Boiling Springs, N.C. – Karla Beasley hit two home runs, while Megan Obier had five RBI, as the USC Upstate softball team opened its 2018 season with a doubleheader sweep of the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs on Thursday afternoon at Brinkley Stadium.
USC Upstate improves to 2-0 on the season while Gardner-Webb falls to 0-2 overall.
The Spartans captured the first game by a score of 8-4 and followed in game two with a 15-1 triumph in five innings.
GAME ONE – USC UPSTATE 8, GARDNER-WEBB 4
- Bottom 1st – The Runnin' Bulldogs scored twice to take an early 2-0 lead. Maddi Johnson began the scoring with her RBI single and later scored on a bases loaded walk to Jenna Wacaster.
- Top 2nd – USC Upstate answered with three runs in its half of the second to go ahead 3-2. Brittany Case started with an RBI double to left center field and then came home on a stolen base and throwing error. Kristen Wright, who reached on a fielding error, also scored on a Gardner-Webb error.
- Bottom 3rd – Callie Thornton tied the game for the Runnin' Bulldogs at 3-3 on her RBI double.
- Bottom 4th – Kaylee Wacaster led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run to center field as Gardner-Webb went back in front 4-3.
- Top 5th – The Spartans evened the score again, this time at 5-5, when Ansley Gilstrap stole home after Case drew a walk. Case got caught in a rundown between first and second allowing Gilstrap to score from third base.
- Top 6th – USC Upstate took the lead for good with a two-run frame in the sixth to hold a 6-4 advantage. Gilstrap was responsible for both runs with her two-RBI single to center field. Hussey and Kendsey Chappelear came home on the single. Hussey reached on a one-out single and Chappelear walked the next at-bat.
- Top 7th – Trish Webb extended the Spartans lead to 8-4 with her first collegiate home run, a two-run blast, to left field. Wright, who reached on a single the previous at-bat, scored on the homer.
- Kelsey Sweatt (1-0), making her first collegiate appearance, earned the win in relief allowing one run, two walks and three strikeouts in four innings of work.
- Ashley Wark (0-1) suffered the loss after throwing a complete game and gave up eight runs (five earned) on 10 hits, three walks and two strikeouts.
- Making her first career start at USC Upstate, Christina Biggerstaff struck out seven batters in three innings pitched.
- Hussey led the Spartans offensively with three hits.
- Gilstrap and Webb drove in a team-high two RBI each.
- Kaylee Wacaster and Andria Booth had two hits apiece for Gardner-Webb while four different players recorded one RBI.
GAME TWO – USC UPSTATE 15, GARDNER-WEBB 1 (5)
- Top 1st – USC Upstate struck first for two runs and led 2-0 after one. Wright led off the game with a triple and came home two batters later on Gilstrap's sacrifice fly to right field. Beasley hit her first home run of the season the following at-bat.
- Top 2nd – The Spartans pushed their lead to 6-0 in the second inning courtesy of four runs. Hussey connected on her first homer of the year to start the frame while Obier contributed a two-RBI double. Case drew a bases loaded walk for the final run.
- Top 3rd – USC Upstate scored five more times in the third to make the score 11-0. Beasley drove in three of the runs after hitting her second home run of the game. Chappelear started the scoring with her RBI triple and Obier added an RBI double.
- Bottom 3rd – The Runnin' Bulldogs got on the board in their half of the third on a bases loaded walk by Johnson.
- Top 4th – Obier plated two more runs to highlight a four-run fourth inning for the Spartans as they increased their lead to 15-1. Prior to the two-run single by Obier, Wright drove in two with her double.
- Erin Hill (1-0) got the win for USC Upstate after throwing four innings and surrendering one run on two hits, two walks and two strikeouts.
- Laken Myers (0-1) took the loss giving up three runs on three hits, one walk and no strikeouts in one inning of work.
- Making her first collegiate appearance, Caylie Van Auken threw one scoreless inning of relief and had one walk and one strikeout.
- Obier set a new career-high with five RBI after going 3-for-4 at the plate and two runs scored.
- Wright also recorded new career-highs with three hits and three runs scored while compiling two RBI.
- Beasley tied her career-high of three hits and collected four RBI to go with two home runs.
- Chappelear went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and one RBI.
- In her first career start at USC Upstate, Elisa Cecchetti had two hits in three plate appearances.
- Booth and Thornton posted one hit each for Gardner-Webb and Johnson had one RBI.
- The 15 runs scored by the Spartans are the most since plating 14 at home against Howard on Feb. 24, 2017.
- The 17 hits mark the first time since recording 15 against S.C. State on April 20, 2016 that USC Upstate has had at least 15 hits in a game.
- The Spartans open their home schedule next weekend, Feb. 16-18, hosting Fairfield, Colgate and East Tennessee State at Cyrill Stadium as part of the Upstate Classic.
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