Jason Patterson: Hello welcome to Spartans insider and we roll in with Coach Chris Hawkins with another week of extremely successful and continuing climbing Upstate Softball program and Coach I use that terminology because your RPI of late continues to go very strong and you find yourself within a couple of Conference wins and go ahead and clinching at least a share of the Conference title its been a pretty big stretch for you, has it not? Chris Hawkins: yea we play well as a unit and ah, going down the home stretch we seem to be getting some of the things back with what we struggled with last week. And I know when I say “struggle” everyone looks with that we still won a game. But we wouldn’t Execute in doing things well we had to but we’re back on track. RPI looks good ah, Hopefully it continues to raise. Playing South Carolina last week, Got Georgia this week, to allow us to play some of the bigger games to help with the RPI while we’re still winning. It’s huge for us. Jason Patterson: Some of the fans maybe sitting at home thinking “What in the world is all this talk about RPI?” Explain why that becomes so important where your team sets over the last couple of years? Chris Hawkins: well last year in the atlantic sun we got ah, two at large bids and a conference Championship. A lot of Conferences would just get the Conference Champion as an automatic bid going in to the NCA Tournament, and if your RPI is high enough, which I can’t really say a magic number, if your 40 or less you’re looking good at maybe getting a bid, if you do not win your Conference Championship. so thats extremely important , Cause our Conference at any giving time, anybody can step up and win that and still be able to go, it’s kinda huge for us. So we wanna try to hopefully keep climbing at RPI. Jason Patterson: Well lets talk about why the RPI Is so high now. And thats been the way your team has play this 2015 season, now we have worked our way to the depths of the Conference getting ready to close it out. You have just the one loss against Jacksonville thus far, the Conference slat has been good to you. What do you see that your team has done exceptionally well that has put you in the position that you’re in? Chis Hawkins: Well Lexie has done a great job all year pitching and Amanda has been spot performance very well, but when your put to 7 to 8 run in the 2nd to 3rd ending, it really takes a hit to the other side dugout and we’ve been fortunate to really jump on some people early and make it kinda Difficult for them. So ah, I would credit them to hit the ball well and hit it timely and get the runs in when we need them. Jason Patterson: You mentioned Lexie Shubert picking up her 300th career strike out in recent days And when you talk about that offense, you talk about Shelly Robertson. She seems to be on Que and work her way up the ladder in the record books. Now the all times run leader in your history program we talked about the last time we visited, your selection into Pro Softball, what can you say about Shelly Robertson and her leadership on this team? Chris Hawkins: I wish she had 4 more years, but she doesn’t um, just “WOW”. You know this is a kid that doesn’t need anything from me. She just needs support, she’s a good teammate, she’s a good leader, she’s a good player, she sets a good example and she understands that this a fun thing that she likes to do, you know? When she’s out there, I feel very good about our chances and when she’s at the plate, you know she might not come through every the time, but I don’t know who does. But when we really need her, theres a good hit waiting for us. Jason Patterson: Surrounding pieces as well. She’s one of the 9 players all time and 4 current players on your roster who are on the 100, 100,100th club. Thats RPI, runs and hits. Dana Landers slams her way into it as a recent member of this weekend. How about that moment? Chris Hawkins: Yea all 4 of these kids have all started since their Freshman year and they have had the privilege of getting better and better. They’re playing extremely well right now and its awesome for all 4 of them you know to be able to be in that club. it’s a testament of how hard they work and how hard they are able to play day in and day out. That’s a lot games in three and a half years that these kids have played. For them to play with a little bit of an injury or things not going their way and continue to move on is awesome. Jason Patterson: You’ve talked about the RPI and the scheduled and what it’s done for you. It gets no easier for you moving down the stretch. You can have the game sandwiched in between against Charlotte which is more of a local riveory for you but 2 big Conference series to close things out against Lipscomb and Northern Kentucky. What has to happen there for your estimation for your team to roll in the tournament play? Chris Hawkins: well for Lipscomb, they’re a very good team and there record might not be where it should be but they play to toughest scheduled in our Conference they played a lot of big programs so. There going to be tough to beat. They have 2 good pitchers. they have a lot of good hitters, they steel a lot of bases. It’s going to be a challenge for us, but whats on our side of the field is all we worry about