Feb. 11, 2012
by Koby Padgett & Megan Mabry
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina's (2-1) bats came alive in the top of the first and led the team to an 8-1 win over in-state rival Winthrop (1-2) in the Gamecocks' second matchup of the day at the Palmetto Classic at Beckham Field on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore Chelsea Hawkins led the Gamecocks with a 2-for-3 day, hitting a homer and driving in four. Junior Hannah Milks went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Sophomore Dana Hathorn and freshman Olivia Lawrence both had 2-for-4 games, with Lawrence posting a double in her first career start. Senior Molly Brossart scored twice as well.
Junior shortstop Samie Garcia led off the game with a single but sat down after Milks reached on a fielder's choice. Milks advanced to second on a passed ball and came home by senior leftfielder Katelyn Westfall's single to center. The Gamecocks loaded the bases after senior Evan Childs' fielder's choice, Hathorn's single and Brossart's walk. Hawkins drove in Childs and Hathorn on a single, and Lawrence singled through the right side to bring in Brossart, handing the Gamecocks the 4-0 lead.
The Eagles got on the board in the bottom of the third when second baseman Kristy Noble, who singled to centerfield and worked her way to third, benefited from leftfielder McKenzie Corn's sacrifice fly to left center. Winthrop threatened again in the bottom of the fourth, getting runners on second and third with just one out, but the Gamecocks sat down the next two batters to keep the Eagles from crossing the plate.
The Garnet and Black added to their lead in the sixth when a two-out, two-RBI double by Milks brought home Garcia and sophomore Codee Yeske, stretching the lead to 6-1.
Winthrop made another attempt to rally in the bottom of the sixth. Schoenfeldt singled through the right side, third baseman Alex White reached on an error and centerfielder Melanie Andrea walked to load the bases with no outs. Two straight defensive plays by the outfield kept the Eagles from attempting to tag up and an unassisted play at third base squelched the rally.
South Carolina added two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh when Hawkins sent a shot over the fence in right center, scoring freshman Lacey Rother after her first hit as a Gamecock, to make the score 8-1.
Redshirt junior Audrey Broyles, who pitched a complete game in the eight-inning win over Western Kentucky, tossed 1.1 innings before giving way to freshman Katelynn Howser (1-0). Howser struck out one batter and allowed three hits in 4.2 innings and claimed the win. Senior Kierstyn White completed the final inning for the Gamecocks. Schonefeldt (1-1) took the loss for the Eagles, giving up four earned runs on five hits and a walk in 0.2 innings.
Earlier in the Palmetto Classic, Western Kentucky beat Winthrop 8-5.
South Carolina takes on Cleveland State at 1:30 p.m. EST in the second game of Sunday's slate at the Palmetto Classic. Due to an expected freeze, all game times have been pushed back an hour for Sunday's contests. Western Kentucky and Tennessee State start the day at 11 a.m., while Winthrop and the TSU Tigers close the event at 4 p.m.
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