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Softball

Carolina Posts Two Victories To Start 2018 Season
Feb. 9, 2018

Box Score



MIAMI, Fla. --South Carolina softball posted a strong start to the 2018 season, going 2-0 with wins over ECU and Hofstra on Friday at Felsberg Field for the first day of the Felsberg Invitational at Florida International. The Gamecocks started the day with a 3-0 win over ECU before defeating Hofstra, 4-2.

Sophomore Cayla Drotar (1-0) couldn’t have asked for a much better start to the year, as she posted a complete-game shutout on one hit against the Pirates. Dixie Raley (1-0) secured her first win at South Carolina in the second game.

"Today was certainly the way we wanted to start," head coach Beverly Smith said. "I was proud. They were two different wins. So I was really proud of how the team stayed together and got the wins."

ECU RECAP --

The Gamecocks used a combination of timely hitting and outstanding pitching to earn victory No. 1 of 2018 in their first try.

After both teams traded a scoreless first inning, Carolina got on the board first thanks to Alexis Lindsey putting the ball in play, allowing Jana Johns to come home to make it 1-0 Gamecocks.

The pitching battle continued with consecutive scoreless innings in the third and fourth before Mackenzie Boesel blasted a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to extend the Carolina lead to 3-0.

From there, Drotar didn’t allow another hit the final two innings on her way to earning the victory.

Boesel led the way at the plate for the Gamecocks, going 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI. Kennedy Clark and Kenzi Maguire also contributed with hits on the day.

HOFSTRA RECAP --

Hofstra struck first in the top of the third, posting two runs to take a 2-0 lead. Carolina didn’t flinch, as Boesel continued her strong day with a two-run liner off the wall in right field to tie the game at 2-2.

After John’s brought a run home in the bottom of the sixth to give the Gamecocks a 3-2 lead, Alyssa Kumiyama gave Carolina additional breathing room with a solo home run to make it 4-2 Gamecocks.

Raley earned the victory in four innings of work with four strikeouts and just one hit surrendered.

NOTES --


- Mackenzie Boesel’s home run in the first game against ECU was the 11th of her career, and first of the season for the Gamecocks. This marked the fourth time in the past five seasons Carolina has hit at least one home run in its season opener. She finished the day going 3-for-5.
- Head coach Beverly Smith improved to 231-179 with the two victories. She is the second-winningest coach in school history.
- Win the wins, Carolina improved to 21-1 in opening tournaments over the past six years.
- Cayla Drotar’s opening day win was notable for a variety of reasons. Her six strikeouts tied a career high, while the complete-game shutout was the first of her career.
- Six different Gamecocks, all freshmen, made their collegiate debut on Friday between the two games.

UP NEXT --

Carolina returns to action tomorrow for two more games, starting with Hofstra at 1:30 PM ET. The Gamecocks close the day against host FIU at 6:30 PM ET. Live stats and updates will be provided on Twitter throughout the day.
 

 

 

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