and we do what we do and if someone beats us they beat us. They’re a good team. Northern Kentucky comes in to round out our series and we need to stay focused on us,on what we’re doing and trying to accomplish and not really worry about whats on the other side. George is another fun day for us. Nothing to loose, everything to gain. It’s a good day for us to get after it. USC Charlotte um, you know, they’re going to be playing pretty well against us. Everyone locally wants to do well against us especially here, so It will be a good battle for us too. It’s some good games getting us ready for the ace tournament. Jason Patterson: The next time we talk to you, you will be ready for tournament play. What would you like to see your team address, if anything, before you move into that tournament action? Chris Hawkins: I want to get everybody healthy again. We’ve got a couple banged up. Kaitlyn Jaeger is out, hopefully getting back in before the Lipscomb game, “our second Baseman” Just stay healthy, stay motivated. Not worry so much that end is near. But just worry about how far we can go and concentrate on the task at hand. Jason Patterson: Folks may not realize how hard it is to one attain success than maintain it. Great job on your part and Congratulation on a great on another outstanding weeks in women’s Collage Softball. Chris Hawkins: Thank you very much. Jason Patterson: Now for this week, get to know your first Spartan segment. We Caught up with Jasmine Polite. Lets hear it from Jasmine. Jasmine Polite: Hi, My name is Jasmine Polite, and I’m on the Cross Country and track team and I am a Senior! Competing all year round um, It was difficult at first especially when you first come in from being in high school and your running three seasons instead of two. But i’ve made it work and it’s really fun!. I’ve been Fortunate enough to set some records and be apart of the staple of building our program and I’m sure that the rest of my team mates can agree that it’s exciting and its great to make your mark as a Spartan. The person that has been the biggest influence on my life is probably my Grandfather. He passed away when I was 5, but I still think about him all the time and he’s still always in my thoughts. My favorite food is Spaghetti and red sauce, no meat, just Spaghetti and red sauce. I like Tofu too it’s really good. My favorite Actress is Sandra Bullock. I think she’s the most amazing Actress and she’s really modest and she’s really Charitable, but of course you wouldn’t know that cause she doesn’t tell anybody cause she’s Modest. She’s my favorite Actress hands down. I’m getting my communication Major and I’m Graduating soon. I think I’m going to ether going to focus on working for another University or high school and do some compliance work and make sure that kids are able to get into Collage and make sure they get all of their work done before they get into College. Or I might want to do some event planning for a University for Athletics. Jason Petterson: Always good to hear from the Tracking team. Thank you for your time Jasmine We will break away and come back for more on Spartans Insider after this. For 35 years Atlantic Sun Conference has supported its member institutions commitment and hard work dedication and determination of building winner for life. As the Ace Sun aggressively seeks to expand opportunities as student athletes and the institutions they represent. Stand among Nations best Academics and Athletics and service through their communities. At the Ace sun the aim is the success balance of students and athletes. The Atlantic Sun Conference at it’s best building Winners for Life Jason Patterson: Welcome back Upstate Spartans insider. Now joined by head baseball Coach Matt Fencer. Now Coach I guess the headline surrounding your program right now is the weekend Conference Series victory against the Stetson Hatters. You pitched well, You hit the ball well it seems like your team played well in all stats, is that the way you felt? Matt Fencer: Yea I did Jason. We did pitch very well. There was one ending in the first game where we didn’t do so well, but after that um you know we performed great. We got enough hitting and defense was solid for the most part all the way through. It was a good series win for us. James Patterson: What did you see from your young arms, Blake Whitney and Zac Manuppelli You ended up giving you wins on Saturday and Sunday? Matt Fencer: Well their trying to make adjustments, you know they are young and they are working on things, particularly their breaking balls. I thought Manuppelli had better fast ball commands, so I was happy to see that. So they are continually trying to keep working on what they are doing and getting a little bit better and getting well enough that fortunate we won this weekend. Jason Patterson: Maybe the most impressive thing is that your bull pen held the lead in late in the game especially and you go back to the games across the course of the mid week as well. Your bull Pen has fared really well at late Coach. Matt Fencer: You know Lacell his last 6 or 7 times out has been good and he’s important. Birklund Came in yesterday and performed very well and we need him um, the other guys too. I’m hoping that we will go forward here well