Bucs drop two five-inning games
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (April 10, 2013) – USC Upstate showed why it is ranked 24th in the nation as the NCAA’s top offense plated 23 runs against the ETSU softball team en route to two five-inning victories, 11-0 and 12-0, Wednesday afternoon at Cyrill Softball Stadium.
ETSU (10-26, 0-16 A-Sun) held Upstate (34-3, 15-1 A-Sun) off the scoreboard in the day’s first inning, but the Spartans plated at least one run in its seven other turns at-bat, including three five-spots. Shellie Robinson increased her team-leading home run total to 10, blasting a long ball in each game and finishing the day 3-for-6 with three runs and five RBIs.
Upstate pitcher Jamie Ujvari (16-0) got the win in each game, starting and tossing three innings of one-hit ball in game one, while allowing just one more hit in two innings of the latter. Ujarvi struck out four in her five innings of work.
For the Bucs, junior Katie Wolff (LaGrange, Texas) took the loss in game one, pitching three innings and allowing seven runs, two earned, on seven hits. Wolff’s record fell to 4-14. Meanwhile, first-year Shaylyn Wood (Beacon, N.Y.) made her first collegiate start in game two, lasting 2.2 innings and allowing 11 runs, six earned, on seven hits. Wood was charged with the loss to begin 0-1.
It was not all bad for ETSU offensively. Senior shortstop Sam Lower (Sebring, Fla.) completed the afternoon 2-for-2 with a walk, reaching base in all three of her plate appearances. Lower came to bat just once in the first game and scratched out the Bucs’ only hit of the ball game, following that up with a hit in her very first at bat of the twilight. In her final turn at the plate, she worked a 13-pitch walk.
ETSU combined for five hits in the 10 innings of play. Four came in game two after Ujarvi and the Upstate staff combined for a one-hitter in the opener.
Wolff held Upstate scoreless in the day’s first inning, but the Spartans jacked up five runs in their next turn at-bat to take a 5-0 lead. An error cost the Bucs all five runs on a bobble at second base with nobody out. The inning should have come to a close on what proved to be a sac fly to plate Upstate’s first run and Meredith Barnes crushed a three-run homer three batters later to put the home side up five.
Upstate’s second five-run inning came in the fourth. A leadoff single ended Wolff’s day and brought in junior transfer Elliana Cabrera (Hayden, Ariz.), who surrendered Robinson’s first homer of the day on the first batter she faced. An error and four hits later, Upstate had brought home five to extend the lead to the eventual 11-0 final.
Wood was handed a five-spot by the Upstate offense to start her day in game two. Robinson began the scoring, driving in the first run with a double to right-center. The Bucs had some unfortunate fielding plays as a ball slipped under the glove of Lower and a fly ball to right fell before the charging Bethany Cowart (Ringgold, Ga.) – playing deep – could catch up to it.
Two more came across in the second courtesy of a bases-loaded double from Dana Landers. Robinson’s second homer of the day was a bullet over the wall in center with two outs in the third, ending Wood’s day and bringing on Whitney Leon (Dandridge, Tenn.), who allowed just one run in the final 1.1 innings of work.
ETSU continues Atlantic Sun play this weekend, traveling to Highland Heights, Ky., for a three-game series against the Northern Kentucky Norse.
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