March 9, 2013
STILLWATER, Okla. - No. 4 South Carolina lost its season finale on Saturday at third-ranked Oklahoma State in a 10-10 tiebreaker at the Animal Science Arena. The Gamecocks fall to 6-6 overall while the Cowgirls improve to 9-4.
Tied 10-10 at the end of the meet, the Cowgirls won on raw scores, 1,535.5-1344. The Hunt Seat team cruised to a 7-3 win while the Western team lost, 7-3.
"We had a better day today. We still had some errors and still need to improve in some areas but there was definitely improvement," South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. "Katherine Schmidt had a great weekend going 4-0. Johnna Letchworth was also awesome. Our girls are getting a well-deserved week off for spring break and then we have to prepare for the SEC Championships."
The Gamecocks took an early lead on Saturday, winning three of five points in Equitation Over Fences. Freshman Sally Henry struck first for Carolina, defeating Oklahoma State's Maggie Gampfer, 79-72. After Carolina dropped back-to-back points, freshman Emily Reynolds tied it at two apiece as she won her first jumping point as a Gamecock, knocking off the Cowgirls' Samantha Harrison, 79-78.5. Sophomore Katherine Schmidt kicked off her fifth straight 2-for-2 performance with an 85-76 victory over Sarah Gesick, earning Schmidt her 40th career point and third MVP of the season.
Oklahoma State rallied in Horsemanship, winning three of five points to tie the competition at 5-5. Redshirt junior Johnna Letchworth won her team-leading fourth MVP of the season as she scored an event-high 76.5 to knock off the Cowgirls' Marissa Dalton. Freshman Kelsey Urban won her sixth point of the season and fifth point on the road, as she knocked off Lauren Halvorson, 72-71.
The Gamecocks took control early in the second half of Saturday's meet, winning four consecutive points, enabling Carolina to hold a brief four-point lead at 9-5.
In Equitation on the Flat, South Carolina won the first four points, narrowly missing a 5-0 sweep. Freshman Samantha Kraus gave the Gamecocks a 6-5 lead as she defeated Ellie Sparks, 75-68. Sophomore Alexa Anthony won her second point of the season, giving Carolin a 7-5 lead as she defeated Allie Joyce by a five-point margin. Schmidt rode next, completing her 2-for-2 day as she edged Samantha Harrison, 76-75, giving the Connecticut native her 41st career point as a Gamecock. Redshirt freshman Samantha Smith gave Carolina a 9-5 lead as she scored an event-high 78 to defeat national rider of the month, Leighona Bernstein. Oklahoma State won the final Flat point, as Carolina held a 9-6 overall lead.
Oklahoma State won the first two Reining points to cut the Gamecocks' lead to just one point. Senior captain Audrey Jewell then gave South Carolina a 10-8 lead as she defeated the Cowgirls' Taylor New, 69.5-67.5. The Cowgirls rallied late, winning the final two points of the meet and four of five in Reining, tying the meet, 10-10. In the tie-breaker formula used, Oklahoma State edged the Gamecocks, 1,535.5-1,344.
The Gamecocks will take the next week off for spring break, and then return to begin preparations for the inaugural SEC Championships, which will be held March 29-30 in Auburn, Ala. South Carolina will be the No. 2 seed in the tournament and will face No. 3 seed Georgia on Fri., March 29 at 11 a.m. ET. Live Scoring will be available for that meet either through the SEC's website or on GamecocksOnline.
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