Nashville, Tenn. – Brittany Case drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice bunt to lead the USC Upstate softball team into the ASUN Softball Championship Final following a 5-4 victory over the Kennesaw State Owls on Thursday evening at Draper Diamond.
Upstate improves to 43-11 overall while Kennesaw State falls to 36-17 on the season.
- Top 2nd – The Owls went ahead of the Spartans 1-0 on an RBI single by Hannah Thomason. Jessie Mullen scored after drawing a walk and advanced to second on an infield single from Taylor Denton.
- Bottom 3rd – Upstate took the lead back at 3-1 after scoring three runs in the third. Ansley Gilstrap plated two runs with her double to left center field and later scored on Megan Obier's RBI single.
- Top 5th – Kennesaw State tied at the game at 3-3 on a two-run homer to left center field by Courtney Sutter.
- Bottom 5th – The Spartans answered with a single run in their half of the fifth and went back ahead of the Owls 4-3. Obier scored on a wild pitch after reaching on an infield single, and went to third on a stolen base and fielder's choice.
- Top 6th – Kennesaw State tied the game again in the sixth when a solo home run by Mullen evened the score at 4-4.
- Bottom 7th – Case won the game on her RBI sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher that allowed Gilstrap to score from third, giving Upstate the 5-4 victory. Gilstrap reached on a one-out double down the left field line and moved to third when Obier reached on a throwing error by the Owls. Gilstrap managed to slide under the tag at home plate to score the game-winning run.
- The Spartans are making their third consecutive appearance, and fifth overall, in the ASUN Softball Championship Final on Saturday.
- Upstate is seeking its third straight title and fourth overall since joining the ASUN.
- Holly McKinnon (24-7) tossed her 17th complete game of the year to record the victory after giving up four runs on seven hits, two walks and four strikeouts.
- Alley Cutting (17-10) took the loss pitching 6.1 innings and allowed five runs (three earned) on seven hits, no walks and three strikeouts.
- The Spartans had three players finish with a team-high two hits in Gilstrap, Obier and Kendsey Chappelear.
- Gilstrap added a team-leading two RBI and two runs scored.
- Obier and Case also had one RBI for Upstate.
- Sutter led Kennesaw State offensively with a 2-for-3 performance and two RBI.
- The Spartans advance to the championship round on Saturday and will play at 2 p.m. EDT against either Kennesaw State, Florida Gulf Coast or Lipscomb.