Spartans rally to defeat Ohio State in Game 1
USC Upstate erupted for five runs in the top of the seventh inning and pitcher Holly McKinnon (25-7) pitched a complete game as the Spartans beat Ohio State 7-3 in the first round of the NCAA Knoxville Regional softball tournament at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
The Spartans play No. 8 national seed Tennessee, a 5-0 winner over Longwood, in the second game Friday night. Upstate (45-11) and Tennessee (45-10) play at noon Saturday and it will be the first time the teams have played each other.
Longwood plays Ohio State in an elimination game at 2:30 and the winner plays the Upstate-Tennessee loser at 5 p.m.
- 7th inning: trailing 2-3, Upstate scored five runs. Abbie Millette singled in Brittany Case to tie the game 3-3, Kori Wancheck singled in Millette for the winning run (4-3), Ryan Rector scored on a passed ball (5-3), Beasley scored on Kayla Hussey’s fielder’s choice bunt (6-3), and Gemma Miller scored the game’s final run on Ansley Gilstrap’s single (7-3).
- Upstate 2nd inning: Karla Beasley walked, Hussey singled, a passed ball and wild pitch allowed Beasley to score.
- Upstate 5th inning: Megan Obier scored on a bases loaded walk to Beasley (2-0).
- Ohio State 6th: Scored three runs, a two-run homer by Lilli Piper and solo homer by Emily Clark. OSU leads 3-2.
- Upstate is unbeaten, 3-0, versus Ohio State.
- Upstate and Ohio State tied for 25th in the latest poll.
- Head Coach Chris Hawkins: “I think we did a real good job of doing what we’ve done all year: play good defense and solid pitching. I’m satisfied with the outcome. I know we’re not quitters. I know when we’re down, we have a lot of ability to come back.”
- Tennessee’s Meghan Gregg, SEC Player of the Year, has 12 home runs and 73 RBIs this season. Gregg hit a 2-run HR Friday night.
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