Macon, Ga. – The USC Upstate softball team picked up both weekly awards from the A-Sun this afternoon as Ryan Rector was named the Co-Player of the Week and Holly McKinnon the Pitcher of the Week as the Spartans opened conference play last weekend with a series win at preseason favorite Lipscomb.
McKinnon earns her third A-Sun Pitcher of the Week honor, and second straight, this season while Rector receives her second Player of the Week accolade.
Rector came up with timely offensive hitting to lift Upstate to two wins to start its conference season. The Belton, S.C. native hit two game-winning home runs during the three-game series, and finished the weekend with 12 total bases and a 1.000 slugging percentage. Rector’s two-run homer in the third inning of game one gave the Spartans the 3-2 victory. The junior followed with two home runs in game three highlighted by her full-count, two-out grand slam in the top of the 11th to seal the 6-3 win and give Upstate the series victory.
McKinnon notched wins in games one and three last weekend to lift the Spartans to the series win. The junior tossed 18.0 innings over her two appearances and limited opponents to just a .215 batting average. She also struck out 17 batters while allowing only three walks. McKinnon tied an eight-year old school record set by Morgan Childers by pitching all 11 innings in the finale on Sunday as Upstate clinched the series with a 6-3 victory.
The Spartans return to Cyrill Stadium this week for a five-game homestand starting Wednesday with a doubleheader against East Tennessee State at 4 p.m. on ASun.TV.