Spartanburg, S.C. – Christina Biggerstaff tossed a no-hitter and Alyssa Oakes hit a pair of home runs as the USC Upstate softball team opened its 2019 season on Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader sweep of the Youngstown State Penguins and Towson Tigers during the Spartan Classic at Cyrill Stadium.
USC Upstate improves to 2-0 on the season while Youngstown State falls to 0-4 overall and Towson 2-1.
The Spartans defeated Youngstown State 2-1 in game one and followed with a 6-4 victory over Towson in game two.
GAME ONE – YOUNGSTOWN STATE 1, USC UPSTATE 2
- Bottom 1st – USC Upstate plated a single run and went ahead of the Penguins early 1-0. Makenna Helton drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a stolen base and Kristen Wright's groundout. Megan Obier then drove in Helton with her RBI sacrifice fly to right field.
- Bottom 2nd – The Spartans added another run in the second to extend their lead to 2-0. Brittany Case, who drew a one-out walk, stole two bases and came home on a Youngstown State throwing error.
- Top 3rd – The Penguins cut the USC Upstate lead down to 2-1 on a two-out walk with the bases loaded.
- Biggerstaff (1-0) threw her second career no-hitter as a Spartan after allowing one unearned run to go with a career-high 16 strikeouts.
- Biggerstaff, who threw a perfect game last season against Presbyterian, fell two strikeouts shy of tying the school record of 18 set by Hall of Famer Morgan Childers on February 13, 2008.
- Elle Buffenbarger (0-2) suffered the loss after allowing two runs on two hits, five walks and five strikeouts in six innings of work.
- Obier had one RBI while Oakes and Kayla Hussey each contributed one hit.
- Grace Cea collected one RBI for Youngstown State.
GAME TWO – TOWSON 4, USC UPSTATE 6
- Top 1st – The Tigers struck first for three runs to hold a 3-0 lead over USC Upstate. Julia Smith-Harrington highlighted the inning with a two-RBI double to right field.
- Bottom 2nd – The Spartans responded with three runs of their own to even the score at 3-3. Hussey began the scoring with her one-out RBI bunt single and Helton followed two batters later with an RBI bases loaded walk. Sarah Price drove in the tying run with one out on her RBI sacrifice fly to right field.
- Top 3rd – Nicole Stockinger gave Towson a 4-3 lead on her solo home run to left field.
- Bottom 3rd – Oakes hit her first home run of the game over the left center field fence to start the bottom-half of the third as USC Upstate tied the score again at 4-4.
- Bottom 4th – Oakes came through with her second home run of the day, driving in the go-ahead runs, on her two-out, two-run homer to right center field that scored Price. Price led off the inning with a single to left field.
- Erin Hill (1-0) came on in relief and held the Tigers scoreless over 3.2 innings and did not allow a hit on two walks and two strikeouts.
- Ashley Cruise (0-1) took the loss in relief throwing 2.1 innings and gave up three runs on six hits, no walks and no strikeouts.
- Celina Sullivan, making her first career start as a Spartan, struck out four and allowed one earned run in 3.1 innings of work.
- Eight different USC Upstate batters had at least one hit in the contest highlighted by a 3-for-3 performance from Case.
- Price and Oakes both contributed two hits while Oakes had a game-high three RBI.
- Lindsey Toneygay recorded two hits for Towson and Smith-Harrington drove in two runs.
- The Spartans close out play at the Spartan Classic on Sunday afternoon hosting Miami (OH) at 1 p.m. and East Carolina at 3 p.m.
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