Spartanburg, S.C. – The USC Upstate softball team recorded its tenth straight win, and eighth in conference play, on Wednesday evening as it swept the series-opening doubleheader against the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs at Cyrill Stadium.
USC Upstate improves to 33-10 on the season and 13-4 in Big South play while Gardner-Webb falls to 24-20 overall and 3-11 in the conference.
The Spartans defeated the Runnin' Bulldogs by scores of 2-1 in game one and 6-2 in game two.
GAME ONE – GARDNER-WEBB 1, USC UPSTATE 2
- Bottom 1st – Alyssa Oakes gave USC Upstate an early 2-0 lead after hitting her team-leading 18th home run of the season, a two-run blast, to left field. Sarah Price led off the inning with a walk and scored on Oakes' home run.
- Top 3rd – Autumn Owen cut Gardner-Webb's deficit down to 2-1 with one out on her solo home run to right center field.
- Christina Biggerstaff (20-3) earned the win tossing her 18th complete game of the season after allowing just one run on three hits, three walks and eight strikeouts.
- Biggerstaff is the first Spartan pitcher since Holly McKinnon in 2017 to record 20 wins in a season.
- Brooke Perry (14-10) suffered the loss pitching six innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits, five walks and three strikeouts.
- Oakes, Brittany Case and Megan Obier each had one hit for USC Upstate.
- Oakes drove in a game-high two RBI.
- Owen finished 1-for-2 for the Runnin' Bulldogs with one run scored and one RBI.
GAME TWO – GARDNER-WEBB 2, USC UPSTATE 6
- Bottom 1st – The Spartans plated two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Case drove in Price, who led off the inning with a single, with her RBI ground out. Obier followed by driving home Makenna Helton with an RBI sacrifice bunt. Helton reached base on an infield single.
- Bottom 3rd – USC Upstate extended its lead to 3-0 on Oakes' RBI sacrifice fly to center field. Price scored her second run of the game after starting the inning with a single and advanced to third on a stolen base and Helton's single to left field.
- Top 4th – Gardner-Webb cut its deficit down to 3-2 in the fourth after scoring twice. Kaylee Wacaster recorded the first run of the inning with her RBI single and Weslyn Almond later scored on a passed ball.
- Bottom 5th – The Spartans answered by scoring three times in the fifth to increase their lead to 6-2. Alicia Dorgan highlighted the inning with her two-RBI single to center field while Case also had an RBI single. Case and Riley Miller, pinch-running for Oakes, crossed home plate on Dorgan's single. Helton scored on Case's single.
- Erin Hill (12-7) threw her 12th complete game of the season and picked up the win surrendering two runs (one earned) on four hits, no walks and eight strikeouts.
- Reah Barger (5-5) suffered the loss after giving up six runs (four earned) on eight hits, three walks and two strikeouts in six innings of work.
- Helton led USC Upstate offensively with a 3-for-4 performance and two runs scored.
- Dorgan finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBI.
- Case added two RBI and Oakes one.
- Price scored two runs along with Helton.
- Four different GWU hitters had one hit apiece while Wacaster contributed one RBI.
- The Spartans close out their series with the Runnin' Bulldogs on Thursday evening at 6 p.m.
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