Gamecocks Win Gamecock Invitational|
Feb. 22, 2004
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina softball claimed its first tournament title of the season as they defeated the College of Charleston Cougars (5-2) 2-0 in the championship game of the Gamecock Classic. Stacey Johnson (3-0) earned the win for USC as she pitched six innings, allowed four hits and struck out six. The Gamecocks recorded two runs on five hits off of the Cougars' Rachel Stern (2-1) as they improved to 8-0 for the season.
The game was scoreless until the fifth inning when USC's Amber Curtis hit a two-out single to drive in McKenna Hughes and Chrissy Schoonmaker for a 2-0 lead. That would be all that Carolina would need as tough Gamecock defense contained the Cougars.
Charleston threatened several times as Johnson pitched six innings before giving up a lead-off double to Amanda Cone in the seventh. Junior Aleca Johnson then came in for relief. With a Cone at second, Johnson caught Darcy Johnson looking at a strike for the first out. Cone then advanced to third on a wild pitch, but then Johnson struck out the next two batters, Katie Ballard and Brittany Pohlen to claim her first save of the season, keeping USC's 2-0 win in tact.
For the tournament, Hughes led the Gamecocks in hitting with a .429 average. The freshman outfielder went 3-for-7, had three runs, two home runs and led the team in RBI with five. Cornett hit .364 and went 4-for-11, scored four runs, hit two home runs and had four RBI.
USC allowed only three runs for the entire tournament. The shutout against Charleston marked USC's third of the weekend, fifth of the year.