Jennings' Home Run Lifts Gamecocks Over Tar Heels|
Feb. 8, 2004
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Senior third baseman Samantha Jennings hit a three-run home run to lift South Carolina softball 3-2 over North Carolina Sunday. The Gamecocks improved to 3-0 while the Tar Heels lost their season opener and fell to 0-1. USC pitcher Melanie Henkes (1-0) pitched five innings for the win and gave up two runs and three hits to the Tar Heels. The Gamecocks recorded three runs and five hits off of the Tar Heels' Crystal Cox (0-1).
The Tar Heels scored first on a first and third play when Erin Dudley stole second allowing Dionne Streete to come home on the throw, giving UNC a 1-0 lead.
USC answered back and put themselves into scoring position in the fifth when Melissa Sandel was at third and Nancy Crane was at first and with one out, Jennings hit her third home run in two days to put the Gamecocks ahead 3-1. After clearing the bases, the Garnet and Black attempted to carry the momentum and with two outs, loaded the bases. USC fell short of adding runs when freshman Chrissy Schoonmaker flew out to deep centerfield for the third out stranding the runners.
In the sixth, Anna Evans led off the inning with a single off of Henkes, and brought the tying run to the plate. Senior Stacey Johnson was then brought in to relieve Henkes to help keep UNC at bay. Evans advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Streete and in the next play, Evans advanced to third on a single by Erin Price and scored on an error by Nancy Crane, to cut USC's lead to one. Johnson was able to keep the game under control as she got the final two outs and USC survived the inning.
In the seventh it was a 1-2-3 inning for USC as Johnson forced two groundouts and recorded a strikeout to record her first save of the season.