Lady Crusaders fall at USC-Upstate
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Lady Crusaders fall at USC-Upstate

Spartanburg, SC - USC Upstate used the long ball in game one and scraped out needed runs in the second game to record a sweep of North Greenville Tuesday afternoon at Cyrill Stadium.  The eighth-ranked Spartans earned shutouts in both games, winning 8-0 in five innings and 6-0.


USC Upstate improves to 6-0 on the year.  The Spartans open Peach Belt Conference play Thursday at Lander at 2:00 p.m. in GreenwoodNorth Greenville falls to 1-5.


In the first game, starter Kasey Heron (2-0) threw five innings of shutout ball, giving up just one hit and striking out three to record her second win of the season.  She got help by two three-run homers that made the difference in the game.


Jena Keith got things going quickly with a three-run home run to the power alley in left to give USC Upstate a 3-0 lead in the first inning.  The Spartans added a run to the lead in the second when Erin Driggers stole home on a double steal with Heidi Gibbs.  In the bottom of the fifth inning, Stacey Stepek put a ball over the fence in the nearly the same place as Keith’s homer went out in the first.  Stepek’s three-run shot gave USC Upstate a 7-0 lead.  Driggers ended the game with an RBI double to center field.


Keith was 2-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Driggers was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored to lead the Spartans at the plate in the game.


Katie Eargle got North Greenville’s only hit and Ashley Warrick took the loss for the Crusaders.


The second game was a pitcher’s duel until USC Upstate broke open the game in the fifth inning.  With the game tied 0-0, Gibbs singled with two outs.  After she stole second, Gibbs scored on Katie Adams’ double.  Shay Slater followed with a single to drive in Adams and the Spartans took a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning.  In the bottom of the sixth, Jamie Amerine singled to drive in Tiffany Pitcher and Driggers followed with a two-RBI double.  Driggers later scored when Gibbs grounded out to second to give USC Upstate a commanding 6-0 lead heading to the top of the seventh.


The 6-0 lead was all USC Upstate pitcher Jenn Whited (2-0) would need.  Whited entered the game in the top of the fifth inning in relief of starter Jessica Jolly.  Whited struck out six in three innings of work and did not allow a hit to pick up the win.  Jolly tossed four innings of scoreless ball, allowing just two hits while striking out one.


Gibbs, Slater, and Pitcher each had two hits for USC Upstate in the second game, while Driggers’ two RBIs topped the Spartans.


Casey Smith and Angela Foster each had hits for North GreenvilleAmy Krainas took the loss for the Crusaders in game two.