South Carolina Blasts Past Charleston Southern, 17-3, in Five|
Feb. 24, 2013
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. - Behind the Gamecocks' biggest offensive output since joining the Southeastern Conference, South Carolina (8-3) downed Charleston Southern (3-7) 17-3 in five innings on Sunday afternoon at Patriots Point Park as part of the College of Charleston Cougar Classic.
The Gamecocks' got homers from senior shortstop Samie Garcia and freshman pinch hitter Ansley Ard, the latter a grand slam in the third that put South Carolina in the lead for good. Garcia led the Gamecocks with a 3-for-4 day with three runs and two RBI. Freshman left fielder Alaynie Page, junior right fielder Chelsea Hawkins and senior catcher Shelby Gonzales all had two hits, with Gonzales driving in three runs and Page two.
South Carolina scored twice in the first on errors, two of six committed by the Buccaneers. Garcia got an infield single, stole second and scored when the throw went into center field. Page followed with a single and stole second as well, the first of two stolen bases for her, and scored when a throw from the CSU pitcher sailed high when she tried to get Page on a force out at third later in the inning. But the Bucs tied it in the bottom of the frame on Marci Christian's two-run homer.
The third saw the Gamecocks load the bases with one out. Charleston Southern starter Jennifer Giles induced an infield pop fly before Ard stepped up and drove the 2-0 pitch over the wall in left center for her first career homer, a grand slam, giving the Gamecocks a 6-2 lead. The Bucs got a run back on Stephanie Sbardella's solo shot in the bottom of the inning.
Garcia led off the fourth with a homer, and the Gamecocks added seven more runs in the frame, all unearned. Page scored on the second error of the inning that allowed sophomore designated player Kristen Struett to reach. Redshirt senior Kelley Dillon landed an RBI double, Gonzales drove in two with a single, Garcia added another with her second hit of the frame, and Page added two more with a double. Three more Gamecock runs crossed in the fifth, including one on junior Brooke Barnhill's first Gamecock hit, an infield RBI single. A wild pitch let junior centerfielder Ashlyn Masters scored, while Barnhill came around on Gonzales' second RBI single to cap the scoring at 17-3.
The Gamecocks scored 17 runs for the first time since joining the SEC, the most runs since a March 31, 1996 contest against Coppin State in Charlottesville, Va. The 14-run win is the largest since a 15-1 win over Loyola (Ill.) on Feb. 27, 2010 in Boca Raton, Fla.
Gamecock freshman pitcher Katie Marks (3-1) got the complete-game win, allowing three earned runs on two hits and no walks. She struck out a season-best seven. Giles (1-5) took the loss for the Buccaneers, giving up 14 runs, seven earned, on 12 hits and three walks. She fanned five.
South Carolina returns to action next weekend in the Georgia Southern Eagle Classic in Statesboro, Ga.