Jennings' Three-Run Homer Gives USC 11-3 Win Over Radford|
Feb. 22, 2004
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina softball recorded six runs in the fifth inning to defeat Radford 11-3 and claim a spot in the 3 p.m. championship game of the Gamecock Invitational Sunday. Samantha Jennings hit a walk-off three-run homer to seal USC the mercy rule victory. Freshman McKenna Hughes went 1-for-2 with a home run and had four RBI, while Melissa Sandel went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI.
Melanie Henkes pitched five innings and gave up three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts. Henkes improved to 2-0 on the season while Radford's Jennifer Bosley fell to 2-2. Bosley pitched 4.1 innings and gave up 11 runs on nine hits.
USC had a costly error in the third inning as the Highlanders scored two runs and tied the game 2-2. Sara Beth Clayton then singled to drive in Ashley Smith and gave Radford a 3-2 lead.
In the fourth, Rogers reached base on an error by shortstop Kat Peck and Sandel hit her second double in as many at bats to place runners at second and third for the Gamecocks. Hughes then smacked a home run to deep centerfield to drive in three runs and put USC in the lead 5-3.
USC exploded in the bottom of the fifth when Cornett led off with a sharp single to right field. A pitch then hit Kristin Hall, and Rogers walked to load the bases for the Gamecocks. Sandel hit a grounder to short but Peck bobbled the ball allowing Cornett to score. Hughes then hit a sac fly to center field to score Hall and give USC a 7-3 lead. Nancy Crane singled to drive in Rogers and place runners at the corners before Jennings hit a home run to center field for a three-run blast. The walk-off home run ended the game 11-3 in five innings and gave USC a 3-0 record in the tournament.