Karla Beasley belted a lead off, walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to lift USC Upstate to a 4-3 victory over Presbyterian in non-conference softball action Wednesday night at Cyrill Stadium.
Beasley’s homer followed Shellie Robinson’s two-run homer that tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth inning, a home run that came just two minutes after the senior was selected by the Akron Racers in the National Pro Fastpitch Draft.
Upstate improved to 26-6 on the year with the win. The Spartans travel to Fort Myers, Fla., to take on Florida Gulf Coast in a three-game A-Sun series Friday and Saturday. Presbyterian fell to 15-14 on the year with the loss.
Presbyterian struck early and used two bloop hits to open a 1-0 lead in the first off of Upstate starter Lexi Shubert. With the infield inverted, Jill McLean reached on a blooper that fell just beyond second base. She moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Shelby Petik’s RBI bloop single down the right field line. Erin Ruff then followed with a two-run homer run to give the Blue Hose a 3-0 lead.
Upstate threatened in the second by loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the second, but Presbyterian starter Katie Brown got out of the inning with a pop up to maintain the Blue Hose’s 3-0 lead. The Spartans put runners on first and second with two outs in the fourth, but again came away empty.
Upstate finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Kaitlyn Jaeger doubled with two outs and Hayley Reinfeld switched places with her on a double to right to make it a 3-1 game. Robinson then cranked her game-tying homer that lead to Beasley’s heroics in the seventh.
After allowing three runs in the first inning, Shubert settled down and shut down Presbyterian the rest of the way. She improved to 18-4 on the year after allowing six hits and striking out seven. Presbyterian reliever Kensley Loudermelk took the loss after allowing Beasley’s home run.
Reinfeld led Upstate at the plate, finishing 3-for-3 with a run and RBI. Schneider, Beasley and Jaeger each added two hits each for the Spartans.