No. 20 Gamecocks Fall to No. 16 Fresno State In Eight Innings|
Feb. 27, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ga. - The 20th-ranked South Carolina softball team suffered its first loss of the season as the Gamecocks (8-1) fell 1-0 in eight innings to No. 16 Fresno State (6-2). The Bulldogs' Jamie Southern (4-1) held USC to just three hits and struck out 12 Gamecock batters as she also drove in the winning run for Fresno State. USC's Aleca Johnson gave up one run on seven hits and struck out seven as she fell to 3-1.
In the second inning, Fresno State had two runners on base with zero outs placing Johnson and USC in a jam. Johnson then struck out Leticia Pacheco, Veronica Green popped out and Shasta Lewis struck out swinging to end the inning allowing USC to escape the threat.
Nancy Crane broke up the no-hitter for Southern in the sixth when she hit a bunt single to become USC's first base runner of the game as well.
The Gamecocks had a chance to win in the seventh inning. With two outs, Meghan Cornett and Margaret Person hit back-to-back singles to give USC runners at first and second but Southern recorded her 12th strikeout of the game when Kristin Hall went down swinging and ended the inning.
The international tie-breaker rule went into effect in the eighth inning and in the top of the inning, Fresno State's pinch runner Daisy Gaynor was placed at second. Mitzi Ing led off with a single, and advanced Gaynor to third. With runners at the corners, Southern then helped her cause as she singled to short left field and drove in Gaynor for the winning run. The Bulldogs attempted to score more runs as Christina Clark then singled up the middle advancing the runners, but centerfielder Nancy Crane recovered the ball and connected with USC catcher Ashley Smith to throw out Ing at the plate.
USC's rally fell short in the bottom of the eighth when the Gamecocks went down in order. The Gamecocks are now 0-1 at the tournament and will return to action at 7:30 p.m. tonight when they face Princeton.