Garcia's Grand Slam Leads Gamecocks to 11-3 (5) Win over Providence
Feb. 17, 2012
by Koby Padgett
MIAMI, Fla. - Behind a grand slam from junior shortstop Samie Garcia, South Carolina (4-1) powered past Providence (0-1) 11-3 in five innings on Friday at the Blue & Gold Feisberg Memorial hosted by Florida International University.
Garcia led four Gamecocks who all collected two hits, joined by seniors Kaitlin Westfall and Lauren Lackey and sophomore Dana Hathorn, with the last three all posting a double. Hathorn also scored twice to top South Carolina.
Providence held a 2-0 lead after Stephanie Kiesel's two-out, two-RBI single in the first, but South Carolina took over in the second, loading the bases after a hit by pitch and two walks. Senior pinch runner Kylie Morin scored the first run, scampering home after a wild pitch by Friar pitcher Alicia Grosso. Another walk loaded the bags again for Garcia, who took the 1-0 offering over the wall in center for a grand slam, making it 5-2 in the first.
The Friars got a run back in the third on Michelle Huber's leadoff homer and threatened for more, loading the bases on two walks around Jen Abrams' single. But Gamecock freshman pitcher Katelynn Howser got out of the jam with three-consecutive strikeouts to hold the lead. South Carolina added to the lead in the bottom of the frame, with an RBI single from Lackey and junior Shelby Gonzales' scoring after Lackey escaped a rundown on Garcia's single.
Two Providence errors helped the Gamecocks make it 10-3 after four innings. Senior Evan Childs scored on senior Molly Brossart's RBI single with no one out in the frame. Hathorn scored after the throw on Brossart's steal attempt got away from the Friar second baseman. Gonzales followed with a chopper that the second baseman mishandled again, allowing Brossart to cross home. Hathorn ended things in the fifth, doubling home Westfall after she started the inning with a single.
Howser (2-0) got the complete-game win in her first career start, scattering four hits and three walks in five innings. She struck out seven. Grosso (0-1) took the loss, giving up 11 runs, nine earned, on 10 hits and seven walks. She fanned three.
The Gamecocks are scheduled for two games on Saturday, facing Illinois-Chicago at 3 p.m. and Florida International immediately after the UIC game.