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Upstate Ready To Open A-Sun Tourney Thursday

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Morgan Childers will lead the Spartans into the A-Sun Tournament Thursday.

Morgan Childers will lead the Spartans into the A-Sun Tournament Thursday.

May 12, 2010

Tournament Notes | A-Sun Tournament Coverage
ASun.TV | Live Stats | Bracket

DeLand, Fla. - The USC Upstate softball team heads to the Sunshine State for the second time this season, but will make its first trip to the A-Sun Tournament and will open the 2010 conference championship against old rival Kennesaw State Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. at Patricia Wilson Field. After being chosen as a fast-track program into full NCAA Division I membership, the softball program has earned a berth in the A-Sun Tournament as the No. 4 seed in its first year of postseason eligibility. Upstate enters the tournament with a 38-13 overall record and an 11-9 mark in the league.

Upstate stands 4-32 all-time against Kennesaw State, though the Spartans are 3-3 against the Owls since moving to Division I in 2008. Upstate is 1-5 all-time against Lipscomb, 7-1 all-time against Stetson, 5-1 against Jacksonville and 5-3 against Campbell for a combined record of 22-42. The Spartans stand 3-7 this season against the other five teams in the tournament, splitting with Kennesaw State, Stetson and Campbell.

Complete tournament coverage can be found at www.atlanticsun.org, the official Web site of the Atlantic Sun Conference. Free live statistical updates via Stetson's official Athletics Web site (www.gohatters.com) and live video (www.ASun.TV) for a fee will be available through the A-Sun site.

Looking Back At Campbell
Playing for a spot in the A-Sun Tournament, Upstate got strong pitching from Morgan Childers and a pair of solo home runs from Lauren Quevedo to earn a split at Campbell, ensuring the Spartans a spot in the A-Sun Tournament. Childers struck out 13 batters in tossing a complete game in the first game of the doubleheader, but Upstate fell by a score of 2-1. Childers started the second game and again went the distance. This time, however, Childers made the 1-0 lead established by Quevedo's second solo shot of the day stand up and earned the shutout by scattering five hits and striking out six.

Four Spartans Earn A-Sun Postseason Honors
After finishing tied for fourth in the regular season standings, Upstate had four players earn postseason honors when the A-Sun announced its postseason awards Tuesday afternoon. Junior pitcher Morgan Childers and senior centerfielder Crislyn Chewning were first team all-conference selections. Childers leads the A-Sun in wins and strikeouts, and has moved into second place on the conference's all-time strikeouts list. She tossed two no-hitters this season and her 405 strikeouts entering the A-Sun Tournament are the second most in a season by any pitcher in league history. Chewning led the A-Sun in hitting for the second half of the season and currently ranks third in the league with a .363 batting average. She hits .371 against conference competition and is the fifth-toughest batter to strikeout in the nation.

In addition to Childers and Chewning, junior outfielder Katie Zauner earned second team honors after leading the league in hitting during part of the first half of the season and finishing with a .324 batting average. Freshman Ericka Harris took over the reigns as the everyday starter at catcher and earned all-freshman honors after hitting .262 overall and .283 against conference competition.

The four postseason selections mark the second-most in school history as members of the A-Sun. The 2008 squad had seven postseason selections with Childers earning first team honors, Heidi Gibbs and Lauren Quevedo taking home second team honors and Childers, Quevedo, Kim Brasil and Courtney Feldon being selected to the all-freshman team. Childers and Brasil were second team all-conference honorees last year.

Spartans Sweep Final A-Sun Weekly Honors
In the final weekly award selections of the year, Upstate struck gold as Morgan Childers and Lauren Quevedo swept the honors from the A-Sun. Childers earned pitcher of the week honors after leading Upstate to a pair of wins, including a 1-0 shutout at Campbell in the second game of the doubleheader to help secure a spot in the A-Sun Tournament for the Spartans. She had 33 strikeouts and a 0.70 ERA for the week. Quevedo cranked three home runs, hit .500 for the week and had a slugging percentage of 1.400 to lead Upstate. She had the game-winning hit with a solo home run against Appalachian State, then notched the only run of the game with a solo shot in the 1-0 shutout in game two at Campbell.

