Spartanburg, S.C. – Abbie Millete hit two home runs and Spartan pitchers combined for 20 strikeouts as the USC Upstate softball team opened its 2017 season on Thursday afternoon with a doubleheader sweep of the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs from Cyrill Stadium by scores of 8-0 in five innings and 2-1.
Upstate improves to 2-0 on the season while Gardner-Webb falls to 0-2 overall.
GAME ONE – USC UPSTATE 8, GARDNER-WEBB 0 (5)
- Bottom 1st – The Spartans broke the scoring open early in the first thanks to Millete and Karla Beasley. Beasley got the scoring started with her one-out two RBI single to right centerfield, scoring Ansley Gilstrap and Ryan Rector. Millete followed with her first home run of the day, a two-run blast, over the left field fence to lead 4-0.
- Bottom 4th – Upstate added to its lead in the fourth after plating three more runs to go in front 7-0. Kendsey Chappelear drove in two runs on her two-out triple to left center field and scored the next at-bat when Gilstrap singled up the middle.
- Bottom 5th – Brittany Case ended game one in the fifth as the Spartans scored once to earn the 8-0 win. Case brought home Kristen Wright, pinch-running for Millete, with her RBI single up the middle.
- Lexi Shubert (1-0) earned the win after limiting the Runnin' Bulldogs to just one hit over five innings while striking out nine and allowing no walks. Shubert retired the first 13 batters she faced before giving up a one-out single in the top of the fifth.
- Ashley Wark (0-1) earned the loss allowing eight runs on nine hits, two walks and five strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work.
- Beasley, Case and Chappelear all led Upstate with two hits apiece, and Beasley and Chappelear were joined by Millete with two RBI each.
- Callie Thornton recorded the lone hit for Gardner-Webb.
- Top 1st – The lone run of the game for the Runnin' Bulldogs came thanks to a solo home run by Annamarie Warley in the first that gave Gardner-Webb the 1-0 lead.
- Bottom 6th – Millete's second home run of the day tied the game for the Spartans at 1-1 with two outs in the sixth off her solo home run to left field.
- Bottom 7th – Gilstrap completed the late-game comeback for Upstate in the seventh on her game-winning double to left center field with two outs that plated Chappelear from first base.
- Holly McKinnon (1-0) began her season by tossing a complete game and struck out 11 batters while allowing two hits and one walk. The 11 strikeouts are the second-most during her Upstate career after recording 12 versus Central Michigan last season.
- Mackenzie Thompson (0-1) suffered the loss after pitching 6.2 innings and gave up two runs on five hits, three walks and three strikeouts.
- Millete and Kori Wancheck had a team-high two hits for the Spartans.
- Warley and Thornton had the only two hits for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
- Upstate travels to Charleston, S.C. this weekend to play four games as part of the Wingate by Wyndham Invitational hosted by Charleston Southern.
- The Spartans play James Madison at 9 a.m. and Charleston Southern at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, and Missouri at 1 p.m. and Charleston Southern at 3 p.m. on Sunday.