Feb. 9, 2018
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.
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.
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.
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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