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March 21, 2010
Greensboro, N.C. - Morgan Childers tossed her third career no-hitter, struck out 17 and reached 700 career strikeouts to lead Upstate to a 1-0 victory in game one at North Carolina A&T. She entered the second game with the score tied at zero in the fifth inning and pitched the Spartans to a sweep as Upstate took a 6-0 win in the nightcap.
Upstate improved to 15-4 on the year and will travel to Furman on Tuesday for a non-conference doubleheader. N.C. A&T fell to 8-10 on the year with the losses.
"I was extremely pleased to see Amber (Hamilton) pitch really well in the second game," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "We continue to play defense really well behind our pitchers and it was great to see us put together a string of hits in the last inning of the second game to put it away. I'm not sure what to say about Morgan. Every time she walks out there, I just feel like we have a chance to do great things."
Childers was especially dominant in game one. She struck out the first nine batters, and 11 of the first 12, to set the tone in the game. She also pitched out of a jam in the sixth to take the win. After Upstate took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth when Kim Brasil scored on a fielding and throwing error by the North Carolina A&T second baseman, Childers had to fend off the Aggies in the sixth.
In the sixth, Childers hit a batter and walked the next to put runners on first and second with one out. Hope Fletcher reached when her towering pop fly fell to the ground, but Crislyn Chewning picked up the ball and threw to third to force Danielle Nguyen for the second out of the inning. Childers then struck our Ryanne Hill to end the inning and the threat.
In the seventh, Childers got Jessie Larson to pop out to lead off the inning and struck out the next two batters to end the game. She finished just one strikeout shy of her own single-game school record of 18 set in her collegiate debut in 2008. The 17 strikeouts stands as the season-high in the A-Sun this year. Childers picked up her 63rd career victory and stands just six shy of the all-time record of 69 held by Upstate Athletics Hall of Fame member Kristy Middagh (1999-02).
In the second game, Upstate and N.C. A&T battled in a pitching duel through the first five innings. Entering the sixth, the teams combined for three hits. At the end of the inning, the teams still had three hits but Upstate owned a 1-0 lead.
Pinch hitter Haley Sheehan started things off with a walk. Keri Sarratt laid down a sacrifice bunt, but A&T attempted to get Janna Lewis, who re-entered the game for Sheehan, at second. Lewis, though, beat the throw to put runners on first and second. Jenna Torbert followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Brasil then lifted a towering sacrifice fly to center to score Lewis with the go-ahead run.
Upstate broke open the game in the seventh. Katie Zauner knocked a one-out single before Cheyanna Ohlrich doubled to score pinch runner Katelyn Molkenthin from first. Lewis followed with an RBI double and scored on Sarratt's RBI single down the line in right. Torbert made it a 5-0 score with a triple to right that scored Sarratt from first and scored on Brasil's RBI single through the right side to give Upstate a 6-0 lead.
Childers took care of business in the bottom of the frame to shut the door on N.C. A&T. She struck out the first batter before allowing an infield single. However, she induced Larson to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Childers tossed three innings of relief with five strikeouts to earn the win, her second of the day. She allowed just one hit in the game and in 10 innings on the day. She relieved Amber Hamilton who turned in a solid performance in the circle. She allowed just two hits and struck out three before leaving with the score tied at 0-0.
Zauner finished with three hits to lead Upstate at the plate on the day, including two in the second game. Brasil collected two RBI in game two.