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May 15, 2010
DeLand, Fla. - Fresh off of a thrilling 2-1 victory over Stetson earlier in the day to advance to the championship game of the A-Sun Tournament, USC Upstate ran into a determined Lipscomb squad that took an 11-0 victory over the Spartans to win the 2010 A-Sun Softball Championship Saturday at Patricia Wilson Field at Stetson University.
Upstate ended its season with a 41-15 record, topping 40 wins for the first time in the school's three-year stint as members of NCAA Division I and the A-Sun. Lipscomb improved to 48-11 on the year and earned the A-Sun's automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
"I think the first game took a lot out of us and we just didn't match Lipscomb's intensity at the start of the game," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "We had planned to get Morgan in there in the middle of the game, but they jumped on top of us with a lot of runs early and we weren't in position to get her in. Having said that, Lipscomb is a very good team who deserved to win the championship. We had a great run in the tournament and I couldn't be more proud of the season and the effort these girls put into this tournament. To make it to the championship game in our first year of eligibility is something special. It is something that no one can take away from these young women."
Upstate placed the most players on the A-Sun All-Tournament team as juniors Kim Brasil, Morgan Childers and Lauren Quevedo were selected for all-tourney honors. Brasil led the Spartans with six hits. She drove in a pair of runs and scored a team-high four runs. She finished the season second on the team with a .323 batting average and a team-high 21 doubles. She ranks third in the nation in doubles per game and just two shy of the single-season school record. The 21 doubles are the most of any player during Upstate's Division I era. Childers finished the tournament 3-1 in four appearances, but did not pitch in the championship game. She finished the season with an astounding 428 strikeouts, just nine shy of the single-season A-Sun record. She ranks among the nation's leaders in six statistical categories and finished the year with a 34-7 record. Quevedo led the Spartans with a .417 batting average in five games. She collected three RBI and belted her 10th homer of the season.
"We knew when Kim, Morgan and Lauren were freshmen that they were special people and players," said Hawkins. "They proved again in this tournament just how good they are. I can't say enough about all three, and I am so proud of Kim for proving that she is one of the best players in the conference, despite not earning all-conference honors."
Kellie Sirus set the tone for Lipscomb in the first inning when she hit a two-run home run off of Upstate starter Amber Hamilton to give Lipscomb a 2-0 lead. The Lady Bisons broke open the game with three runs in the second on RBI hits from Lauren Dortwegt, Mackenzie Tucker and Sirus. Lipscomb put the game away with two more runs in the third and four in the fourth.
Lipscomb starter Whitney Kiihnl had a no-hitter going until Monica Hall and Quevedo collected singles in the fifth. However, she went the distance with three strikeouts and two hits to pick up the win and improve to 31-3 on the year. Sirus finished the game with three hits, while Mollie Mitchell and Caroline Mason each had two.
Amber Hamilton took the loss for the Spartans to fall to 5-6 on the year.
Upstate senior Crislyn Chewning finished her two-year career at Upstate with a .353 batting average. She ranks in the top five in the A-Sun and was a first team all-conference selection. Monica Hall also finished a two-year career with Upstate. She ranked fourth on the team with a .281 batting average in the best season of her Upstate career. Keri Sarratt had a heartbreaking end to her senior season, suffering a season-ending knee injury in the Spartans' 3-2 win over Lipscomb Thursday night. She finished ranked in the top 10 all-time in sacrifice bunts at Upstate.