MACON, Ga. - After the first weekend of Atlantic Sun Softball conference play, USC Upstate sits atop the standings with two Sunday wins over Kennesaw State. North Florida gained the advantage over FGCU in the standings after the Sunday victory to move to second. Northern Kentucky earned a non-conference win over Alabama State.
In game one between USC Upstate and Kennesaw State, both teams traded runs in the first inning. In Upstate's half of the first, Cheyenne Griffin doubled to right center and brought home Aly Schneider. KSU answered with a Megan Veringa single through the right side, scoring Natalie Rhodes. It did not take long for the Spartans to retake the lead. In the second inning, USC Upstate plated three runs on singles by Shellie Robinson and Schneider. Kennesaw State found a run in the bottom of the third to cut the lead to just two. Both teams struggled at the plate over the next three innings until USC Upstate enjoyed a grand slam by Dana Landers to give them an 8-2 lead and the win. Amanda Storch earned the winning decision for the Spartans, going a full seven innings and striking out seven.
For game two, it was all USC Upstate right from the start. The Spartans scored in five different innings and jumped out to an 8-0 lead after four. USC Upstate's biggest inning came in the third when it plated four runs. All four of those runs were scored on a grand slam from Kendall Settlemyer, scoring Hayley Reinfeld, Landers and Schneider. Kennesaw State got on the board in the fifth inning when Rhodes reached on a throwing error and Lauren Bennett scored the unearned run. The Spartans answered with two more runs in the sixth to seal the game away and complete the series sweep of Kennesaw State, 10-1. Settlemyre finished game two with three hits in four at-bats, two runs and a team-high six RBIs.
After splitting the first two game of their series, FGCU and North Florida met Sunday afternoon for the third and final game. The first run of the game came off a North Florida error that scored FGCU's Micha Hynes. The Ospreys found an answer in the same inning when Shelby Duncan scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch to make the score 1-1. UNF rallied in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead. The scoring started when Duncan doubled to left field to bring in Kelly Wilson. On the next at-bat, Abby Tewey singled to left field and sent home Duncan. One more run by Casey Estes off an Alex Arciola single made the score 4-1. The Ospreys held off FGCU to get the final out in the seventh and earn their second win in A-Sun play. Kayla Goff pitched a gem for UNF, pitching seven innings and allowing just three hits and recording four strikeouts.
In the highest scoring game of the day, Northern Kentucky and Alabama State went back-and-forth scoring runs. NKU jumped out to an early lead, 3-0, in the first inning with three different RBI singles by Kate Bartolovich, Nicolette Hayes and Ashlynn Roberts. Alabama State recorded five unanswered runs over the next three innings to take a 5-3 lead. The Norse found their offensive rhythm in the fifth inning by plating four runs, two coming from a Dani Devlin double. Both teams scored a run in the sixth inning, but it was Northern Kentucky to come out on top at the final out, 8-6. Devlin went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run for the Norse.
|Atlantic Sun Team||A-Sun Record||Overall Record||Streak|
|USC Upstate||3-0||17-4||W 3|
|North Florida||2-1||18-11||W 2|
|Northern Kentucky||0-0||3-12||W 2|
|Kennesaw State||0-3||15-9||L 3|
Atlantic Sun Softball Results from Sunday, Mar. 15th
Binghamton 7, Lipscomb 5
USC Upstate 8, Kennesaw State 2
North Florida 4, FGCU 1
Samford 6, Jacksonville 0
Northern Kentucky 8, Alabama State 6
USC Upstate 10, Kennesaw State 1