gets some ending out of the bull pen and we will look back at it, at the end of the season and say, “You know what?, Our bull pen wasn’t that bad” Jason Patterson: Offensively you were lead by Erik Samples. Your senior second baseman. Drove in four of your eight runs on Saturday and that was just a portion of what he did. Tell me about his play over the last week or so. Matt Fencer: Yea, he’s definitely been playing well here of late um, he got four hits on Saturday. I told him at the end of the game that I was most happy with the double play he and Fickas were able to turn. I believe it was the 8th ending. That was a key spot and um, but he’s been playing well and he’s the older and more experienced guy on the team and we’re going to need him to do that to the very end. Jason Patterson: James Folks did make a reappearance over the course of the weekend and we saw Zach Krider up throwing in the bull pen Those are 2 guys that have been a little banged up, whats their situation on moving forward? Matt Fencer: Well Folks was able to play yesterday so that was good and I expect him to be ok. Krider will definitly be back over the weekend, so I think he’s ready to go. I would be real good to get those 2 guys back Hopeful they can make our offense and keep us going. Jason Patterson: You end up at a better spot right now than the predictors and prognosticators had you. You still went away on the road at Kenison State. Still another one on the road Florida Gulf Coast since the last time we visited and then the weekend series victory over stats and puts you in a pretty good spot, How do you feel about where you sit in the Conference standings? Matt Fencer: Well I mean I’m happy. You know you look at the beginning before the scheduled and you see first two series your going to Kenison your going to Florida Gulf Coast. We we’re able to compete well in both places. We felt like we had a good shot at both places down there. A chance to win both series and it didnt work out for us Um… So I would have to say that given the structure of our scheduled, we are in a decent position right now. We do still have um, three more home series and we’re gonna have to play as well as we did this weekend If not better to be able to get into the Ace on tournament. That’s certainly a main goal for us I think the guys are improving and they realize that they can compete with these teams. Things are going in a good direction right now. You just keep your fingers crossed and you keep poking away at it and you hope that we can continue to improve. Jason Patterson: I know its not easy scheduled wise coming for you this week You get those in state rivals Upstate rivals as you might say, as you go to Furman, as you go to Wofford in the up city reverie and than your going to keep on rolling in the Atlantic Sun Conference in Lipscom next weekend, walk us through the games that are upcoming? Matt Fencer: Well you know we’ve played Furman once and they beat us us pretty good down at flewer field, so you know, we got rain out against them last week um, so hopfully we will be ready to go and you know, they got a good team. They hit the ball well against us. Wofford um, is having a very good year um, they’re going to be very aggressive. I know they’ve got a good team. Seem to be always be a close game with Wofford, so looking forward to that game Lipscpm lost 2 out of 3 top North Florida this weekend and I know they’ve got a good team They’ve got a good pitching staff, They’re gonna hit enough. Thats gonna be a tuff series for us So the Schedule isn’t getting any easier for us, that’s for sure. Jason Patterson: Well you’re raising some eyebrows for sure already Congratulations on a great weekend this past weekend, hopefully it can continue. Matt Fencer: Alright thanks Jason. Jason Patterson: Our final get to know your Spartans segment. We’re catching up with Ramon Simonetti with men’s Tennis. Hello. My name is Ramon Simonetti and I am a junior at USC Upstate. I’m on the Men’s Tennis and I’m from Brazil . The main reason why I came from Brazil to USC Upstate, this is because back home we dont have College Sports. So you ether turn Pro, or you stop playing so you can go to school. I found that here was a perfect opportunity for me to keep doing something that I really like. like playing tennis and at the same time an education and afterwards playing tennis Pro if you want and just follow through with your career. For me the biggest difference from Brazil and the US The main one is food. Its just so different, it took me awhile to get used to it. Which now I like but at first it was a struggle. Also the fact that the sports here are all different, as where back home we have Soccer, that’s the biggest one. Here it’s like Basketball, Baseball and Football and it’s very nice I have it good to be had moved here My Favorite Tennis player is Diffidently, Gustavo Kuerten. He was #1 in the World I grew up watching him play and I had the oppertunity to practice with him and watching him practicing some of the time. He is a really nice person and everybody likes him but the way he plays is just amazing so for me that’s just the biggest influence in Tennis was Gustavo Kuerten. Who was better in their prime Ralph Amato or Roger Frederer? That’s a really