Feb. 17, 2018
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina softball extended its Gamecock Invitational winning-steak to 18 games with a 2-0 win over Southern Illinois on Saturday at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field. Dixie Raley went the distance in the circle, pitching a complete-game shutout coupled with 11 strikeouts to shut down SIU and move the Gamecocks to 7-1 on the year.
Carolina's offense was sparked with back-to-back home runs in the first inning. Mackenzie Boesel blasted her second dinger of the weekend before Kennedy Clark followed it with one of her own to give the Gamecocks the 2-0 lead they wouldn't surrender.
Raley (2-0) has impressed early this season in the circle. With the win, her ERA sits at 0.47 in 15 innings of work with 17 strikeouts while holding teams to a low .122 batting average.
"This was Dixie's first start," head coach Beverly Smith said. "She's come on in relief a couple times for us this year and has done excellent. This was her first start and I thought she was outstanding. She got a lot of swings and miss. She had command of multiple pitches. Her curve and rise ball were on tonight."
After SIU finished with 13 hits the game before against Georgetown, Raley never let them find a rhythm. From the last out in the first to the second in the third, she pitched six-straight strikeouts, and had seven total through nine outs.
Along with her 11 strikeouts, Raley never allowed a hit to turn into a problem as SIU never strung together consecutive hits and finished with just three total.
Boesel led the way at the plate going 1-for-3 with a home run. Clark was close behind going 1-for-2 with a home run. Carolina finished with six hits on the night.
With the win Carolina moved to 2-0 at home.
UP NEXT --
Carolina returns home for the final day of the Gamecock Invitational with a doubleheader against Georgetown and Mercer starting at 12:30 PM ET. Live stats and updates will be provided on Twitter.
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