Brasil Tops Nation, A-Sun In Nation In Doubles
Not only has junior Kim Brasil become one of the top doubles hitters in the history of the Upstate program, she has also made a name for herself in the A-Sun and around the nation. While she ranks third in the nation with 0.39 doubles per game, her 20 doubles is the most hit by any player in the nation, tied with three other players for the national lead. Her 20 doubles is the most in a season by any player during Upstate's Division I era and is just three shy of the single-season school record of 23 held by Heidi Gibbs.

Upstate Ranks Among Nation's Statistical Leaders
In addition to Kim Brasil leading the nation with 20 doubles and ranking No. 3 with 0.39 doubles per game, Upstate is well represented among the nation's statistical leaders. Brasil ranks 74th in the nation with 0.74 runs per game, while Crislyn Chewning is the fifth-toughest player to strikeout. Morgan Childers has placed herself among the nation's leaders in several categories throughout the season and ranks in the top seven in six statistical categories this week. She ranks third with 16 shutouts and 405 strikeouts, fourth with 3.0 hits allowed per game, fifth with a 0.94 ERA and 31 wins and seventh with 11.5 strikeouts per inning. In addition, Upstate ranks second in the nation with a .980 fielding percentage, 15th with a 1.76 ERA, 27th with a .745 winning percentage and 38th with 1.45 doubles per game.

Childers Chasing A-Sun Single-Season Strikeout Record
In a season when Morgan Childers has broken several school records, the junior hurler is within striking distance of topping the A-Sun single-season school record for strikeouts. Childer's enters the A-Sun Tournament with 405 strikeouts on the year. She is just 32 strikeouts shy of the single-season record of 437 set by Nikki Myers (Florida Atlantic) in 2002. The 405 strikeouts are the second-most in league history.

Childers Earns ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Honors
While having the best season of any Upstate pitcher in the history of the program and receiving accolades for her play on the field, junior hurler Morgan Childers has received a high honor for her work in the classroom after being named a second team Academic All-District selection by ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA. Childers carries a 3.49 GPA as a secondary education major and was named Upstate's Female Student-Athlete of the Year. She is the first Upstate softball player to earn Academic All-District honors.

Spartans Top All South Carolina Schools In RPI
The state of South Carolina has nine schools that field Division I programs in softball. Upstate tops them all in the latest RPI ranking released by the NCAA. Upstate ranks 75th in the nation and is the only South Carolina school in the top 100. Winthrop is second in the state at 112, while South Carolina, which was shutout twice by the Spartans in an eight-day period, is 113th. Charleston Southern ranks 137 and is followed by Furman (164), Coastal Carolina (184), College of Charleston (213), Presbyterian (228) and S.C. State (283). Upstate has played Winthrop, South Carolina, Charleston Southern, Furman and Coastal Carolina this year and has a 10-2 combined record with season sweeps of South Carolina, Winthrop, Charleston Southern and Furman.

Childers Second On A-Sun Career Strikeouts List
With 405 strikeouts on the year, Morgan Childers has not only moved by North Florida's Devyn Findley on the A-Sun's all-time strikeouts list, she also topped Brianne Mertens (Samford, 1998-01) for second all-time in the conference. Childers now has 940 strikeouts in her brilliant career, passing the 873 Mertens collected in her career. Childers will have to do some work to get to the top of the all-time list. Nikki Myers (Florida Atlantic, 1999-02) struck out 1,376 in her four-year career, 436 ahead of Childers.

Childers Sits Alone Atop Upstate's All-Time Wins List
When she claimed a 7-2 victory over Stetson in the first game of the doubleheader on April 3, Morgan Childers became Upstate's career leader with 70 wins. She now has 81 in her career.

