March 23, 2010
Greenville, S.C. - Junior Morgan Childers limited Furman to one hit in 10 innings of work over two games and struck out 20 batters to lead USC Upstate to a 1-0, 3-1 doubleheader sweep of the Paladins in non-conference softball action on Tuesday afternoon at Pepsi Stadium.
The right-hander from Kings Mountain, N.C., improved to 15-2 on the season while USC Upstate upped its record to 17-4 by winning for the 14th time in its last 15 games. Furman slipped to 5-9 on the season and saw its three-game winning streak come to an end.
The Spartans 1-0 victory in game one came at the expense of Furman starter Lana Mackey (3-5) who tossed her first career no-hitter but allowed the game's only run on a bases loaded walk in the top half of the first inning.
The senior issued two walks and hit a batter to load the bases with one out before Cheyanna Ohlrich drew a base on balls to force home Kim Brasil with the only run of game one. Mackey retired 20 of the final 21 batters she faced and fanned five hitters overall, but Childers held Furman to just one hit and struck out 13 Paladins to garner the victory.
With her five punchouts on the day, Mackey became just the fifth pitcher in Southern Conference history to surpass 600 strikeouts in a career. The no-hitter marked the first by a Paladin since Tabitha Dease no-hit Savannah State on March 9, 2003.
In game two, USC Upstate rallied from a 1-0 deficit with two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to down the Paladins 3-1.
The Spartans put runners on second and third with two outs in the sixth after an error, Crislyn Chewning single and stolen base. Furman's game two starter, Kayla Suskauer, got Katie Zauner to pop up to right-center, but the right fielder dropped the fly ball allowing two unearned runs to score. USC Upstate added to its cushion in the seventh. Monica Hall hit a fly ball down the left field line that hooked foul but was ruled a homer giving the Spartans a 3-1 advantage.
Childers, who entered the game in relief of starter Amber Hamilton, fanned seven of the nine batters she faced over four innings of scoreless work to pick up her second victory of the day. Ohlrich went 2-for-3 at the plate for USC Upstate.
Suskauer (1-2) suffered the loss despite allowing just one earned run on five hits in a career-high seven innings of work. Leadoff hitter Stephanie Field collected a pair of game-two hits while Alyssa Williams notched a hit in each game for Furman.
The Paladins host Mercer in a 3 p.m. doubleheader on Thursday before returning to league action this coming weekend at Western Carolina.
Most Furman home games and selected road contests will be available via GameTracker. Fans can follow Furman action by logging onto www.furmanpaladins.com and following the links on the athletics schedule or by surfing to the Furman softball page.