Garcia Powers Gamecocks to 7-4 Win over Appalachian|
Feb. 25, 2012
by Ryan Pederson and Koby Padgett
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina softball (8-3) picked up its eighth win of the year with a 7-4 win over Appalachian State (4-5) on Saturday afternoon at Beckham Field.
Junior shortstop Samie Garcia went 2-for-3 on the day, scoring twice and driving in three on her three-run homer to right in the second inning. Six other Gamecocks had hits, with senior third baseman Evan Childs adding an RBI. Junior right fielder Hannah Milks also had an RBI on a squeeze bunt.
The Gamecocks got the scoring started in the second when sophomore second baseman Dana Hathorn led off with a double into the left-center gap. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Hathorn came home on an error by the third baseman on a ball hit by senior first baseman Molly Brossart. With two outs, Milks drew a walk to put runners on the corners for Garcia, and the junior launched a 1-1 pitch over the right field wall to give the Garnet and Black a 4-0 lead. The home run marked the second-straight event where Garcia had one in the first game and also extended Garcia's hitting streak to 10 games, the first double-digit streak for the Gamecocks since 2008.
The Mountaineers finally broke through with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth inning, as a leadoff walk was followed by a home run by the third baseman Caroline Rogers.
The Gamecocks answered back in the bottom half, as Brossart led off with a walk and freshman Olivia Lawrence followed with a single through the right side. Seniors Jackie Slawson and Sam Arbaugh came in to run for Hawkins and Lawrence, respectively. After a wild pitch advanced both runners, Milks laid down a squeeze bunt to score Slawson, and in trying to take second on the play, drew a throw to score Arbaugh. Garcia kept the inning going with a single and was driven in two batters later by Childs to give the Garnet and Black a 7-2 lead.
In the seventh, the Mountaineers made a lot of noise with their bats, scoring two runs with two outs. However, Gamecock senior pitcher Kierstyn White (4-2) would end the contest with an infield pop fly.
White allowed four earned runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out three in the win. Caitlin Wainright (2-3) took the loss, giving up four earned runs on four hits and two walks in 1.2 innings. Caroline Wainright followed her older sister, tossing 4.1 innings and allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits and two walks.