Brasil, Quevedo Peaking At The Right Time
Juniors Kim Brasil and Lauren Quevedo played key roles in Upstate's drive for a share of the regular season championship as freshmen in 2008. They are once again helping lead the Spartans this season and their play and bats in the last two weeks helped the team secure a berth in the A-Sun Tournament. Brasil has raised her average by 38 points in the last three weeks from .283 on April 13 to .321 now. Quevedo has found her power stroke, belting nine on the year. That figure tops her old season high of seven hit during her freshman year. She has hit five of her homers in the last nine games.

Childers Moves To Top Of Career Shutouts List
In the second half of her junior season, Morgan Childers has reached yet another career milestone. She tied Kristy Middagh with 25 career shutouts at South Carolina on April 6, then broke the all-time record when she tossed a no-hitter at North Florida on April 9. She now owns the career records for wins (81), strikeouts (940) and opponent batting average (.160) in addition to her 32 shutouts record.

Childers Reaches Statistical Anomaly
With 405 strikeouts on the season, Morgan Childers not only shattered her own single-season school record of 277 set last year, the 405 strikeouts are more than the 380 that four-year starter Kasey Heron struck out in her career as No. 2 on Upstate's career strikeouts list.

Spartans Look To Get Off To Fast Start
It doesn't take an expert to tell you that if you score first, you put pressure on the opponent to play catch-up. That is certainly the case this season for Upstate. The Spartans are 32-6 this season in games when it is the first to score. Upstate is 15-1 in games when it scores in the first inning.

Spartans Top A-Sun In Six Statistical Categories
Heading into the A-Sun Tournament, Upstate tops the conference in six statistical categories. The Spartans have led the league in fielding percentage throughout the season and rank No. 1 with a .980 percentage. Individually, Kim Brasil leads the conference with 20 doubles. Morgan Childers tops the league with 31 wins, 405 strikeouts, 101 batters struck out looking and 247 innings pitched.

Childers In A-Sun Record Book
Not only is Morgan Childers putting her stamp on the Upstate record book, she is moving up on the career list in the A-Sun record book as well. She currently stands second all-time with 940 strikeouts, third with 81 wins, fourth with 32 shutouts, and seventh with a 1.30 ERA. The 405 strikeouts this season is the second-highest season total in A-Sun history behind Nikki Myers' (Florida Atlantic) 437 in 2002.

First And Sixth Innings Key To Upstate's Success
When Upstate has done its damage at the plate, it has come primarily in two innings - the first and sixth. Upstate has scored 30 runs in the first inning of games this season and 44 in the sixth inning. The 74 runs in those two innings combines represent 39 percent of the run total this season as the Spartans have scored 189 runs this year.

Spartans Top Division I School Home Run Total
With 25 home runs this season, Upstate has hit more home runs this season than any of the previous two years playing on the Division I level, topping the 24 the Spartans hit in 2008.

Childers Breaks Own Single-Season Strikeout Record
With her fifth of 10 strikeouts at North Florida on April 9, Morgan Childers broke her own single-season school record for strikeouts. She now has 405 this season, breaking the old mark of 277 set last year. She now owns the three highest season strikeout totals at Upstate, with 405 and counting this year, 277 last year and 258 as a freshman in 2008.

Mr. 500
Now in his 16th year at the helm of the program, head coach Chris Hawkins has topped the 500 career-win mark. He currently has 555 career victories and is not only the winningest coach in the history of the softball program, he has more wins than any other coach who has ever coached at Upstate in any sport.

Childers Is The Strikeout Queen
Junior hurler Morgan Childers has a long list of accomplishments to her name. She currently owns all three of Upstate's strikeout records. She tops the career list with 940 strikeouts, the single-season list with 405 and counting this year, and the single-game list with 18 set during her freshman campaign in 2008.

Childers Earns NFCA Honor
While Georgia Tech's Jen Yee took home NFCA/Louisville Slugger Player of the Week honors on April 20, Morgan Childers was one of four players named to the award's "Other Top Performers" list.

Upstate Gets 800th Career Win
The Upstate softball program reached a milestone when it defeated South Carolina on April 14 at Cyrill Stadium, reaching the program's 800th victory.

 
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