Childers Breaks A-Sun All-Time Wins Record as Spartans Sweep Mercer

April 18, 2011 at 8:46 am

USC Upstate pitcher Morgan Childers had a record-breaking day Saturday, earning her 109th career win to break the A-Sun’s all-time wins record and recorded her ninth career save in game two to break Upstate’s all-time saves record. The senior helped lead the Spartans to an important sweep of Mercer by scores of 3-1 and 5-2.

Upstate improved to 36-11 overall and 8-7 in the A-Sun. The Spartans will travel back to Kennesaw State Sunday to complete its suspended game from Friday night. The game will resume at 1:00 p.m. Sunday at Bailey Park. Mercer fell to 23-19 overall and 6-8 in the A-Sun.

“To have good pitching in both games and get timely hitting was very pleasing to see,” said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. “We were able to get most of our bunts down to put people in scoring position. I couldn’t be more pleased with the performance today.”

Childers was sensational in game one of the doubleheader Saturday. She allowed two hits and gave up a solo home run for the only run charged against her. She struck out seven to improve to 25-7 on the year. The win pushed her into sole possession of the all-time A-Sun wins record, breaking a tie with Florida Atlantic’s Nikki Myers (1999-02). In the second game, she entered to start the fifth inning and tossed three innings of relief to earn the save. With nine career saves, she broke the tie she had with former Spartan Jenn Whited (2004-06).

“I know that Nikki Myers was an amazing pitcher and it is humbling to be in the same category as her,” said Childers. “I wish that all of my teammates that I have played with for all four years could be listed with the record, because I couldn’t have won this many games without them.”

“Morgan breaking the record was inevitable,” said Hawkins. “I knew it was coming, I just didn’t know when. She looked really relaxed today and was determined to help this team win. It has been a pleasure having her for the last four years.”

In the first game, Mercer jumped on top in the first inning on Kassie Bailey’s solo home run to left field. Upstate didn’t score for the first three innings, but got to Mercer starter Jenni Holtz in the fourth. Jenna Torbert (Denver, S.C.) drove in a run on a ground out to tie the game and Cheyanna Ohlrich (North Bend, Ore.) drove home two runs on a double to give the Spartans a 3-1 lead.

The two-run lead would be all that Childers would need. She recorded 1-2-3 innings in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and finished the game after allowing a single in the seventh with two outs but not allowing the runner to advance past first.

Lindsay Kelly (Jacksonville, Fla.) led Upstate at the plate, finishing 3-for-3 batting out of the nine spot. Holtz allowed three runs on seven Upstate hits and fell to 11-10 on the year.

Upstate’s bats broke out in the second game and Hannah Alexander (Lexington, N.C.) tossed a strong four innings to earn the win as Upstate took a 5-2 win. The Spartans scored five runs on 13 hits.

Upstate got on the board with two runs in the third inning. Lauren Quevedo (Wellington, Fla.) doubled to drive in a run and scored from third on Janna Lewis’ (Huntersville, N.C.) suicide squeeze bunt.

Mercer got a run back in the fourth inning when Sarah Santana drove in a run on a single. Upstate, though, responded in the fifth when Quevedo knocked a two-run home run to give the Spartans a 4-1 lead. Upstate made it a 5-1 game when Ericka Harris (Piedmont, S.C.) scored from third on a double steal attempt in the sixth.

Childers entered the game to start the fifth inning and allowed one run on one hit with five strikeouts to earn the save. Mercer cut into the Upstate lead when Allison Jones hit a solo home run, but the Bears could get no closer as the Spartans took the win and the sweep. Alexander tossed four innings, allowing one run on four hits with three strikeouts to improve to 11-4 on the year.

Childers finished the day with a win and a save with 12 strikeouts in 10 innings of work. Five Spartans collected two hits in the second game. Harris finished with two hits and two runs. Zauner collected a pair of hits, while Quevedo had two hits, three RBIs and two runs. Torbert collected two hits and Kim Brasil (Mississauga, Ontario) also had two hits for the Spartans.