South Carolina Upstate swept the Niners in a double-header on Tuesday to protect their perfect early record at Sue M. Daughtridge stadium.
Game One – Upstate 4, Charlotte 1
Christina Biggerstaff for the Spartans and Haley Wiseman for the Niners both pitched shutouts throughout the first seven innings. Both teams were scoreless going into the forced extra innings. The Spartans caught momentum and rounded the bases four times to give them a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the eighth frame.
With the international rules for softball in effect, the Spartans started the eight inning with a runner on second. After two infield singles, the Spartans found themselves in good scoring position. A blunder from the Niner defense coupled with two sacrifice flies from Upstate gave them a 4-0 lead.
Charlotte had three outs to stage a comeback.
Lizzy Birch was placed on second to start the bottom of the eighth before Becca Shipper was walked to first base. Both runners were advanced 90 feet after Kiersten Berrier was thrown out at first base putting them in a position to score. Haley Pace then popped up a sacrifice fly to give the 49ers the only run of the game.
Game 2 – Upstate 3, Charlotte 2
In game two both teams got off to a faster start, both putting up runs in the second inning.
Jude McGough hit her first career double at the top of the frame and the Spartans registered the first run of the game. Erin Powers responded by scoring a run off a ground ball up the middle.
Karla Beasley sent a home run into left field to give the Spartans back the lead in stylish fashion in the fourth, but the Niners tied the score back up in the bottom of the fifth.
Berrier laid down a clean bunt up the third base line to move Shipper to second after she was walked in her first at bat of the inning. Pace advanced both runners and loaded the bases for a hungry Beatty who was ready to get the game back in the Niners favor.
She battled at the plate fouling off a pitch that seemed to be in fair play and would have scored two runs. After it was overturned, Beaty still advanced all runners by sending the next pitch into left. The hit sent Shipper home giving the Niners their last run of the game.
Charlotte returns to action this weekend as they take on Towsend and Oakland in their second tournament of the season. The tournament kicks off Friday with the games beginning at 11 a.m.