Radford Tops Longwood, Falls to USC Upstate in Elimination Game of Big South Softball Tournament

College Sports

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – After a 4-0 win against Longwood to open the day, the Radford softball team was one win away from making their second Big South Championship game in the last three seasons but couldn’t get past No. 2 USC Upstate in an elimination game that ended 1-0 on Friday in Boiling Springs, N.C.
 
Through two games, Jessie Marvin tossed 13.1 innings with only one run allowed on five hits and 12 strikeouts with 49 batters faced.  
 
Game 1
Marvin’s one-hit bid stole the show in game one as the Highlanders downed Longwood, 4-0. She tossed a one-hit shutout and only walked three on the way to nine strikeouts and her 11th win of the season.
 
Sydney Fisher led off the game with a leadoff home run – her fifth home run of the season which is a season-high for the senior. Five at-bats later Autumn Slemaker hit a fly ball to left field, but the left fielder lost it in the sun and it dropped right in front of her.
 
Madison Canady and Talia Douglas came around to score and put the Highlanders up 3-0. Meanwhile, in the circle Marvin tallied four strikeouts through two innings. After two walks in the third she retired four straight and had a little help from the defense in the fifth inning with an inning-ending double play from Slemaker.
 
Marvin tallied three of her career-high tying nine strikeouts in the final two frames to preserve a 4-0 lead.
 
Fisher led the way at the plate with a 4-for-4 day that included a home run and three singles.
 
It was the first time that Longwood didn’t win a single game in the Big South Tournament and the third consecutive time Radford defeated Longwood in the Big South Tournament – twice in 2018.
 
Game 2
Once again, Marvin pitched lights out but an unearned run in the seventh inning was the difference maker in the 1-0 loss to USC Upstate.
 
It was a classic pitcher’s duel in game two of the day with a spot in the championship on the line. There were only three total base runners through four innings. Radford had one and USC Upstate had two. The Spartans even had a runner on third with one out in the third inning but Marvin was able to get a groundout and flyout to end the inning unscathed.
 
Each pitcher had a no-hitter through four innings. Each team broke the no-hitters in the fifth inning but neither team was able to score.
 
Radford’s best opportunity came in the sixth inning when Sydney Fisher reached on a leadoff double. She moved to third on a sac bunt but a infield pop out and a foul out down the left field line ended the scoring chance.
 
USC Upstate had a pair of runners in scoring position with one out and a single through the left side allowed the game-winning run to score.
 
Marvin ended the tournament with a 1.09 ERA, three complete games, one shutout, 17 strikeouts and held opposing hitters to a .136 batting average. Offensively, Fisher batted .545 with six hits, one double, one home run and an RBI with a 1.454 on-base plus slugging percentage.

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