Mendes Gets Walk-Off Hit in South Carolina's 2-1 Win over North Florida
Feb. 14, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla. - Sophomore Laura Mendes got a walk-off single to lead the Gamecocks to a 2-1 victory over North Florida on Saturday morning in the first game of the day in the UCF Early Bird Tournament.
Mendes came up with two down in the bottom of the seventh and put the 3-2 pitch through the right side to bring in junior Adele Voigt, who walked to lead off the inning and moved into scoring position on freshman Lauren Lackey's sacrifice. The win was the second walk-off triumph for the Gamecocks (5-1) in this event.
The Ospreys (2-8) tallied the first run of the game in the fourth. After a leadoff strikeout, Ashley Battaglia singled and Caroline Torre doubled to put runners in scoring position. Gamecock starter Krystle Robinson got Airen Payne to strike out and coaxed a ground ball out of Alyson Bailey. But Bailey reached when the South Carolina shortstop couldn't find the handle, allowing Battaglia to score. A pop out ended the frame with just one North Florida run across.
South Carolina answered in the bottom half of the frame, getting a leadoff single from freshman Evan Childs. She moved to second on freshman Kristen Stubblefield's sacrifice. A strikeout gave the Ospreys' Devyn Findley two outs, but she got a little too comfortable. Sophomore Cassie Gogreve crushed the first pitch of the at bat over the centerfielder's head, plating Childs. Freshman Kandyce Redondo kept the inning alive with a single blooped over the third baseman's head while she moved to second by hustling around first. The Gamecocks would strand those runners when pinch hitter Kaitlin Westfall fanned on a 3-2 pitch.
The Gamecocks came back and loaded the bases with no one out in the fifth. Lackey, senior Ashton Payne and Mendes all singled to left. Childs hit a sinking liner to right that Kara Rutenbar caught at her ankles for the first out. Stubblefield followed with a bloop behind second base, which held up the runners. It fell in front of the charging Ariana Godwin in center, who fired to the plate to get Lackey. The catcher Battaglia then tossed it to third to force off Payne and end the threat.
Freshman Kierstyn White (3-0) picked up the win in relief, allowing just one hit in her two innings of work. Starter Krystle Robinson went five innings, giving up one unearned run on three hits and two walks while striking out three. Devyn Findley (0-4) got the loss, allowing two earned runs on eight hits and four walks. She fanned six. For the Gamecocks, Mendes and Gogreve both had two hits, while Lackey reached base three times.