1. Erin Schattle reached on an error and advanced to second on the play. However, Owen got a ground out to end the game and take the 2-1 win.
Owen went the distance, allowing one run on three Upstate hits to improve to 6-2. Shubert took the loss after allowing two runs on five Stetson hits to suffer her first loss of the season and fall to 10-1. She struck out six Hatters on the day.