Upstate Clinches A-Sun Championship Behind Shubert’s No-Hitter, Robinson Breaks Spartan Season Home Runs Record
Lexi Shubert tossed a no-hitter in game one of the doubleheader sweep of A-Sun foe Northern Kentucky Saturday to clinch the A-Sun regular season conference championship for the USC Upstate softball team and Spartan Shellie Robinson broke the program’s all-time single-season home run record. Upstate claimed an 8-0 win in game and a 9-1 victory in game two.
Upstate entered Saturday having already clinched the No. 1 seed in the A-Sun Tournament (May 6-9 in Fort Myers, Fla.) and at least a share of the regular season championship. With the win in game one, the Spartans clinched their second straight regular season title outright and their third in eight years in the league. They also won the 2013 A-Sun Tournament championship to give Upstate four championships overall.
Robinson belted a three-run home run in the top of the first inning in game one to give her 21 on the season to take sole possession of Upstate’s all-time single-season school record. She surpassed the 20 hit by Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame member Stacey Berrong in 1996.
Upstate stands 39-8 overall and 17-2 in the A-Sun after the doubleheader sweep. Northern Kentucky is 5-37 overall, 1-16 in the league. The teams will close out the series, and Upstate the regular season, with a single game Sunday afternoon at 1 at Cyrill Stadium.
Game 1 – Upstate 8, Northern Kentucky 0
Shubert was simply dominant in tossing her first collegiate no-hitter. After retiring the Norse in order in the first two innings without a strikeout, she struck out the side in the third and the first two batters in the fourth for five straight. She finished with six in the game. The only Norse batter to reach base was No. 9 hitter Allie Conner, who drew a walk after running the count full in the sixth.
Shubert became the first Spartan to pitch a no-hitter this season and the first since Anna Miller on May 4, 2014 at ETSU. She improved to 28-5 with the win.
Upstate wasted no time in jumping out to an early lead and scored four runs in the first inning to take control. After the first two Spartans reached to start the game, Robinson blasted her record-breaking home run, a three-run shot, to give the Spartans the lead. Kendall Settlemyre followed with a solo shot for back-to-back home runs and a 4-0 advantage.
Settlemyre’s second at-bat was even more productive as her first when she hit a two-run home run to right to give the Spartans a 6-0 lead. It was her second home run of the game. The Spartans added a run to its advantage when Dana Landers scored on a wild pitch in the third to make it a 7-0 game. Aly Schneider ended the game in the sixth when she led off the inning with a solo home run to give the Spartans the 8-0 win.
Northern Kentucky starter Alex Caudill took the loss and fell to 2-14 on the year. Settlemyre led the Spartans at the plate with two home runs and three RBIs.
Game 2 – Upstate 9, Northern Kentucky 1
After two scoreless innings, Upstate used the long ball to open the lead and take control of the game. Schneider cranked a three-run home run, her second dinger of the day, and Kendall Settlemyre scored from third on a double steal attempt to give the Spartans a 4-0 advantage.
Upstate put the game out of reach in the fourth inning. Beasley led off the inning with a solo home run and Lindsey Greeson followed with a two-run shot to give the Spartans a 7-0 lead.
Northern Kentucky got a run back in the fifth inning. After Kate Bartolovich reached on an error to break up Shubert’s bid for a perfect game in her game two start, she scored on Ashlynn Roberts’ RBI single to shallow center. Shubert allowed three hits in the inning to end a strong of 10 2/3 innings without giving up a hit.
Schneider ended the game in the sixth with a two run single through the right side that scored two with the bases loaded to give Upstate the 9-1 win and the sweep of the doubleheader. Shubert went the distance and earned her second win of the day to improve to 29-5 on the year. She allowed one unearned run on three hits with an error. She also struck out six to give her 12 on the day in 12 innings of work.
Schneider was huge in game two. She finished with two hits and a career-high five RBIs to lead the Spartans.