USC Upstate Beats Softball in Atlantic Sun Opener

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Jacksonville University softball began Atlantic Sun Conference play on Saturday March 1 at USC Upstate and ultimately fell 5-3 and 8-1.

Jacksonville drops to 8-7 overall and 0-2 in the Atlantic Sun, while USC Upstate improves to 18-0 overall and 2-0 in the Atlantic Sun.

In the first game, the Dolphins held a 3-0 advantage over the Spartans to begin the day after recording three runs on two hits in the top of the third inning. Jackie DiPiazza scored Jacksonville’s first run when Karson Tuck hit an RBI single up the middle and Emily Sanchez followed with a double down the left field line to bring home Codi Kelly and Tuck.

In the bottom of the fourth, however, USC Upstate responded with three runs on two hits of their own. Shellie Robinson hit a solo home run to right center, Cheyenne Griffin walked, and Maddison Kieffer followed with a two-RBI homer to right center.

USC Upstate followed with two insurance runs in the sixth to secure their 5-3 win.

Victoria Brown, Tuck, Sanchez, Brooke Smith and Lexie Ballard each garnered one hit. On the mound, Brown recorded her third loss of the season, allowing seven hits, five earned runs and three walks in the complete 6.0 inning performance.

In the second game, the Spartans scored four runs in the bottom of the third, three in the fourth and one in the sixth. Jacksonville earned a single run in the top of the sixth inning when Tuck smacked a solo home run to left field.

Tuck led the Dolphins in game two, finishing 1-for-3 with one run. Cecile Gomez took her first loss of the season, fanning four while allowing five hits, four earned runs and one walk in 2.1 innings of work. Taylor Rossman relieved for 3.2 innings, striking out one, allowing five hits, four earned runs and three walks.

Next, Jacksonville will conclude its three-game series at USC Upstate on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.