Jacksonville, Fla. – Lexi Shubert threw a complete game shutout, and Brittany Case combined for four hits, as the USC Upstate softball team opened a three-game series with the Jacksonville Dolphins on Saturday afternoon by splitting a doubleheader at the Debbie & Fred Pruitt Softball Complex.
Upstate moves to 37-11 overall and 10-4 in the conference, while the Dolphins are 26-20 on the season and 4-7 in league play.
The Spartans began the doubleheader by falling in game one 4-3 before responding in game two with a 2-0 victory.
GAME ONE – USC UPSTATE 3, JACKSONVILLE 4
- Top 4th – Case gave Upstate a 1-0 lead with two outs on her RBI triple to left field. Karla Beasley scored on the hit after reaching on a throwing error and advancing to second in the process.
- Bottom 5th – Jacksonville tied the game at 1-1 on a one-out RBI sacrifice fly to center field by Makenzie Buss. Danielle Baker led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a stolen base and sacrifice bunt.
- Top 6th – Megan Obier drew a bases loaded walk with two outs to give the Spartans a 2-1 lead. Upstate loaded the bases when Ryan Rector reached on a fielder's choice, Abbie Millete singled to right field and Case was hit by a pitch.
- Bottom 6th – The Dolphins answered back with three runs in their half of the sixth to take a 4-2 lead over the Spartans. All three runs came on a homer to left center field by Madison Ragan.
- Top 7th – Upstate's seventh inning rally fell one run short as Jacksonville held on for the game one victory 4-3. The Spartans plated one run in the seventh on an RBI sacrifice fly to left field by Rector. Kendsey Chappelear scored as she started the inning with a walk and would go to third base on a groundout and fielding error.
- Holly McKinnon (19-7) took the loss after giving up four runs on four hits, two walks and six strikeouts in six innings of work.
- Ragan (7-4) earned the win with 1.2 relief innings and surrendered two runs on two hits, two walks and two strikeouts. She was also one of four players to record one hit for the Dolphins and had a game-high three RBI.
- Seana Mora (1) picked up the save on one scoreless inning of relief and allowed one hit.
- Case and Millete both had two hits to lead Upstate offensively.
- Rector, Case and Obier all drove in one run apiece.
- Top 2nd – Kayla Hussey put the Spartans in front 1-0 in the second with her RBI single to center field. Beasley reached on a two-out double to center field and came home on Hussey's base hit.
- Top 4th – Alicia Dorgan made it a 2-0 game in favor of Upstate on her solo home run to center field.
- Shubert (17-4) threw her 14th complete game of the season to register the win and did not allow a run on four hits, one walk and three strikeouts.
- Alyssa Bilodeau (8-7) suffered the loss after tossing 3.2 innings and gave up two runs on six hits, no walks and two strikeouts.
- The Spartans had three players finish with two hits each in Case, Beasley and Hussey.
- Dorgan and Hussey both contributed one RBI.
- The homer by Dorgan in the fourth inning was her seventh of the season and is now tied with Beasley and Millete for first on the team in home runs.
- Ciara Jones collected two of the four hits for Jacksonville.
- Upstate wraps up its three-game series against the Dolphins on Sunday, April 23 at 1 p.m.