Saturday, May 11, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - USC Upstate earned its first ever Atlantic Sun Softball Championship Title with a 7-5 win vs. Lipscomb at Draper Diamond in Nashville, Tenn.
The Spartans (41-10) will make their first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament and are the first team from USC Upstate to make an NCAA Tournament since the university joined division one.
Both teams came in hot offensively as the Bisons registered three hits in the top of the first inning, which the Spartans responded by with six hits of their own.
LU's Paige Neely cranked a two-run home run over the right field fence to give the Bisons a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Upstate started its five-run first inning with a double hit by All-Tournament selection Meredith Barnes. Ericka Harris knocked Barnes in with a single to the outfield.
A-Sun Championship Most Valuable Player, Cheyenne Griffin continued her stand-out tournament performance with a triple hit down the right field line that sent All-Tournament member Shellie Robinson home. Dana Landers added a hit for the Spartans as she singled to score Griffin and give Upstate the 3-2 lead.
Maddison Kieffer added a two run home run to left field to get the Spartans fourth and fifth run of the inning.
In the third inning Barnes collected a two-run RBI single to put the Spartans on top 7-2 in the game.
Kristen Sturdivent knocked out the Bisons second two-run home run of the game in the top of the fourth to bring LU within three runs. The homerun marked Sturdivent's 13th home run of the season.
In the sixth inning All-Tournament Player Gracey Aguirre cranked out LU's third home run of the game with a solo shot to left center.
Upstate tallied two triples in the game which tied for the most triples by a team in the A-Sun Championship.
The Spartans Hannah Alexander earned the win with four innings pitched and five strikeouts.
A-Sun Freshman of the Year and All-Tournament Team Member Jamie Ujvari was brought in for relief in the sixth inning to secure her second save of the season with two strikeouts.
Griffin tallied six hits, six RBIs, three home runs and a triple in the tournament.
Lipscomb fell to 35-24 on the season with the loss.
The A-Sun currently has five teams in the top-60 in RPI. The Spartans lead the way at No. 47, followed by FGCU (51), North Florida (52), Kennesaw State (53) and Lipscomb (57). The A-Sun is one of five conference (Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) that have six or more teams in the top-60 in RPI.
The NCAA Softball selection show is scheduled for Sunday, May 12, at 10 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
2013 Atlantic Sun Softball All-Tournament Team: Cheyenne Griffin, USC Upstate (MVP) Mariah Fernandez, FGCU Brittany Elmore, Lipscomb Gracey Aguirre, Lipscomb Tanner Sanders, Lipscomb Kaylie Wallace, North Florida Kelly Wilson, North Florida Meredith Owen, Stetson Jaime Ujvari, USC Upstate Meredith Barnes, USC Upstate Shellie Robinson, USC UpstateTweets about "#ASunSB"