tough question to answer but I think Roger Frederer at his prime was better…Honestly I really like him a little bit more than usually, and I’m a little bias to say it but i would say hes the best in his prime If someone made a movie about my life, I would pick Al Pacino to play it because I really think he’s an amazing Actor and I like all the movies that hes has done. He does a really good job and I think that’s why I would pick him to play me. The biggest influence in my like is definitely Jesus Christ. I’m a believer so to me, everything that I try to accomplish is for him and for me his the biggest example as a person that lives a deserves so I try to follow his steps Jason Patterson: Thank you Ramon, you’ll wanna stick around. We will have plenty more on Spartan’s insider after this break. People know you and they get your personal level to know your abilities This is really a place that I have seen and I mean this, is a place that I’ve seen Students come here and really try to figure out who they really are. Is this what I want to do for the rest of my life? I think every college kid knows that, but being here. here at Upstate being apart of so many different programs, I know what my purpose is. I can say that with confidence. You don’t get lost in a crowed at Upstate. USC Upstate is a place people discover themselves. Jason Patterson: Now its time take a look back at the last couple of weeks at Upstate athletics. Spartan’s Clinched a Spot in the Atlanic Sun ConferencenTournament in Mens Tennis With wins over 6 nothing Lipscomb. 7 to nothing Kentucky and 5 to 2 Kennesaw. In track and Field, Upstate Women 4×400-meter relay team won the Terrier Relays and Jake McCown broke his old school record in the 400 meter hurdles at the Terrier Relays Jason Petterson: One of our Favorite parts of the show is always Alex Love Traveling around Campus to find out a little more of whats on your mind. He Catches up with students and ask them how they handle the pressure of Exams, take it way Alex. Alex Love: We’re here outside the sub connecting on Campus and I’ve Daniel and Emma with me. Guys how are you today? Daniel: Pretty good A-Love, how are you? Alex Love: Doing well Thank you. Emma: I’m Good(Laughing).. Alex Love: So Exams are coming up with just 3 weeks of school and we want to go around Campus and asking Students to relive some stress preparing for them. What do you guys do to feel calm when going into Exams? Daniel: Ummm… Every now and then I get out with the Bro’s and I get out with Emma and go to the soccer field and we play pick up and stuff. But other than that we just pretty much hang out, throw the football out in the street and stuff, you know. Alex Love: Anything you want to add? Emma: No that’s pretty much it. (Laughing) I’m Alex Love reporting from Upstate Insider. Alex love: We’re here by Jasmine’s café and Bakery. I’m here with one of the Tennis Stars here at USC Upstate, Ramon. Ramon how are you today? Ramon: I’m Pretty good thank you. Alex Love: Good, Good. So Exams are coming up with on 3 weeks left of school and we wanna go around Campus asking Students how they relieve stress to know that you are ready? Ramon: I like to sleep as much as I can the time that I’m not studying. Try to do different stuff from studying playing Tennis, play Golf, maybe go to the movies and hang out with my friends. just relax. Alex Love: With only 3 weeks left in the School year. We want to go around Campus and asking some students, with Exams coming up. What do you do to prepare for Exams and relieve stress so you know you will be ready? – Well for the Exams I do flash cards as I’m doing now and before the Test I like to listen to music or take a nap. – Ummm, I usually do some study games and to relieve stress I just kinda just sit and listen to music and watch Netflix. Alex Love: What do you do to relieve stress and prepare for the Exams. – Well Mostly I like to go Hiking in the Mountains. – Well for me I get a lot of nap time in, Ummm I guess I eat well. They give us the little Sand Bags and those are a good stress reliever, so, Yea. Alex Love: Nothing Makes you’re grades shine like nap time. I’m Alex Love from Upstate insider. Jason Patterson: Thanks Alex and to everybody with Exams all around the Upstate Campus in the coming Days. Jason Patterson: And now looking ahead at the upcoming weeks at the Athletics. You want to keep and eye out on Ryan Cornfeild. Making it possible as a Invitation in NACC Regionals. as you can see there is plenty other actions here on Campus and around the Country as both Men’s Tennis and Golf will be playing in their respective A-Sun Championships along with many other opportunities for you to come out and see the Spartans. Jason Patterson: For our Prime time performers this week. We have selected a Duo in Baseball Pitchers, Blake Whitney and Zac Manuppilley. Both win 6 ending deep into the Baseball Game. Helping the Spartans with the first series win in A-Sun this past weekend against the Stetson Hatters. Jason Patterson: Alright fans, that does it for this addition of the Upstate Spartan’s insider but we will look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks when spring sports wind down. and Conference sports continue. Until then, Have a great time everybody.