Kendall Settlemyre belted a grand slam and Dana Landers connected on a three-run shot as USC Upstate homered its way to a 9-4 victory over North Carolina Tuesday evening in a non-conference softball game at Cyrill Stadium.
Upstate improved to 14-3 on the year with the win. It was the Spartans’ second straight win over North Carolina following last year’s 1-0 victory in Chapel Hill. The Spartans also improved to 5-2 against ACC schools in the last two years. They will hit the road five games the rest of this week, traveling to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on 10th-ranked Florida State in a doubleheader Thursday at 5 p.m. before heading to Kennesaw State to open A-Sun play Saturday and Sunday. North Carolina fell to 15-5 on the year and had its 10-game winning streak snapped with the loss.
North Carolina took an early lead in the game. After a fly out and a strikeout, Kristen Brown hit a solo home run to left field to give the Tar Heels a 1-0 lead in the first inning. They added to their lead in the third with another solo shot, this time off the bat of Taylor Wike.
Upstate got a run back in the bottom of the third. Lindsey Greeson led off the inning with a single up the middle and Shellie Robinson doubled to left center to score Greeson all the way from first to cut the Tar Heel lead to 2-1.
Greeson was the catalyst as Upstate struck again in the fifth inning. She knocked a one-out single that started things off. Upstate loaded the bases with one out. After a grounder and force out at the plate for the second out of the inning, Karla Beasley singled to drive in a run. Settlemyre then delivered the big blow, cranking a grand slam over the wall in right center to give the Spartans a 6-2 lead. It was the sixth homer of the season for the senior from Hickory, N.C.
Upstate was not done. Aly Schneider led off the sixth inning with a double. Two outs and a walk later, Landers lined a shot off the foul pole down the line in left to put the game out of reach and give the Spartans a 9-2 lead.
North Carolina attempted to get back in the game in the top of the seventh. With two outs and a runner on, Wike hit her second home run of the game to get the Tar Heels within 9-4. But, that was all that North Carolina would get as Upstate starter Lexi Shubert got a ground out to end the game.
Shubert went the distance to earn her second consecutive win over North Carolina. She tossed a one-hit shutout last year in Chapel Hill. She improved to 8-2 on the year with the win, allowing four runs on five hits with two strikeouts. North Carolina reliever Sydney Matzko took the loss after allowing seven runs on five hits. She fell to 4-2 on the year.
Landers finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs. Greeson and Schneider each finished with two hits.